Nimble Storage, the flash storage solutions company, has announced a broad range of new enterprise-grade capabilities to the Nimble Storage Adaptive Flash platform that enable enterprise IT organisations to dynamically meet varying service level agreements, reduce costs, and gain greater business agility and responsiveness.
Advancements to the Adaptive Flash platform include the ability to deliver an all-flash service level for applications with stringent requirements around responsiveness, an auto-flash service level for mainstream applications, and a disk-only service level for applications requiring low-cost capacity, all within a single storage platform.
Additional capabilities announced today include software-based encryption and a REST API-based extensibility framework. All of the new features complement existing enterprise functionality, including granular VM-level monitoring and reporting and integrated data protection.
Unlike legacy and flash-only storage architectures and systems that are deployed in disparate storage silos to support applications based on their unique characteristics and requirements, the Nimble Adaptive Flash platform offers a single storage architecture that dynamically caters to the needs of enterprise-wide workloads across performance, capacity, and data protection – delivering on the full potential and benefits of storage consolidation.
"Global enterprise IT organisations are tasked with managing hundreds, if not thousands, of business-enabling applications that require a mix of storage attributes across performance, capacity, data protection, reliability, and ease of use – all at a lower total cost of ownership," said Scott Sinclair, storage analyst, Enterprise Strategy Group. "Traditional wisdom has led IT managers to select and deploy separate storage silos to cater to a particular tier of applications in the data centre. These silos introduce compromises by constraining flexibility, limiting data mobility, and exacerbating storage management complexity. Introducing a dynamic, single architectural approach that can cater to the unique requirements of varying workloads represents a significant departure from dated storage industry doctrine."
All-Flash Service Level: Dynamic Performance and Capacity
Enterprise IT organisations now have the flexibility to dynamically deliver all-flash service levels across mission-critical applications that require deterministic latency – without the costs, capacity constraints, and silo sprawl of flash-only storage arrays. The all-flash service level meets the most stringent latency demands – its responsiveness is ideal for transaction processing, data warehouse/business intelligence, and VDI deployments.
And unlike flash-only arrays, service levels can be dynamically changed on the fly from operation in one service level to a different service level as workload demands fluctuate over time. Nimble offers a storage platform that brings IT organisations the full benefits of storage consolidation, including lower costs, higher IT productivity, seamless growth and reduced risk, all without compromising service levels of applications and workloads.
"We run many of our critical workloads on Nimble, and we've been thrilled with the results so far. Now, the ability to assign an 'all flash' experience to certain key applications ensures the level of responsiveness that our clients require," said Shimmy Messing, chief technology officer, Advanced Discovery Solutions."
Encrypt Data at The Volume or Array Level, Efficiently, at No Cost
Now with software-based encryption, Nimble SmartSecure, storage administrators have the ability to efficiently enable data encryption in consolidation and multi-tenant storage environments – at no additional cost. This new software feature enables both encryption and shredding on a per-application or per-array level. SmartSecure does not require custom drivers or dedicated firmware to implement. Once data is compressed and encrypted by the company's CASL flash-optimized file system, it can be securely replicated to another site with the target site understanding the encryption key – dramatically streamlining administration and preserving storage capacity.
In addition to increasing security benefits for large enterprises, SmartSecure encryption enables service providers with multi-tenant environments to isolate and encrypt a particular client's data. "Today's heightened sensitivity around data security makes capabilities like encryption vital to our organisation and our clients," said Patrick Cimprich, vice president and Global Infrastructure Services Chief Architect at Avanade, a global business technology solutions, cloud and managed services provider. "And the way Nimble has implemented it was great: a simple software upgrade and no additional infrastructure to buy. It is a true testament to Nimble's architecture that we were able to add on a feature like SmartSecure encryption as easily as we did."
Expanded Management Capabilities Improve Productivity
With the addition of REST APIs, the Nimble Adaptive Flash platform now enables storage administrators to build customised reporting and workflows around storage, simplifying integration into existing customer frameworks thereby enhancing enterprise IT productivity.
Enhanced Non-disruptive Scalability of Performance and Capacity
The Nimble Adaptive Flash platform enables enterprise IT organisations to seamlessly scale performance and capacity independently. With the latest software release, Nimble now enables administrators to scale non-disruptively to over 3.5PBs of capacity and over 160TBs of flash per cluster to optimise business-critical workloads at scale while maintaining the highest levels of responsiveness.
Identify and Address Virtual Machine Performance Issues Quickly and Efficiently
Nimble InfoSight, the company's cloud-connected management and support engine, provides granular visibility into VM, network and LUN latencies enabling administrators to quickly and confidently identify and resolve resource contention issues and maintain service level agreements. The new per-VM monitoring feature, InfoSight-VMVision, intuitively flags conditions that may cause performance issues showing throughput, IOPs, and latency levels across all layers: host, network and storage.
Armed with actionable intelligence administrators can proactively identify and address rogue or "noisy neighbour" VMs that consume more than their fair share of infrastructure resources. Nimble InfoSight-VMVision enables administrators to tune performance and eliminate bottlenecks without reactively making additional capital expenditures that aren't required, further lowering costs and improving IT productivity.
Nimble offers a fully integrated data protection package for primary storage, backup, and disaster recovery that enhances operational efficiency. Nimble's data protection enables administrators to take instant snapshots – point-in-time copies that capture just-changed data.
Enabling the capacity-saving redirect-on-write feature means that snapshot data will not be copied automatically onto future snapshots and that administrators can rapidly restore snapshots whenever they are required. Nimble allows IT administrators to house all snapshots and production data on the same array thereby eliminating overhead inefficiencies and assuring instantaneous data recovery. Fully integrated data protection reduces complexity, overhead, and risk, enabling administrators to maintain business continuity and gain responsiveness.
"The new innovations we're delivering within the Adaptive Flash platform provide enterprise IT organisations with the ability to consolidate and support all workloads across their environment on a single storage platform. Enterprises will no longer be forced to make trade-offs in building and managing independent storage silos to support tiered applications and workloads," said Dan Leary, vice president of worldwide marketing. "By delivering a storage consolidation platform, much like virtualization has done for compute, we are empowering enterprise IT organizations to dynamically meet service level agreements for enterprise-wide applications at a lower total cost of ownership."