back to article Nimble offers AWS and Azure cloud-wrapper

Nimble Storage claims Azure and AWS clouds aren't ideal for enterprise transaction apps but says it can fix that by wrapping them inside Nimble Cloud Volumes for a $0.10/GB/month starting price. Nimble says it'll provide customers with its Cloud Volumes, which come with six nines (99.9999 per cent) measured storage …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    There was a time when Nimble came wrapped in greaseproof paper - which we then used to polish the slide in the recreation ground to speed up our activity. More cheese Gromit?

  2. dikrek
    Boffin

    AWS EBS has a 0.2% AFR - according to Amazon!

    Hi all, Dimitris from Nimble here.

    Amazon readily admits EBS isn't very durable. To wit from here: https://aws.amazon.com/ebs/details/

    "Amazon EBS volumes are designed for an annual failure rate (AFR) of between 0.1% - 0.2%, where failure refers to a complete or partial loss of the volume, depending on the size and performance of the volume. This makes EBS volumes 20 times more reliable than typical commodity disk drives, which fail with an AFR of around 4%. For example, if you have 1,000 EBS volumes running for 1 year, you should expect 1 to 2 will have a failure. EBS also supports a snapshot feature, which is a good way to take point-in-time backups of your data."

    So that includes the replication etc.

    Some info on the Nimble Cloud Volumes offering:

    http://recoverymonkey.org/2017/02/27/nimble-cloud-volumes-removing-risk-from-cloud-storage/

    The "1 million times more durable" marketing number we quote is actually way too conservative.

    Thx

    D

    1. Adam 52 Silver badge

      Re: AWS EBS has a 0.2% AFR - according to Amazon!

      I'll do the first few mistakes in that page now.

      EBS isn't three 9s, it's five 9s.

      EBS snapshots might take hours, but the volume can be used immediately, so it's not really an issue unless you're expecting failure, in which case you want to be clustered.

      Storage latency means nothing if you're on a high latency network.

      You claim however many 9s it is, that isn't "a million times more durable". Especially as you claim to be physically closely located and therefore vulnerable to the same meteorological, seismic or military events.

      1. dikrek
        Boffin

        Re: AWS EBS has a 0.2% AFR - according to Amazon!

        @Adam 52 - Thanks for the comment. EBS is 5 nines for what? It's "designed" for 5 nines uptime, "designed for" and "achieving" are two different things.

        In any case, the data integrity is the bigger issue, at 0.2% AFR.

        The "millions of times more durable" statement simply takes into account data integrity. In actuality it's a conservative number.

        Let's not confuse site failure with data integrity.

        In addition, the EBS clones and snaps do happen in the background but there's I/O variability while the blocks are copied to/from S3.

        Furthermore, what happens when someone wants to recover a volume that was snapped? How long does that take? How is the performance SLA impacted?

        The AWS service that has truly good integrity is S3.

        Thx

        D

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: AWS EBS has a 0.2% AFR - according to Amazon!

          So why not just use s3?

          1. dikrek

            Re: AWS EBS has a 0.2% AFR - according to Amazon!

            Because S3 simply isn't block storage. You can't (yet) run, say, Oracle, SQL etc. on S3.

            The more successful businesses that use AWS storage use S3 but most of them were also designed from the beginning with that protocol in mind.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: AWS EBS has a 0.2% AFR - according to Amazon!

              So, what are you actually adding over redundant EBS volumes backed by the overwhelmingly durable (but slow*) S3? What's rigging up a (very slow) pipe to my on-prem kit, with all the egress charges that espouses, actually getting me? Strikes me as just locking me further into on-prem stuff that we'd really rather shuffle off to the great big data centre in the sky.

              *Though it's worth pointing out that it's more than possible to run SQL workloads over S3 these days. It won't blow your eyes out with speed, but it's cheap as buggery and works.

              1. dikrek
                Boffin

                Re: AWS EBS has a 0.2% AFR - according to Amazon!

                For performance- and integrity-critical workloads that still want to be in the cloud, NCV is a great solution. You want to take instant snaps and clones? Recover instantly without any performance impact? NCV is a great solution.

                But by your comment it's clear you're not getting how NCV is connected. It is NOT on-premises. It is a purely cloud service.

              2. the-sarge

                Re: AWS EBS has a 0.2% AFR - according to Amazon!

                You're not "rigging up a (very slow) pipe to on-prem kit." You're connecting to flash storage in an adjacent datacenter over a high-speed, low-latency pipe. Having your data hosted in a service like this allows precisely the opposite of locking you in...it allows mobility of your data and workloads between public clouds (and yes, on-prem private cloud if you also want that). More flexibility, not less.

                *If you're talking about running MSSQL in an iSCSI volume using an object gateway like Nasuni or SoftNAS or some other hack solution like that...you'd be kicked out of an enterprise shop just for vocalizing that you thought the idea might have some merit. :) Possible? Yes. Works? Well...depends on what you mean by "works." :) Those vendors will readily admit that they would never recommend that anybody do that. I've spoken with those two vendors in particular in the past couple of weeks where this question came up.

  3. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. the-sarge

      Re: Soo let me get this right

      Buddy...they didn't build their own compute cloud. They built a Storage-as-a-Service "cloud." They are putting their storage in what are essentially adjacent data centers to AWS and Azure data centers. There are very high-speed low-latency links between the data centers. You run compute on AWS or Azure, but you have those instances set up to use the block volumes from Nimble instead of EBS volumes, for instance. Tons of benefits. Other storage companies already do it successfully. Nimble has some benefits that will differentiate them from those those guys. They aren't competing with anything that Amazon or Microsoft is taking especially seriously (block storage). It's a symbiotic relationship...good for both parties.

      1. dikrek
        Thumb Up

        Re: Soo let me get this right

        Correct. Use AWS for what it's best: stupendous amounts of easy to deploy compute and object storage. Even block storage if the workloads aren't critical.

        But for more serious workloads, there are great benefits to be found in a hybrid public cloud (maybe a new term? Time will tell).

        It's like everything else: you don't need to source everything from the same place unless there are compelling reasons to do so and little risk.

        Already there are companies that successfully use products from 4-5 public cloud services.

        This is another one of those cases.

        Once more, with feeling, visit these 2 links:

        https://aws.amazon.com/ebs/details/ (search for AFR)

        http://recoverymonkey.org/2017/02/27/nimble-cloud-volumes-removing-risk-from-cloud-storage/

        Thx

        D

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Soo let me get this right

          @dikrek

          Does this solution support at-rest encryption? If so, how do you store,manage and present the keys to the instances connecting? How do you secure the data-in-transit connection over (presumably) iSCSI between your hardware and the public cloud? How do you back up volumes, and to where?

          How do you connect into a customers instances? How do you spread your storage volumes between DCs to protect against a facility outage? What is the maximum throughout for the network between your premises and the cloud?

          What compliance standards does Nimble align to? Do you have ISO 27001 / 27017 / 27018 certs that cover both your DCs and your operations? What about PCI-DSS L1? SOC1/2/3? Cyber Essentials Plus?

          1. This post has been deleted by its author

          2. JRW

            Re: Soo let me get this right

            JohnW from Nimble here.

            AC throws out 11 questions. (Slight whiff of cowardly FUD.) Too many for me to try and answer here. For brevity I'll have a stab at the first one and a half. Yes, NCV are encrypted with AES-256 encryption and each volume has it's own key. Unlike when encryption comes from self-encrypting drives this allows for keys to be disposed of on a per volume/application basis.

            I suggest people check out Nick T's blog here for what this game changing innovation is really all about. http://spr.ly/60048ncCw Got to rush, busy times at Nimble :-)

  4. Cossie66

    Nimble are only imitating what Zadara Storage has delivered for the last 6 years

    Block Storage - check

    NAS - NFS /SMB - check

    Private Object Storage - check

    low latency high performance - check

    encryption In flight - check

    encryption at rest AES-256- user owns the keys - check

    dedicated drives / engines per customer - check

    snapshots / clones / online volume migration - check

    Cluster support multiple AZ - check

    change drive types / configuration - check

    pay per hour - check

    same on premise and in the cloud - check

    connected to AWS / Azure / GCP - check check out www.zadarastorage.com

    1. JudeKay (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: Nimble are only imitating what Zadara Storage has delivered for the last 6 years

      Hands up ... who DOESN'T work for a storage vendor?

      1. dikrek
        Boffin

        Re: Nimble are only imitating what Zadara Storage has delivered for the last 6 years

        I think nobody will raise their hand... :)

        For the Zadara employee:

        Don't confuse features with risk mitigation. No company can be perfect at doing block, NAS and object.

        With NCV we are focusing on enterprise block as a cloud offering. Lower risk cloud block storage.

        In addition, NCV gives customers the choice of easily repatriating the data to on-premises if needed.

        Most customers want, as a risk mitigation strategy, the ability to have compatibility between on-premises and cloud. We are offering exactly that - a multicloud service that is also compatible with physical on-premises storage if need be.

        Not sure on Zadara's size but Nimble has over 10000 customers now and most of them have more than 1 system, so we aren't exactly small. We use well proven technologies in NCV.

        For more articles on ways to provide risk mitigation for block storage, visit recoverymonkey.org.

        Thx

        D

        1. Cossie66

          Re: Nimble are only imitating what Zadara Storage has delivered for the last 6 years

          I do work for Zadara, not professing anything else

          No company can be perfect at doing Block, NAS and Object Storage, is that because you only do Block and don't understand how to do the other two in a cloud infrastructure ?

          We provide Enterprise capability, MZ-HA in AWS East-1 where AWS had an outage yesterday, No Zadara customers had any Zadara storage outage, we can do Multi-zone multiple DC volumes in AWS can Nimble ? I think not - can you do the same to both AWS and Azure again I think not. We are and have been delivering risk mitigation to many enterprise customers for a long time, we are experts at this field and have lots of customers already using us, we are not just starting out turning a dual controller array into a Cloud.

          Glad to see that Nimble NCV is validating the Zadara message to some degree but you are starting out 6 years behind.

          Maybe you should understand the competition a little better, we enable the customer to repatriate with on premise, in co-lo, in service provider and in multiple clouds. Also the customer has the choice with the same per hour cost model wherever he consumes Zadara

          We can talk numbers where it matters about this announcement if you want,how many have you got connected to AWS / Azure / GCP ?.

          I fully understand risk mitigation I have built and run environments to ISO27001.

          Thanks for bringing up the important points, see you in the other clouds when you get there :-)

          S

      2. the-sarge

        Re: Nimble are only imitating what Zadara Storage has delivered for the last 6 years

        My hand is up. I don't work for a vendor.

      3. the-sarge

        Re: Nimble are only imitating what Zadara Storage has delivered for the last 6 years

        My hand is up. I do not work for a vendor.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Nimble are only imitating what Zadara Storage has delivered for the last 6 years

          "My hand is up. I do not work for a vendor."

          "My hand is up. I do not work for a vendor."

          You made a RAID-1 post. You sure you don't work for a storage vendor? :)

          1. the-sarge

            Re: Nimble are only imitating what Zadara Storage has delivered for the last 6 years

            Haha! Site wasn't working properly... Although I have considered it several times, I definitely don't work for a vendor, and have always ended up glad for every time that I chose not to make that jump.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Tripper

    Bazillion times better!

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