back to article Nimble gets, well, nimble about hyperconverged infrastructure

After thinking that stand-alone external storage array vendors might need to get into the hyperconverged market, we received a tip that Nimble Storage was thinking that too. So we asked Nimble's CEO, Suresh Vasudevan, a few exploratory questions. Here's the result. El Reg: How does Nimble view the roles of shared external …

  1. Broooooose

    Nimble - Maybe?

    Wouldn't surprise me if they are. Would they have something competitive? Possibly. Is there a gap in the market? Narrowing. SimpliVity partners may be looking for something new, that's similar in price/performance. The traditional storage players will also be operating in this market moving fwd. However, the cutting edge of the market is moving away from traditional, boxed based HCI. The clever stuff is now around orchestration, consumption. So they question is will they get to market in time with something sufficiently differentiated to make an impact?

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Friend to foe

    This should make existing partnerships with server suppliers interesting (Lenovo, Cisco UCS). Especially since Cisco is directly competing in the HCI environment with HyperFlex

    1. Bangem

      Re: Friend to foe

      As is Lenovo with their OEM partnership with the Nutants

  3. CheesyTheClown

    Where would it fit?

    Microsoft and OpenStack currently implement hyperconverged storage in their systems with full API support and integration between management, compute, storage and networking technologies. VMware does not support hyperconverged storage at all since they haven't built an application container (think vApp) that can describe location independent storage without reference to SCSI LUNs (local, iSCSI or FC). As such, at this time, VMware doesn't support either hyperconverged storage or networking.

    So, except for making half-assed attempts at running traditional storage on compute nodes (definitely a good start but very definitely not hyperconverged), where would this fit?

    Just remember that hyperconverged requires that you have to do more than just run traditional storage on the same box as compute. It has to actually be converged. Meaning that storage and networking is part of the application itself.

    As I said, both Windows and OpenStack clearly define how to achieve this and both support Docker style apps (container or otherwise) through a standard API which actually supports hyperconverged. Adding high speed storage makes it faster, but replacing Storage Spaces or Swift actually hurts the system by introducing unnecessary levels of management and abstraction.

    So, if VMware ever learns how make a current generation solution, the market for hyperconverged storage won't exist any longer. It would be like buying a new car and then trying to add a second engine to it that actually made the car slower because of the extra weight.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    HCI is CNA - ethernet

    I don't really understand this mystery. Is Nimble solely FC connected?

    1. J. Cook Silver badge

      Re: HCI is CNA - ethernet

      The CS300 and earlier models in that class, it's iSCSI over 10Gb Ethernet. the CS500 has FC as an option, and beyond that I can't answer to, not having one sitting in my data center. :)

      Beyond that, I have no idea how FC works on the nimble platform, as we have been using it as iSCSI only. Our CS500s don't have the FC option on them.

      Things it can't do (and probably never will):

      CIFS/SMB, aka windows file sharing. You can stand up a machine running your favorite OS with an SMB server, and back-end the storage off a nimble, but you can't run it directly from the appliance.

      NFS: Essentially the same thing; Nimble has a whitepaper on how to set up a pair of linux based machines to create an NFS gateway with the array ac ting as the backend storage.


      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: HCI is CNA - ethernet

        iSCSI implies it exports a block device , not a SAN FS

  5. Liger

    Not in the game

    Arrays are in decline, HCI is growing fast, and that can only happen if HCI is displacing arrays. Simple wins, even if it costs more.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Not in the game

      I agree with the "Simple wins, even if it costs more" statement.

      Even if it does cost more, it can sometimes be partially or completely offset by reduction in storage staffing. If you get a solution that's easy to manage, then you don't need that "expensive" SAN/FC/storage array skillset anymore, as you can transfer those duties to the "cheaper" generalist or admin.

      I hate to write that, having been one of those SAN/FC guys at a past job, and made a good living at it, but times change. If I were buying storage solutions today, I'd definitely err on the side of easier-to-manage solutions, even if they did cost more.

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