back to article HPE gobbles Nimble Storage for $1.2bn

Not content with buying SimpliVity, HPE has signed a "definitive" agreement to gobble Nimble Storage for $1.2bn. Nimble makes all-flash and hybrid arrays with six "nines" availability, that are monitored and managed with cloud-based analytics. HPE claimed these fit well with its 3PAR high-end systems and low-end MSA storage. …

  1. baspax

    InfoSight

    This is an IP buy. They'll put InfoSIght, which is a fantastic product, into everything and kill the Nimble arrays. Perhaps HPE will pull a SimpliVity on the Nimble reps and SEs and fire them all with a week or two, we shall see.

    It's a bummer, most of the folks over at Nimble are really decent.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: InfoSight

      InfoSight is world leading, but also HPE have been losing deals to Nimble arrays, which are fantastic. I don't think they will bin off 3PAR just as they didn't bin off XP, but IMO HPE, outside it's 3PAR/XP install base will switch to leading with Nimble and the Sales people and SEs that decide to stay will do very well as a result. (Some might not fancy such a big company or have burnt bridges with HPE.) Also the deal is not closed. NetApp announced they were buying Data Domain and fought very hard for Isilon. I can't see Dell fighting for Nimble but Cisco and Lenovo might give it serious consideration. The Nimble folk shouldn't worry, almost all of them could very quickly find new jobs if they want them. It almost makes the world of storage interesting.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: InfoSight

        Can a spolier bid be put in at this late stage? How can such an announcement to the market really be made without a pretty rebust confidence in the deal actually going through?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: InfoSight

        IMHO, Not this time for bidding war

        1.) Too many similar SMB players wants to exit, not just Data Domain/Isolin

        2.) 3PAR is still high end

        3.) Lenovo was not allowed to acquire a US company; Cisco can't benefit by buying Nimble.

        Cisco needs to buy big players to compete with HP/Dell-EMC.

        1. xosevp

          Cisco

          >> Cisco needs to buy big players to compete with HP/Dell-EMC.

          Cisco should buy any two of these, * ideally:

          - Pure*

          - Tintri

          - Tegile

          - Kaminario

          - Infinidat*

          - Quantum

          - DDN

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Cisco

            Both companies are good.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Cisco

            Quantum is heading towards delisting from NYSE for staying below $1. .

      3. baspax

        Re: InfoSight

        The Nimble sales folks I know (admittedly, not that many) aren't too thrilled. Quote from one guy what he thinks will happen: Deep sigh "Lord only knows"

        I guess that says it all.

        I feel bad for the Nimble folks, most of them really decent and good folks. Super nice company, always got a warm and fuzzy feeling when engaging with them. HPE on the other hand is completely knee-jerk and their strategies (if you can even call it that) change from quarter to quarter. I wouldn't put it past them to fire all sales people and roll it up under their HP salesforce. Or close Nimble completely except for the IP if the numbers fall for one or two quarters. Truly, Lord only knows what's going on over at HPE these days.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: InfoSight

          Don't all little companies bleeding money want a big payoff by being rescued by a rich daddy figure? Nimble (and Pure ) hasn't made a penny profit yet.

          Remember .. it is not able nice people .. it is about money and survival.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: InfoSight

        Despite what Nimble and many of the other startups may have been marketing to the world, 3PAR and Nimble only ever really crossed swords at the very low end of 3PAR territory. So despite what some of the competition might hope for, 3PAR will be going nowhere nor will it become an also ran within the portfolio.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: InfoSight

      HPE pretty much spelled this out. Sad day for Nimble customers:

      “HPE will leverage InfoSight across our portfolio of storage products, further enhancing our competitiveness against large and small competitors.”

      https://www.hpe.com/us/en/newsroom/news-archive/featured-article/2017/03/Nimble-Storage-to-Extend-HPE-Industry-Leadership-in-Flash-Storage.html

    3. tomjoyce64

      Re: InfoSight

      I think they will keep the nimble array. Nimble is high gross margin but losing money gaap and non gaap, and they probably have to grow nimble another 25% before it breaks even, which is about what it has been growing at. I think you're right that they'll take out a bunch of cost to close that gap, but they are not going to throw away a 65% margin product. My bet is they sell it into the space currently covered by the MSA and let the big HP channel have at it. I assume HPE thinks that every nimble they can sell instead of an MSA is probably 25-30 points of additional gross margin, and that if they can double nimble at the expense of MSA it is a good trade, even though earnings impact this year is non trivial. If that happens, 1.1b is cheap. It is also a product hedge against 3par getting old. Problem is, they need to execute, and now they have to ramp yet another entry array play, deal with the complexity of nimble vs 3par vs simplivity positioning, and they still have what's left of MSA and Lefthand rolling about in the bottom of the boat. And Dell is ready to roll.

      1. Nate Amsden

        Re: InfoSight

        as a 3PAR customer for 11 years and Nimble (though the Nimble in my org is run by another group), am curious what is old about 3PAR vs Nimble? Nimble's original claim to fame was true hybrid SSD+HDD. They have since introduced all flash systems, but am not sure what may make 3PAR old vs Nimble not old in an all flash world. I don't know how well the older hybrid SSD+HDD systems are selling but the architecture seemed certainly nice (much nicer than tiering, I have never used auto tiering in 3PAR or any other system).

        I guess Infosight is good (have not heard of it or seen it, I wrote my own 3PAR monitoring tools have not even tried HP's latest stuff whatever it's called these days, HP folks have repeatedly told me over the years I manage my 3PAR systems better than any customer they had ever seen).

        I would ask the people that manage the nimble at my company but have absolutely no doubt they have no idea, as the person(s) that procured the systems(1 or 2) have long since left the company and the rest of the folks on the team I don't believe are up to speed on the platform.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: InfoSight

          Nate, ive read your posts in here for years and amogst the crap you spout, this has to be the least comprehensible, ever. Have you finally been swallowed by your own sphincter?

          1. Nate Amsden

            Re: InfoSight

            Such harsh words from an AC. I suppose I will get my answers from HP next week when I meet them.

      2. baspax

        Re: InfoSight

        Pretty much. Except that there is no one left to sell SimpliVity as most reps and sales engineers have been laid off.

      3. This post has been deleted by its author

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: InfoSight

        A really informative post Tom, spoiled unfortunately by the need to slip in the competitive stuff into the last third.

    4. J. Cook Silver badge

      Re: InfoSight

      Same here; The hardware is actually pretty decent as well and is pretty robust for the price.

      I'm also hoping that HPE doesn't crank up the support pricing and reduce the level of said support; Nimble's support has been extremely good for the times we've needed it outside of replacement part swaps.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How does this work out competition-wise?

    I do not see how this can pass Eu Commission and FTC.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: How does this work out competition-wise?

      OK, all right, you say that because there's only two or three storage companies out there?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: How does this work out competition-wise?

      I don't think there's any chance of regulatory problems. There are PLENTY of storage vendors out there with tons of competition. If anything, there are too many.

      If behemoths Dell and EMC could complete an M&A without regulatory interference, there is zero chance HPE buying little old Nimble will encounter problems.

  3. Calleb III

    Their six nines 99.9999% availability will indeed complement the 3PAR nine sixes 66.6666666% availability

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      you sir win the internet today. good job!

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Storage consolidation

    Good for Nimble Storage,

    Bad for independent small players like Tintri, Tegile, Nexenta, and Pure.

    Bad for Cisco as an end-to-end IT shop.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Nimble & Simplivity fight for Meg's attention

    One is a HCI player, and one is supposedly working on their own HCI solution. Will Nimble teams get told to stay in their lane and just do storage?

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Congrats to Nimble!

    Couldn't happen to a bunch of nicer people! Well deserved too because the product is very good.

    This news will have a negative effect for Cisco (storage dunces), Lenovo, Pure Storage, NetApp, and Tintri

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Unfortunate, but probably necessary

    I just hope HP doesn't crank up the Support cost-o-meter and slash the Support staff. My opinion is that Nimble's support is currently triple-A gold and my previous experience with HP acquired companies has not been good.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Bargain...

    $1.2 Beeellion for a company that lost $158.3m last year?

    For only $160 Million, I can lose $160 Million of HPE's money next year.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm curious as to whether HPE will drop the product completely and take the IP, or continue to sell the unit under a different badge.

    Nimbles are based around the SuperMicro SBB chassis that uses an Infiniband interconnect, and HPE don't currently have an equivalent proliant chassis...

    If I were HPE i'd seriously consider replacing 3PAR with the Nimble arrays. I only hear bad to average things about 3PAR and nothing but great feedback on Nimbles.

    1. JRW

      JohnW form Nimble here

      We do use SuperMicro, nice kit, good hardware does matter. We don't use an Infiniband interconnect but rather the Intel NTB, which is a PCIe direct connection between the controllers and built into the Intel server chipsets we use. We're not alone on this as it works well. The clever stuff is in the software.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      cookie cutter parts

      all that crap can be built in a week at HP Foxconn site in China - just give them a reference platform and they will reverse engineer it . It is all the off-the shelve parts

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