Array biz Nimble: Quick, lob us $40m before storage giants wallop us
Hybrid racker needs VC cash
Hybrid flash and disk drive array start-up Nimble Storage has been given $40.7m in venture capital funding to boost sales, marketing and engineering.
Forty million for a company that has established its products and is doing nicely is a lot of cash. After all, since starting product ships in August 2010, Nimble has passed the 500 customer count and now has over 1,000 products bought and deployed.
Why the rush? It all makes sense when you consider that all arrays are becoming hybrid arrays – with flash storage alongside the disk drive shelves. Nimble has the enormous task ahead of it of persuading current drive array customers to switch to its gear before the Dells, EMCs, HPs, HDSes and IBMs of the storage world come up with competitive offerings. It won't take long and they have already started.
As the storage giants have started bringing out all-flash arrays as well – eg, EMC with its coming XtremIO box – then Nimble, Tegile, Tintri and other hybrid array start-ups could get squeezed between mainstream vendors' performance flash arrays and flash-accelerated disk drive arrays. In 18 months or so the mainstream vendors will be on Nimble's tail and chomping hard.
So Nimble has to keep its product ahead of the pack and build out its sales and marketing infrastructure extremely fast in order to establish itself as a sustainable supplier – and enable the VCs to get their cash out of the company with a thumping good return on the investment.
Ping Li, a principal investor at Accel Partners, said. “Nimble has clearly pulled away from the storage giants and flash-based start-ups alike, and proven its value across an amazing 1,000-plus deployments in the enterprise. Our investment in Nimble continues to deliver high long-term value.”
Suresh Vasudevan, Nimble Storage's CEO, said: “With our financial performance well ahead of our most aggressive estimates, we’re continuing to reinvest across all areas of our operations as we advance towards an IPO and become an industry leader in the market evolution to flash-optimised storage.”
They might make it too. Storage is still a great, great game to be in. ®
Re: Stop perpetuating myths...DELL - Fine but come clean on your costs..
I won't dispute what you say regarding performance.
But they are way over priced, I approached nimble and told them my budget and basically got laughed at, so I phoned Dell, who sold me a PS6100XS for £26k.. if your unfamiliar with this box, it has 7x400Gb SSD and 17x600Gb 10K SAS HDD... so I got the Daddy of the EqualLogic for half the price Nimble and Tintri wanted for their entry level boxes..
Re: Stop perpetuating myths...DELL
Yeah, I know you have to be an anonymous coward if you are going to post as a Dell employee, because otherwise you have violated one of the many rules over there. That's fair. I was at Dell, worked in both the Server as well as the Storage practice, and more than likely trained you at one point. Now I work at Nimble, because it is a far better product and better company to work for - which is why many of the best senior Compellant and EQL sales people now work here.
So, let me go ahead and point out all of the things wrong with your statement - non-anonymously.
Equallogic is in second generation - So is Nimble, but Equallogic's second generation cannot match the performance or functionality of out original Beta systems, never mind the 192 TB of capacity (all at 45,000 IOps) that the current Nimble does.
Price performance - what math are you using to determine that Dell has something more suitable than Nimble? Dell can solve for $$ per GB storage with the cheapo MD solutions, but performance - $$ per IOP - sucks. I realize you cannot do the math for what it would take to get 45,000 I/Ops out of EQL, because you cannot get a large fraction of that performance number out of EQL platform at all without going into the very poorly thought out PS6xxxS chassis - then your $$ per GB is through the roof. The EQL hybrid arrays - trying to solve the problem with hardware - will only do a fraction of the performance of our original CS-2x0 arrays.
And, add the data protection functionality - just built into the array, and just works - and EQL becomes an incomplete solution unless you want to start slinging AppAssure at the solution, and a backup target... Complexity and a hodgepadge of acquisition products - which sums up Dells Enterprise strategy as a whole.
But what do you expect ? Dell is not a technology company - it is a marketing company (Check your pay stub for verification)
VMWare and Microsoft Integration. Nimble has all of that , and feedback from my customers (many of them ex EQL) is that out VMWare integration is easier to deploy and impliment than EQL. My opinion - they are about the same.
Your problem, and Dell's, is simply this - What makes Nimble so different and disruptive to old school incumbents like Dell is the basic file system itself - Cache Accelerated Sequential Layout (CASL). Dell cannot change how they are injesting and storing data on EQL or Compellant without a complete redesign,
Stop perpetuating myths...
"...before the Dells, EMCs, HPs, HDSes and IBMs of the storage world come up with competitive offerings...."
Nimble has nothing special. They make hybrid arrays - combos of SSD and brown spinning stuff and share this across balanced storage pools to provide high performance and capacity.
I can't speak to the others, but Dell's already on its 2nd generation of this sort of thing with Equallogic - and has greater scalability, price-performance, vmware and microsoft integration functionality than Nimble.
Yes, I work for Dell, so AC.