Nimble’s Cloud Volumes – A way cool approach – from #HPETechDay 2017

I’ve spoken a couple times about the beauty of the “Infosight” product which is part and parcel to the Nimble equation.  It provides a proactive approach to analytics, predictive support, patching, and even more importantly, uptime of your Nimble Storage (now a part of the HPE Storage family) architecture. It really is a game changer for the reduction of overwhelming support that can sometimes push a storage admin toward the boundaries of craziness. The Infosight model takes the guesswork away from troubleshooting some of your issues, in that you may never face them. You can pretty much guarantee that if you’ve got a problem, then someone else with a similar architecture also has that issue. InfoSight will compare your build complexity against the entire world of other Nimble customers, and offer up advisories that will ensure you don’t face what others may have.

In some cases, the problems, even with paired architectures, say your VMW, Cisco, or other components cause the issues. For example, the HBA driver from within VMWare, could be at fault, the InfoSight protocol can locate that within the partner architectures, and sometimes even fix it without any impact to the customer, and advise VMWare to issue the patch during their next release schedule. A truly amazing approach.

But, and this is important, it’s not the only magic that the Nimble model brings to the picture. Recently, I sat through a briefing on Cloud Volumes, another part of the Nimble portfolio, that comes along with any Nimble license. Disclosure: I was invited by HPE to the briefing on the storage portfolio as part of the HPETechDay in Anaheim. It was an honor to attend, and I learned many things. There are videos from the live stream to be found on the YouTube channel here.

Imagine you’re using a cloud provider, and you’re not receiving the storage IO, or costs you find appealing. You’re not actually obligated to leverage AWS, or Azure as your storage provider. There are many datacenters, in proximate locations to the AWS or Azure data centers wherein Nimble environments exist. These Nimble storage environments can be leveraged using Cloud Volumes, to provide a landing point for your data. You’ll experience no more latencies than you’d have were the storage in the physical data center where the workload is located. The difference here is that the larger file storage is, in this case, located on Nimble. Because of that, you get all the magic that the Nimble architecture brings to the table, the IO, the analytics, the replication, etc., and it allows for a far more predictable, quantifiable model supporting your cloud based virtual machines. I envision, actually, that if your workload requires certain compliancy needs, that you may be able to leverage a provider who’s data sovereignty rules may not comply, but the Cloud Volumes architecture may be able to mitigate that shortfall.

I must say, I’m impressed by this model. As I’ve stated on many occasions, the largest costs in placing particularly large virtual machines into the cloud comes from housing that large data in the public cloud provider’s space. Data ingress and egress can be huge expenses, this is a big way to reduce the overhead, and increase your efficiencies, while still leveraging what may be your best mode for housing the VM’s.

You can find a really interesting overview of this product here.

Now, I’m quite impressed with how Nimble and their excellent engineers created this software… I’m even more impressed with how they’ve understood the ecosystem of Cloud and Storage architectures, and predicted the needs that users of these services may potentially be able to use to transition to that model more easily. I’m just as impressed with HPE for having the foresight to recognize the value in this company, and to have acquired them and integrated them so seamlessly. I also believe that the integration of Cloud Volumes and Infosight into the greater HPE storage portfolio (StoreOnce, and 3Par) to deliver a holistic approach to how the hybrid data center of the future will look. These models will involve storage, compute, networking, Converged (composable) infrastructures with HPE Synergy, and HPE Simplivity, architectures to create an overarching methodology where all resources exist where they should, regardless of limitations.

The Internet of things, big data, Platform as a Services (PAAS), Infrastructure as a Services (IAAS), Desktop as a Service (DAAS), and Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRAAS), as well as Software as a Service (SAAS) are wrapped into architectural models that can be accomplished using the building out of your data center of the future. And, while not all pieces may be in place today, the building blocks are here today.

I’m truly impressed with HPE’s vision. The entire infrastructure organization appears focused on creating a holistic approach to support and build a portfolio of products that work together to create solutions for whatever needs the datacenter of the future, and the hybrid cloud environments could possibly require.


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