Nimble Storage – An In Depth Review – Conclusions

nimbleAll in all, after about 7 months of our cut over to our SAN, we have absolutely zero regrets. The thing is still as fast as it was on day one, despite us pushing through quite a few IOPs and pushing quite a lot of data through it. We are not the busiest shop in the world by far, but we do use our storage quite a bit for both reads and writes.

Just a little bit of info about our particular environment – We have 27 Volumes currently, and we have about 60 VMs on our Nimble CS240, several virtual and physical instances of SQL Server have their databases, logs, backups, etc… on this SAN and are being hit constantly (production databases with certain Real Estate data), we have about 14 million photos on a volume and our cache hit ratio sits right around 85%. We probably could use an upgrade to a CS240  x2 (and probably will – doubling the cache from 640GB to 1.2TB) sometime in the near future.

Our server infrastructure is HP Blades in a C3000 Chassis with HP / Cisco Branded Gbe2c Blade Switches (all four interconnects) with the uplinks in LACP configuration to a pair of stacked Dell PowerConnect switches. We followed Nimble’s Network Configuration Guidelines almost to the letter. We use Multipathing in ESXi and Windows, and it works just as expected.

Interconnect

These are the uplinks from the 4x Interconnect Switches on the Blade Enclosure to the Dell Switches.

Everything is using Jumbo Packets, and iSCSI is on it’s own separate subnet. The GUI is amazingly simple – I would think that even an inexperienced person could set it up and create and map volumes.

Nimble

Overall, we are extremely happy with it. It was certainly was not the cheapest option out there, but it has been well, well worth it in my opinion. We replaced 18U worth of SAN equipment (not to mention the Fiber switches and Fiber infrastructure we removed) – I’ve heard of other companies replacing half racks or more of old equipment. Our power usage is down about 1200% from our previous Controllers / Enclosures / Switches.