My VMworld 2014 #STO2996-SPO #STO3162 #TEX1985

vmworld-2014-active-banner-v4I am extremely excited about this year’s VMworld. I’m participating is some really great sessions, and the Essential VSAN book which Duncan Epping and I have been working on for the past 7-8 months should be available too. Continue reading

Nimble Storage revisited – a chat with Wen Yu

nimble-logoNimble Storage are another company who have been making a lot of waves in the world of storage in recent years. Based in San Jose, CA, they IPO’ed earlier this year, and have something in the region of 600 employees worldwide at the present. I caught up with Wen Yu, who I have known from my early days at VMware where we worked together in the support organization. Wen moved over to Nimble a couple of years back and now is a technical evangelist at Nimble. Actually, Nimble were the subject of the very first post on this blog site when I launched it almost 2 years ago. At the time I wrote about some significant architectural updates in their 2.0 release. My understanding is that their next major release (2.1) is just around the corner. So this was a good time to chat with Wen about some new features and other things happening in the Nimble world.

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Heads Up! NimbleOS Maintenance Release 1.4.4.0

Nimble StorageFolks, if you are a Nimble Storage customer, and I know many of my readers are, then you need to be aware of a new NimbleOS release. A new maintenance update, NimbleOS 1.4.4.0, was released last week and has a number of fixes which one might deem critical. Nimble are advising all customers to move to this new build to avoid running into these issues. From a VMware perspective, this new release also gives new performance improvements, & Nimble have asked us to urge our mutual customers to upgrade to this new release.

For further information, including prerequisites, etc, refer to the Nimble OS 1.4.4.0 release notes which can be found on Nimble’s Support Portal here (it does require a valid support login however).

You can catch up on recent Nimble Storage architectural enhancements, including many vSphere integration points, in one of my recent posts here.

Get notification of these blogs postings and more VMware Storage information by following me on Twitter: @CormacJHogan

Nimble Storage 2.0 Architecture Updates

Nimble StorageRegular readers of my VMware Storage Blog will be no stranger to Nimble Storage. I’ve blogged about them on a number of occasions. I first came across them at a user group meeting in the UK & I also wrote an article about them when they certified on VMware’s Rapid Desktop Program for VDI.

Nimble Storage have been in touch with me again to share details about their new 2.0 storage architecture. After a very interesting and informative chat with Wen Yu of Nimble, I’m delighted to be able to share these new enhancements with you, in this first post on my new blog site.

Nimble Storage’s new enhancements can be categorized into two areas. The first of these is a new scale out architecture and the second is further integration with vSphere.

Scale to Fit

Scale to Fit architecture is how Nimble Storage describe their new elastic scaling feature. It basically allows customers to scale out their storage on a particular dimension, be it capacity or performance. This new architecture allows customers to start with a small footprint, and then to scale performance and capacity. This can be done without having to migrate any data and without any Virtual Machine/application downtime. The great advantage of this of course is that it avoids over-provisioning of storage up front, keeping initial costs down. When additional performance or capacity is needed,  customers only need to grow on that dimension. This means that customers don’t pay for additional performance if they only need capacity, and vice-versa.

vSphere Integration Features

There are 3 new vSphere integration features to call out in this new release.

  1.  Nimble Storage have a new Storage Replication Adapter (SRA) for integrating with VMware Site Recovery Manager (SRM). Business Continuance and Disaster Recovery are essential features for any enterprise class storage array, and it is great to see that Nimble now offer full integration with VMware’s BC/DR flagship product.
  2. There are a number of additional VAAI offload primitives supported. The first of these is Hardware Assisted Locking (ATS) which enables ESXi hosts to offload VMFS volume locks to the Nimble storage array. The second is the UNMAP primitive, which enables VMFS volumes built on thin provisioned disks to do space reclamation after storage vMotion or VM deletion. If I remember correctly from previous conversations with Nimble, they already support the WRITE_SAME primitive.
  3. This last feature is the one I am most excited about. Nimble Storage now offer their own Path Selection Plugin (PSP) into the Pluggable Storage Architecture of the VMkernel. This optimized multipathing plugin will load balance I/O, and provide linear performance scalability with a single Nimble storage array or multiple storage arrays in a scale-out cluster. The PSP is called Nimble_PSP_Directed.

Nimble Storage are a sponsor at the VMworld 2012. You’ll find them at booth 306 at the US conference this year.

Get notification of these blogs postings and more VMware Storage information by following me on Twitter:  @CormacJHogan