Nimble Launches Adaptive Flash CS700 Storage Arrays

By Pedro Hernandez

Nimble Storage today unveiled a new line of high-end storage hardware, the CS700, which blends the performance of all-flash systems with the capacity of hybrid arrays.

The San Jose, Calif.-based hybrid storage company's CS700 series arrays, and All-Flash Shelf expansion modules, can provide up to a petabyte (PB) of storage and can accommodate up to 64 terabytes (TB) of solid-state drive (SSD) capacity in a four-node cluster. The result is storage performance of up to 500,000 IOPS for virtualized and cloud workloads.

A single CS700 can deliver in excess of 125,000 IOPS by leveraging just four SSDs and 12 hard disk drives (HDDs). The secret, according to Radhika Krishnan, vice president of product marketing and alliances for Nimble, is an architecture that leverages "compute versus leveraging flash."

Nimble is capable of right-sizing flash capacity to an organization's workload requirements by using a combination of controllers with server-grade compute provided by Intel processors and the new All-Flash Shelf, asserted Krishnan. They are bolstered by storage automation and optimization provided by the company's Cache-Accelerated Sequential Layout (CASL) file system software and cloud-based InfoSight storage management platform, she added. It's a "fit-to-scale" approach that allows businesses to deploy flash in a targeted manner as their performance needs grow.

"Not every workload needs a huge amount of flash," said Krishnan, revealing that to achieve the benefits of flash, on average "10 percent [of data] has to be resident on flash." Organizations typically "end up overprovisioning because they don't know better," she added.

The CS700 and All-Flash Shelf "give you the ability to gradually increase the amount of flash," she said. Nimble's All-Flash Shelf is a 3U expansion unit that supports up to 12 TB of flash storage. Buyers can mix-and-match SSDs and expand their storage setups non-disruptively.

The result is an enterprise storage system that delivers performance that is on par with EMC's all-flash XtremIO architecture, according to the company.

"Our Adaptive Flash Platform will demand the storage industry rethink the way flash can be leveraged within datacenter and cloud environments," said Dan Leary, vice president of worldwide marketing for Nimble. "We've built a solution that can span a larger set of workloads with more performance and cost efficiency than any other flash solution on the market."

Nimble's CS700 arrays and All-Flash Shelf are available in June 2014.

Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at InfoStor. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

This article was originally published on June 11, 2014