Virtualization Technology News and Information
Nimble Converged Storage and Backup Array Establishes New Standard for Enterprise-Class Density and Performance

Nimble Storage, developer of the first converged storage and backup solution, today announced the release of the Nimble CS260. The array delivers 48TB of effective capacity in a 3U form factor, more than a five-fold increase in storage density over high-performance arrays offered by other providers. Along with leading storage density, the CS260’s Cache Accelerated Sequential Layout (CASL™) architecture and 2.4TB of effective flash deliver superior performance.

By eliminating high-RPM drives and separate disk-based backup devices, the CS260 slashes costs by more than 60 percent versus the costs of the discrete primary and backup solutions offered by other providers. The CS260 continues in the tradition of the Nimble CS210, CS220 and CS240 in reducing backup and restore times from hours to seconds and delivering disaster recovery as an integral component of the solution.

While delivering industry-leading density and performance, the CS260 is also designed and engineered for the “downtime-intolerant” enterprise, incorporating a high-availability (HA) architecture that makes it an ideal platform for continuous 24×7 operation in the enterprise data center. Not only does the CS260 offer dual, hot-swappable controllers and power supplies with mirrored NVRAM for continuous system and data protection, but also it allows administrators to upgrade the Nimble array firmware while maintaining continuous data availability and full system performance.

“A single CS260 array from Nimble gives us twice the performance of our four existing SAN arrays,” said Matthew Andersen, IT director for RPI, a Seattle-based provider of make-on-demand private-label personalized photo books, greeting cards and stationery products for mass and specialty retailers. “Now, we can not only complete twice the number of SQL transactions in our virtualized environment but also significantly reduce storage cost and complexity. The CS260 is the ideal solution to expand our Nimble deployment, allowing us to focus on producing products, rather than storage performance and scalability.”

Optimized for Virtualization and VMware

In a move to simplify the creation and management of storage for virtual machines in VMware, Nimble has also introduced Nimble OS 1.1, an operating system upgrade that also includes the Nimble VMware Plug-In version 2.0. With this new functionality, users of the CS260 – and all CS-Series arrays – can create, set up and administer datastores within vCenter, the VMware management environment they are accustomed to today. With the plug-in, users can create Nimble volumes for datastores, develop snapshot schedules, set replication schedules, review capacity and performance, create groups of clones in a single operation, or restore data from snapshots – all within the familiar VMware console they already use. When a user creates a datastore, the Nimble vCenter plug-in automatically creates a new Nimble volume in the background, eliminating what previously was a time-intensive, error-prone manual process.

Together with the greater performance achieved by Nimble’s strategic support for efficient VM deployment, the capacity and performance of the CS260 enable enterprises to host large-scale deployments of virtual-desktop (VDI) sessions and other virtual machines, while also hosting enterprise-critical applications such as Microsoft Exchange, Microsoft SharePoint and SQL.

Leading Feature Set

The CS260 extends the industry leadership of the Nimble CS-Series converged storage and backup devices, which all incorporate:

  • Instant backups and restores, reducing backup times from hours to seconds and enabling enterprises to maintain continuous uptime while assuring users of top system performance
  • Fast offsite disaster recovery, employing WAN-efficient replication and rapid offsite failover as an assurance of business continuity
  • Flash-accelerated performance, using high-performance SSDs and application-optimized storage profiles to accelerate I/O and reduce latency
  • Inline compression, using variable-size data blocks (rather than conventional fixed-size blocks) to deliver real-time 30 to 75 percent compression with no added latency.
  • Instant, integrated backups, allowing 60 to 90 days of compressed, incremental, primary data snapshots to be captured on high-capacity disk to improve recovery point objectives (RPOs)
  • Zero copy cloning, enabling users to clone entire groups of datastores with no additional storage requirements
  • Intuitive user interface, enabling configuration of storage, backup, and disaster recovery in just three simple steps

Powerful, Simplified User Interface

The intuitive user interface of the CS-Series eliminates the complexity of provisioning and managing separate storage, backup and disaster recovery devices. Using predefined application performance profiles and data protection policies, new volumes can be created and fully protected in three simple steps. Nimble Protection Manager simplifies management of application-consistent backups and replicas for Microsoft applications and VMware.

The new Nimble OS 1.1 also includes the Nimble Installation Utility, a wizard-based installer that enables network and storage administrators to streamline the installation process for any CS-Series array and match storage connectivity requirements to their specific network architecture. With the new Replication Monitor, users of any CS-Series array can gain significant new visibility into replication efficiency and overall performance. And a newly envisioned Nimble control console provides a comprehensive view of all storage operations, along with real-time views of storage IOPS.

“As we continue along our steep growth trajectory, we see demand accelerating from larger enterprises,” said Suresh Vasudevan, CEO of Nimble Storage. “We first diversified by extending our CS-Series arrays to the lower end of the market with the introduction of the CS210 in summer; we’re now addressing the higher end with the CS260. With this extended product line, we’re equipped to serve a broad base of customers and market needs, while maintaining a rapid pace of growth.”

The CS260, like other models in the CS-Series array family, is based on the company’s patent-pending CASL architecture, which enables fast inline data compression, intelligent data optimization leveraging flash memory and high-capacity disk, instant optimized backups and WAN-efficient replication – all in a single device. CASL allows organizations to reduce their capital expenditures for storage and backup by at least 60 percent, while eliminating the need for separate, disk-based backup.

System Configurations and Availability

The CS260 is available today and comes in two configurations, CS260 and CS260G. The CS260 offers six 1GbE network connections per controller. The CS260G offers two 10GbE and two 1GbE network connections per controller. Each configuration provides effective capacity of 48TB. Each also offers high availability and continuous data access through redundant hot-swappable controllers, power supplies, fans and drives, as well as comprehensive resiliency capabilities. The CS260 and CS260G are scale-out ready and come standard with advanced capabilities such as thin provisioning, replication, zero-copy cloning, application-integrated data protection, and robust diagnostics and support.

Nimble OS 1.1 provides a range of usability and performance enhancements; in addition, it allows users to make seamless software upgrades while maintaining continuous system availability. Nimble OS 1.1 is also available as a free upgrade to all CS-Series arrays, for users with Nimble support contracts in place.

Published Thursday, November 03, 2011 5:54 AM by David Marshall
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