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HPE buys Nimble Storage to fill an all-flash and hybrid gap

Hardware giant buys Nimble Storage for $1.2bn and plugs a gap below its high-end flash retro-fitted 3PAR arrays with ground-up solid state-based hardware

HPE has made its second major storage acquisition of 2017 with the $1.2bn purchase of hybrid- and all-flash array maker Nimble Storage.

The purchase gives HPE a range of hybrid and all-flash arrays that slot between its established enterprise-class 3PAR arrays and its entry-level MSA boxes.

The move could be seen as something of a “me too” acquisition that mirrors NetApp’s purchase of all-flash array maker Solidfire early in 2016, in that it gives the company a ground-up developed set of flash-based products.

The billion dollar acquisition gives HPE Nimble’s all-flash and hybrid flash array portfolio, as well as the company’s highly regarded Infosight predictive analytics platform.

In February 2017, Nimble announced the availability of Nimble Cloud Volumes, cloud storage capacity in Nimble’s own datacentres that would be available as a tier of storage to customers.

The buy follows hot on the heels of HPE’s gobbling up of hyper-converged infrastructure maker Simplivity for $650m in January.

Nimble Storage was formed in 2008 and made its name initially with hybrid flash arrays that combined small amounts of Nand flash with spinning disk and used data reduction.

This is the CS family of hybrid boxes that scale from a few TB into the low 100s of TB. CS series arrays allow customers to specify that certain workloads can be pinned to flash storage for guaranteed performance.

Read more about Nimble Storage

In February 2016, Nimble entered the all-flash market with its AF series arrays that offer products that scale from a few TB to the petabytes.

Nimble’s Infosight predictive monitoring performs analytics on Nimble arrays in the field to help the supplier provide support, tracking metrics such as performance, capacity, data protection and system health information.

More recently, Nimble announced the service could provide a granular view of resources used by each VMware virtual machine (VM) connected to a Nimble array.

HPE execs have blogged that they would incorporate Infosight into all HPE flash lines. Executive vice-president and general manager for HPE, Antonio Neri, wrote: “HPE will leverage InfoSight across our portfolio of storage products.”

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