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HPE Nimble: How to Guarantee Capacity and Performance for All-Flash Storage Arrays

Budgeting and buying storage equipment is often a confusing process with difficulties trying to compare like with like.

Historically, organisations knew what they were getting for their money when they purchased specific capacity and performance with storage platforms. But thanks to advances in storage technologies and data reduction capabilities, new features such as deduplication and compression have changed the landscape and ultimately muddied the waters.

Furthermore, now that flash storage has reduced in price to a level where it can become feasible for most organisations, it is critical for IT managers to be able to assess which type of system performs the best for their needs.

“Flash storage is still expensive when compared on a cost per terabyte to spinning disks. Therefore, organisations are having to take advantage of data reduction features such as deduplication and compression to squeeze more usable data onto flash drives to make it more cost effective,” says Nick Dyer, principal systems engineer at Hewlett Packard Enterprise UK.

“This is a technique which meets the needs of IT buyers in the face of shrinking IT budgets year on year,” he adds. “The big issue is there is not a uniform way of doing things across the various vendors in the market.”

Differences in capacity
Buying the same amount of flash storage from rival vendors can reveal huge differences in actual achievable capacity, and organisations are not sure how much space is available for their applications from vendor to vendor.

There are different descriptive terms, including raw capacity, usable capacity and effective capacity, as well as data reduction features that combine to create budgeting headaches. Too often, buyers cannot be sure exactly what they are purchasing until they’ve deployed their applications on a chosen platform―and it’s only then that they discover whether the platform was right- or wrongly sized.

To give an example, vendor A and B may sell the same amount of raw flash capacity. However, due to various implementations of array technologies such as file systems and RAID and differences in data reduction feature sets, it could be that vendor A achieves 20% less effective capacity (so can fit 20% less data) than vendor B―even though the physical drives sold may be the same.

HPE’s Store More Guarantee promises to end this uncertainty by offering assurances when buying flash storage.

The next generation of HPE Nimble Storage all-flash arrays are backed by the new HPE Store More Guarantee to give organisations confidence that they have the best all-flash capacity efficiency available to save them money, space and power, whilst providing the benefits of flash storage for their applications.

As part of its Timeless Storage offering, HPE gives organisations a comprehensive, no-hassle support experience backed by AI and machine learning, which eliminates level 1 and 2 support. It also provides guarantees including 99.9999% availability and 30-day satisfaction when initially deployed, as well as a fair, flat support price year after year with no hikes. There are no licences for the software embedded in the platform, so there is no uplift in price for a new array.

Organisations can balance performance with capacity and cost for storage, reduce unplanned downtime on storage arrays, and improve storage bottlenecks to match the demands of the business by closing the so-called app-data gap.

“The HPE Store More Guarantee is a stake in the ground for organisations wanting to truly understand what they’re going to get for their money―upfront,” says Dyer.

Proof of concept
The guarantee is open to organisations at the critical proof-of-concept stage of the buying process and allows them to test HPE Nimble against competitors, Dyer adds. “CIOs and IT buyers want to be able to forward plan with a cloud-like mentality, with no hidden gotchas,” he says. “They want to know what they are getting, and with the guarantee, they can benchmark in proof-of-concept scenarios. If there is any shortfall in capacity observed, then we will make it up―without any quibbles.”

From the start, HPE Nimble Storage all-flash arrays provide up to 20% more usable space than competitors through an innovative file system and proprietary RAID design. Advanced data reduction capabilities include deduplication, data compression, zero-copy clones, thin provisioning and space-efficient snapshots, allowing for a better effective capacity than that achieved by competitors.

“Our focus is on how to make IT teams look like shining stars,” says Dyer. “We have seen an example of six racks of another vendor’s equipment collapsed into a single rack of Nimble over a period of three years as the firm phased out their legacy storage. Operational savings came from reducing 10 admins consistently firefighting storage issues to a single admin overseeing it as part of a wider remit.”

These economies are magnified even further in colocation environments, where organisations can realise huge savings on rack space and power and save hundreds of thousands of pounds by deploying HPE Nimble.

If you want to future-proof your storage investment, save time and money, find out more about HPE Nimble at https://www.hpe.com/uk/en/storage/nimble.html?pp=false&jumpid=ba_tgzuqr34wa_aid-510403401

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