Nimble Storage is doing it right

Nimble StorageHave you ever run into disk I/O or latency issues on your MS SQL database?  The company I work for acquired another company about a year ago and we were instructed to consolidate all their systems into our existing operation.  This was a daunting task in general when you look at the broad spectrum of services each company provided.  One specific concern for everyone on both IT staffs was the point of sale system.

The back end of the POS system is a MSSQL DB that previously showed disk I/O and latency issues during peak periods.  To add another 50% on top of the existing load without some re-design would brew a batch many unhappy customers, not to mention the employees working on the front lines.  We set out to research all the available options and talk to several storage providers such as EMC, NetApp, Tegile and Dell.  At first we were skeptical but we finally wrapped our heads around the technology and purchased a Nimble Storage CS300.

This CS300 was bad ass.  Our CS300 had 12TB (8TB Usable) in a 3U enclosure with only 12 hard drives and 4 SSD caching drives.  This thing out performed our old SAN with four shelves (17U) of (56) 10K RPM drives.  During peak times, we saw latency on the old SAN sometimes spike to over 100ms where the Nimble was sub millisecond even with the extra 50% increase in load.  That’s right, the Nimble had sub millisecond latency with over 5000 random IOPS with only 16 disks.  Granted, yes, the old SAN was an older model (5yrs) but we had more than enough spindles to support the I/Os.

Instead of I/Os being tied to spindles or offloaded to SSDs like all other storage vendors, the Nimble’s I/Os are tied to the processor.  The CS300 has the ability to handle 30K IOPS in a 3U form factor.  We talked to another storage vendor about spiking to 10K IOPS and they told us that drives are cheap now so just throw more drives at it.  Let’s talk about scaling to meet the customers needs verse the customer scaling their datacenter’s real estate, power and AC requirements to meet the storage vendors needs.

Needless to say, we didn’t have any issues with disk I/O or latency after the consolidation thanks to Nimble Storage.

But this just in…  Nimble Storage just released their All Flash array.  Read more about Nimble Storage at