As the Storage Industry Converges on VMworld, HPE and NetApp are Poised to Make Noise

It’s the middle of summer. While for some that means time for a well-needed vacation, for those of us in the enterprise storage industry, it means that VMworld is just around the corner. Over the past few years, VMworld has become the premier multi-vendor storage industry event. While there is some debate on whether that status may be up for grabs over the next few years, VMworld still serves as an opportunity to take stock of the latest in storage innovations and capture a glimpse of how storage vendors' strategies are progressing with their customers.

Topics: Storage Netapp VMware VMworld Nimble HPE

HPE Gets Nimble: Dollars, Distribution...and Differentiation

 So, as of this week Nimble is a part of HPE. In exchange for a billion dollars (plus taking on $200M of equity awards) HPE gets the hybrid and all-flash vendor that achieved a highly-respectable $402M in sales in its last fiscal year.

Topics: Storage Nimble HPE

HPE gets "Nimble" for $1 Billion

The enterprise storage industry is heating up. Today, HPE announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Nimble Storage. HPE will pay $12.50 per share, for a nice round purchase price of $1.0 billion. The move makes sense on a number of fronts for HPE. The first and obvious benefit is that it injects new life and technology into the storage portfolio. While HPE already had some nice storage offerings including 3PAR and the StoreVirtual lineup, HPE’s overall revenue took a hit last year, with quarterly revenue down over 10% year over year. Although these results were similar across many of the big storage players, it is time to act. 

Topics: Storage data storage hybrid storage Nimble HPE All-Flash Array

Lenovo and Nimble Storage Join Forces

Today, Lenovo and Nimble Storage announced a joint partnership, furthering the capabilities and the reach of both companies. The near–term product offering that results from the partnership will be Lenovo’s ThinkAgile CX converged system available on October 28th, with Nimble providing the storage element. From a business perspective, the deal makes so much sense for both companies; the real question may be what took them so long.

First, let’s start with the obvious benefits. Lenovo gets access to Nimble’s Predictive Flash technology for its converged offering, rounding out its storage portfolio and adding a larger scale converged offering to pair with its existing hyperconverged solutions from the partnership with Nutanix. Nimble Storage gains access to Lenovo’s substantial enterprise sales channel. While the immediate impact will likely be a boost in revenue for both companies, this partnership looks like it goes beyond the simple reselling of technology.

Topics: Storage Lenovo Nimble Converged All flash hyperconverged

The future of flash is guaranteed

When do we stop using the term "flash storage"? When does it become just "storage"? And when do we as an industry shift the qualifier to "mechanical spinning disk media"? That future may be a lot sooner than you might think. The industry perception of flash storage is transforming from why to why not as I write. At some of the more recent storage industry events I have attended, when a question is asked about the potential of flash storage, the storage administrators in the audience are just as likely as the presenter to speak up and sing the praises of all-flash storage.

Topics: Storage Netapp EMC Flash Nimble Kaminario HPE All flash pure storage All-Flash Array

Nimble Storage - Early Adulthood at Age 7 (includes video)

Age is a very interesting phenomena: there's the real numbers and then the relative aspect. "You're only as old as you feel" - as someone who's now having to check the last age-range box on demographic questions (certainly in ESG's own research!), I'm mightily relieved to hear that "60 is the new 45," or whatever! And we all seem sure that a human year equates to 7 "dog years."

Topics: Storage Nimble

Breaking News: Snapshots No Good In Flash Market!

Well of course I picked my words in the title to get some attention. When I say ‘snapshots’ I’m not talking in terms of instant-storage-system-replication, but I’m talking more about a snapshot of the flash storage market. It has to be one of the most dynamic market segments I can recall seeing…. every day you turn around, something else has happened. So any snapshots are instantly out of date. This blog is a bit more like looking at the family album for 2013 so far (of course I’m sure I’ll have missed plenty but I’m not trying to be a news service, more aiming to convey the types and breadth of changes that are occurring.

  • Landscape Pictures – what’s clear is that there is a lot of vendor consolidation (see below) and an increasing trend towards solid-state being used as either a cache and/or as a dynamic tiering tool. There are still plenty of known start-ups vying for attention (whether all-flash or hybrid) and another tranche of stealth players yet to be seen. There’s a river of VC money running through this busy landscape, and a forest of hundreds of PBs of installs and deals.
  • Family Get-Togethers and Marriages – in terms of new link-ups Violin purchased GridIron; the latter probably needed a suitor - as the inline appliance model hasn’t gained traction – but nonetheless it brings some very impressive ‘smarts’ to Violin in terms of learning algorithms to speed applications. Also ‘married’ earlier in the year were Imation and Nexsan – and that was followed pretty quickly by news of the much-enhanced NST5000 hybrid system. While the ceremony for Intel taking the hand of Nevex happened in 2012 it felt like more of an elopement, and so the first many will have heard of their joint status was the announcement of the arrival of the first child – Intel CAS (cache acceleration), showing the vendor's determination to play in the new generation of ‘enabled’ flash, not merely the commodity side of things. Finally the news of a link-up between Seagate and Virident might not be a full marriage but they probably changed their Facebook pages to ‘in a relationship’….and the $40m welcome investment from Seagate will no doubt help as the new couple attempts (along with many others such as Intel and EMC) to take server-based PCIe market-share away from FusionIO.
  • Close Ups – Taking a look at a handful of individual poses: Whiptail continues to make good progress – sometimes quieter than some, it has been in the game all along, and is heading towards having shipped 4PB of its all-flash arrays! Another all-flash player, the erstwhile TMS, got married to IBM last year, and announced 1PB shipped in just Q4. Meantime in the hybrid space, Nimble just ‘came of age’ in reaching a $100m annual run rate. All these numbers are impressive – and while they would be eclipsed by the revenue $ and shipments of the big oligarchs in the storage family – their significance is that, as a whole, they demonstrate where the world is heading. Not to be out-done the ‘big-boys’ are all making moves too: for instance, just this week IBM’s XIV enhanced its SSD caching, and EMC is expected to deliver its XtremIO offspring later this year. It’s also worth noting that ‘hybrid’ is beginning to mean more than just SSD + HDD….a new entrant this year is Marvell with its DragonFly DRAM + SSD. Expect more solutions that mix various solid-state media types and software functionalities as the year progresses – all of which will benefit too from the better/cheaper/faster media and devices themselves that are due to be unveiled in the coming months.

There you go! And we’re not even at Valentine’s Day yet – maybe there’ll be move love in the flash air as a result of that. One thing is for sure….between the time that I wrote this and the time that you’re reading it, something changed in the solid-state market!

Topics: IBM Storage IT Infrastructure Flash solid state storage Nimble

Storage News is Solid Progress

There seems to be good news from many sides of the storage world lately; we've seen a flurry of good, consistent and genuinely impressive business results from many of the main vendors, which is encouraging. The world is high on 'big data' - which, let's face it, has to be kept somewhere (!) - VC money seems to be flowing, and solid-state storage is starting to really be embraced by vendors and users alike. As the Dow flirts with 13,000 I thought a potpourri of recent positive news would make for pleasant reading:

Topics: Storage IT Infrastructure HP Nimble Pure