Array Performance Getting You Down? InfoSight Might Have the Answer.

In case you missed it, Nimble was named a “visionary” for the second consecutive year in Gartner’s November 20, 2014 Magic Quadrant for General-Purpose Disk Arrays report. Gartner’s report positioned Nimble for the “completeness” of its vision and its ability to execute on that vision.

We, at Nimble, believe that a key reason we were positioned as a visionary by Gartner is InfoSight™, the engine that monitors all Nimble arrays collectively and individually from the cloud. InfoSight comes free with every Nimble support contract and has allowed our customers to enjoy greater than 99.999 percent uptime, the gold standard for system availability.

InfoSight is the brainchild of Larry Lancaster, our chief data scientist, a self-proclaimed data nerd and one of Nimble’s resident visionaries. We have a few around here, among them cofounder Umesh Maheshwari, the creator of CASL™, our Cache Accelerated Sequential Layout architecture, the foundation of every Nimble solution, and the reason our arrays can intelligently allocate flash as applications need it.

I wrote about Larry last September in this blog, Nimble Storage’s Chief Data Scientist is the Wizard of the Next Big Thing. Larry joined Nimble in 2011, charged with applying his Big Data expertise to the problem of storage management. Larry created InfoSight, and built it into Nimble’s first arrays. The timing is important: The more data InfoSight gathers, the smarter it becomes. To date, InfoSight has gathered the equivalent of thousands of years of real-world usage, allowing it to foresee problems long before they can bring systems down. And, to recommend specific fixes.

Here are some real-life examples of the ways in which InfoSight has helped Nimble customers to keep arrays running in peak working condition:

  • InfoSight’s data protection planning capabilities provided the customer with the bandwidth requirements needed for replication on a per volume basis. Now the customer knows that, he is replicating, on average, approximately 105Mbps of data. That bit of information allows his team to make a choice: To forego replication for non-essential data, or increase WAN bandwidth.
  • InfoSight’s actionable upgrade recommendations helped improve sluggish performance. InfoSight determined the customer was experiencing CPU saturation and recommended an optimization change that could reduce the bottleneck. Eventually, upgraded his hardware to optimize the environment.
  • InfoSight gave a customer the needed information to resolve a bandwidth issue for data replication. The problem sounded complex: The customer has several volumes, and directions and arrays replicating to and from two arrays of interest, and replication traffic was sharing bandwidth with other traffic. InfoSight determined the required bandwidth to ensure timely replication.

Without InfoSight, some of these problems would likely have taken hours, days – even weeks – to identify and resolve. The time spent on fixes would have cost those businesses countless dollars in lost productivity. For Nimble’s customers, InfoSight has become a valuable member of their IT team; a storage expert that comes free of charge with every Nimble array and won’t drink all the coffee in the break room.

By Matt Miller, InfoSight Product Marketing

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