One of the most respected analysts in the VDI (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure) solution area, Brian Madden, recently posted a blog about the relevance of “converged storage” for VDI deployments.

In his blog, Madden takes on the claims being made by hyper-converged systems that combine storage and compute into the same box.

It sounds like a good idea—at least, in theory. The premise is
converged that since the compute function has certain guarantees about storage (and, in turn, storage has certain guarantees about compute), hyper-converged systems are easier to configure and their performance is more predictable than that of a traditional storage system.

What Madden argues though is that hyper-converged storage solutions are highly rigid. The tight coupling of compute and storage means that one part of the system cannot be upgraded without the other. Managing and balancing across compute and storage resources gets harder, not easier. As Madden says, “It seems like the exact opposite of the whole modular/flexible promise of virtualization. . . It’s like cable TV bundling or record labels forcing me to buy a whole album even though I only like the one song.”

We agree. At Nimble, we believe what most customers want­ are flexible solutions that allow them to combine best-of-breed storage and computing hardware. An open approach that frees them from an unhealthy relationship with a single vendor, is what information technology (IT) customers have grown to expect.

Nimble Storage’s SmartStack offerings provide customers the reassurance of a pre-validated solution without any of the rigidity that hyper-converged systems present.

Nimble’s scale-to-fit model allows customers to non-disruptively scale performance or capacity, when they want to. All it takes to cluster multiple nodes is a few clicks of the mouse.

So given the option of a flexible, proven architecture that scales at will, and is easy to manage, why would customers opt for a proprietary approach? The simple answer: they won’t.