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My name is Feliks Dushatsky, and I am the Assistant I.T. Manager at Ace Relocation Systems, Inc. in San Diego. I’ve been with Ace Relocation for approximately 9 years. I work for a medium size company, yet have a small IT department in comparison, so I’m responsible for a broad range of duties including server administration, storage management, helpdesk support, network maintenance, etc.

Ace Relocation is a family owned and operated moving company that was started in 1968. Ace performs over 14,000 relocations per year, is the fifth largest agency for Atlas Van Lines, and holds a seat on the Atlas board of directors. Ace has nine offices throughout the country with the corporate office located in San Diego. In addition to local equipment at each office, we have the majority of our IT infrastructure at an offsite collocation facility.

Prior to purchasing our Nimble storage array, we had all of our servers running in VMware on an HP SAN. We were running at the capacity of the HP array for almost a year and required an upgrade to something larger. We also had plans to deploy thin clients to our end-users, but all the testing we ran with the thin clients on the HP SAN ended up showing very poor performance.

At the time when we began to evaluate storage vendors, we only looked at Dell EqualLogic, HP, and Compellent. At a demo of one of the products we were considering, a local partner introduced us to Nimble as well. The main two benchmarks we were looking at in making our decision was cost and performance. This is mostly because the budget was limited and good performance was critical in order to run those VMware thin clients on a WAN connection across the country.

We chose Nimble Storage because of its:

  1. Performance with the SSD and compression
  2. Initial cost with deployment
  3. Ease of management along with 24×7 technical support

The local team for Nimble was very helpful in setting up the array at our data center. In about 60 minutes, we had the array in the rack, created a few volumes, and performed a system update.

We purchased a CS-220. Currently we support about 200 users, 8 virtual servers, 5 thin clients (increasing gradually), and primary storage for 1.3 million documents. Among the volumes hosted on the Nimble CS-220, we utilize the snapshot feature on all of them and are able to store several weeks of snapshots without impacting significantly performance or capacity. In addition to the automatic protection templates on the Nimble, we do perform a weekly backup of our servers.

By choosing the Nimble array, we were able to begin deploying thin clients to our remote locations. Without the faster SSD that the Nimble offers, it was nearly impossible to have virtual desktops. The latency reduced by at least half on the virtual desktops after we moved to the Nimble compared to our old HP SAN. The simplified interface of Nimble also allowed for quick learning versus relying on a 3rd party for support and training in the beginning.

Our department feels well suited with the Nimble array for our organization. We have had a very beneficial overall experience with the performance, reliability, and technical support. Often with other vendors, performing system updates (firmware & BIOS) can be extremely time consuming, with scheduled downtime and large downloads. However, with the Nimble array, the system updates are almost seamless to install given the intuitive interface and features. Our CS-220 array has been an important tool and a valuable investment.

Written by:
Sachin Chheda