My name is Bryan Ward and I am the Systems/Network Administrator for The Madden Corporation, dba Island Heritage.

The Madden Corporation is located on the island of Oahu in Waipahu, Hawaii. We have business operations in Maui, Kauai, Kona, Hilo, Los Angeles, and Las Vegas. We specialize primarily in high-quality, island-themed products, which includes a wide range of children’s and specialty books, stationery, gifts, souvenirs, specialty foods, home décor, fashionable hand-made jewelry, and bath and body products.

Prior to our integration with Nimble Storage, I found that our backup strategy was inefficient, inadequate, and unreliable. Many of our production servers relied on direct attached storage that may or may not have been within the scope of our backup solution. I looked at all of the major players in the storage manufacturing market, but what stood out with Nimble Storage was the ability to consolidate our storage needs as well as implement a backup solution through the use of snapshots.

The top 3 reasons we went with Nimble Storage are:

  1. The number of snapshots we can retain is limited only by the amount of storage available. Through compression and proper protection policies, this exceeds 90 days for a number of our production servers.
  2. Nimble’s reputation for being the fastest growing storage company in history along with their award winning architecture. Subtle design cues apparent in the array, such as mounting the SSD drives in the center of the array to reduce the probability of vibration induced failure, exhibit the advanced technologies incorporated into their products.
  3. No-hassle, feature-rich software licensing. The fact that we’re able to grow into the available features without having to concern ourselves with additional software licenses is especially appealing.

The need for a storage array came to us in the form of a 100% server infrastructure virtualization project, which leveraged the benefits provided by VMware vSphere 5 Essentials Plus. Using three HP DL360 G7 servers, two HP ProCurve switches for SAN traffic, and the Nimble Storage CS210, we’re able to consolidate and virtualize 17 physical servers, three of which are production SQL servers. The added benefit of integrating a proper backup solution was a “two birds, one stone” bonus that sealed the deal.

Prior to our virtualization project, our users stored their Outlook data files (.PST) on their local computers. With the Nimble Storage CS210, we’re able to establish a protection policy to snapshot our user PSTs on a 15 minute interval.

Now, when a user experiences a corrupted PST, we no longer have wait in hopes that the data file is repairable. Instead, we simply retrieve a non-corrupted version of the PST from the most recent snapshot. This is just one example of the increase in IT agility we now have thanks to Nimble Storage.

Overall, our experience with Nimble Storage has been fantastic. Paul Malkon, Arvind Rayasam, David Cressman, and Thomas Riggins have all been extremely helpful in our design and implementation processes. We at The Madden Corporation look forward to a long lasting business relationship with Nimble Storage.