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System crashes are never pretty. At best, they’re a nuisance for users who‘ve come to expect 24/7 access. More typically, system downtime means lost productivity, disaffected customers, and a hit to the bottom line. And, the bigger the organization, the greater the vulnerability ­ – and the damage they can potentially suffer.

Five nines – short for 99.999 percent – is the gold standard for system uptime, which means that a system suffers only about 5 minutes (or less) of unplanned downtime on an annual basis. The complexity of modern computing environments has made 99.999 percent availability a challenge – but it’s one we’ve taken on since our company’s inception.

At Nimble Storage, we’re proud to announce that in the three years since we shipped our first array, our customers have achieved an average uptime even better than five nines. The results, including the methodology used to arrive at them, have been published in a new white paper, “A Foundation for System Availability.”

How did we do it? By making system availability a central design element, not merely an afterthought. Nimble’s patented Cache Accelerated Sequential Layout (CASL™) architecture delivers capabilities that have made it a resilient storage solution, among them, non-disruptive upgrades, fully redundant hardware, protection against data loss, and overall data integrity. And, we’ve gone the extra mile, leveraging cloud and deep data analytics so that every storage array we ship remains in tiptop shape. That lets us predict how our arrays will perform in the future so our customers can plan for changing workloads.

Our unique approach to the enterprise storage lifecycle is based on Nimble Storage InfoSight, the engine that monitors our arrays, collectively and individually, from the cloud. InfoSight automatically gathers – and thoroughly analyzes – millions of data points per array per day to provide proactive steps to not only keep those arrays available, but running in top condition.

Over time, as the InfoSight database grows, it becomes “smarter” about recognizing potential issues, and proactively and automatically resolving them before they can result in downtime. As a result, the collective uptime across our installed base has increased over time ­ – it’s now north of five nines – a testament to how ‘crowd–sourcing’ data can benefit all customers.

At Nimble, we understand that IT professionals are strapped for time. Managing their organizations’ storage infrastructure has often meant taking on a laundry lists of chores, most of them manual. And although traditional storage systems can collect data, they can’t make sense of it, making maintenance reactive, at best.

Three years. More than 1,750 years of system run time. And, 99.9997 percent system availability. And did we mention that InfoSight only gets smarter over time?

Rod Bagg
Written by:
Rod Bagg