We started 2014 with a very ambitious innovation agenda aimed at addressing a vastly broader set of enterprise workloads and enhancing our competitive differentiation by an even wider margin.
The first quarter of this year saw scale-out clustering becoming generally available to our entire installed base, and scale-out capability is part of our default shipping releases now. We introduced our high-end platform and all-flash shelves as part of our Adaptive Flash platform during the second quarter of this year, effectively addressing all-flash workloads as well as petabyte-scale deployments with the same platform. We refreshed our entire platform portfolio to improve price-performance by more than 50 percent during the third quarter. Throughout the entire year, we introduced a host of software enhancements (e.g., multi-tenancy features, deeper VMware integration, OpenStack support, Cisco UCS Director integration, etc.).
I am thrilled to announce that we are culminating a very exciting year of product innovation by announcing the broad availability of our Fibre Channel SAN solution, along with a doubling of the maximum capacity of our storage systems to support up to 1.6PBs of raw capacity and 160TBs of flash per cluster. The broad availability of our SAN solution was a full quarter ahead of schedule! In large measure, this was a reflection of the successful beta program we ran for Fibre Channel.
The feedback was overwhelmingly positive as it relates to the core value proposition of our platform:
- “Just like a SAN but much, much simpler.”
- “Is it that easy to deploy? We are getting 145K IOPS with sub-millisecond latency…12U of Nimble replaces 1.5 racks of NetApp…”
- “The integration of Nimble into our Fibre Channel environment was very smooth… Nimble delivered a 4x performance improvement…”
We had 40 deployments as part of our beta program. Customers saw all the benefits of our core platform: They saw radically better price-performance and were thrilled at how small the footprint was to deliver hundreds of terabytes of capacity compared to their incumbent vendor. They were thrilled at being able to manage multiple arrays as a single scale-out SAN. What stunned our customers was the extreme simplicity of our solution – ease of setup, the dramatic simplicity of our snapshot-based backups and replication for DR, and the benefits of InfoSight’s cloud-based support and management.
Our Fibre Channel SAN stability experience has been very strong allowing us to maintain our history of delivering “greater than five 9s availability.” One of the reasons we wanted an extensive beta program was to truly test the resiliency of our platform – critical in storage, but even more so in Fibre Channel SAN deployments. Our Fibre Channel SAN stability experience has been very strong even as we chose a more extensive testing within our own organization and conducted a more extensive beta process than for previous releases. The most telling feedback came early on during initial testing when systems engineering team lost a bet to our R&D team on how many software defects they thought they could find before we even began customer testing.
As I step back and look at what we have announced in a broader context, I am even more excited for our customers and prospects and about the opportunity that we see ahead of us. The industry transition from disk-centric to flash-centric architectures is well underway. For more than 15 years, the networked storage systems market has been dominated by modular storage systems based on disk-centric architectures, the vast majority of which are deployed in Fibre Channel SAN fabrics. Up until now, as compelling as flash-optimized architectures have been, most early stage solutions have deployed all-flash arrays which chip away at the margin at high-performance computing workloads, but have not presented a real alternative as a storage consolidation platform. Until now, our Adaptive Flash platform has been compelling as a dramatically more efficient, scalable and simpler consolidation platform BUT only if the customer was willing to adopt Ethernet-based storage. The addition of Fibre Channel allows us to change that and speed the transition from disk-centric to flash-centric architectures.
- Suresh Vasudevan