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Managing Your Storage Infrastructure with an App-Centric Approach
By Sakthi Chandra, Sr. Director – Product Marketing, Nimble Storage

Enterprise storage professionals wrestle with three key application centric imperatives – never lose application data, minimize application downtime and enable self-service for application owners. As datacenters retool their infrastructure, Nimble is introducing key functionality around data protection and infrastructure management in the context of your applications.

1) At Nimble, we see our customers benefit immensely from deep integration with Veeam to fully manage app-consistent backup services for all major applications. Let’s look at a few unique capabilities that the Nimble / Veeam integration enables:

  • Nimble’s Unified Flash Fabric allows customers to deploy an All Flash array for the primary workloads and a best-of-breed Adaptive Flash array for secondary workloads. Together, they offer a dramatically lower TCO for your storage footprint.
  • Nimble can replicate data based on instant and thin snapshots. As a result, the production workload has zero impact when you kick off the backup process. Additionally, Nimble allows for longer retention levels of snapshots on secondary target (DR) arrays. There are no additional software products required to accomplish this.
  • When you initiate an app-consistent copy through Veeam, it does so using Nimble’s Zero Copy Clones. So there’s absolutely no movement of data when you make copies.
  • Through Nimble InfoSight, you can monitor in real-time the progress of the snapshot / replication operations. It removes the guesswork (and the anxiety) in tracking the successful completion of these tasks.
  • With the integration of Veeam Explorer and Nimble Snapshots, customers can now do near instant app-granular restores on the very same array that is hosting the production VMs. No more restoring the entire LUNs or copying VMs from a backup source!
  • Interested in creating a Test-Dev-Training environment for your production image? Just use Veeam’s On-Demand sandbox tool that integrates with Nimble Snapshots. Nimble supports an industry-leading 150K snapshots per array – pushing the limits on the number of copies you can consume.

Fig1. Illustration of the Nimble-Veeam feature rich integration

2) Application uptime is business critical. Research data shows that you cannot solve application downtime issues by analyzing the infrastructure components independently. In fact, this Nimble Research Lab Report [registration required] found that 54 percent of the time the root cause of issues are non-Storage related.

Imagine you can automatically aggregate and correlate information across applications, compute, virtualization, networking and storage layers to predict and prevent issues. Nimble InfoSight is our predictive analytics platform that enables you to do just that. Take for example our new VMVision feature. It enables you to drill down into specific anomalies across infrastructure stack – an example would be a spike in latency that might appear to be a storage issue. VMVision quickly breaks down the latency spike across VM-Network-Storage. It can further identify the specific application (VM-host) that is responsible for this latency spike. This enables VM administrators to weed through the noise, pinpoint the exact workload (host in the example below) and identify the exact application or VM that needs to be addressed (VDI in the example below).


Fig2. App-centric management through Nimble VMVision

3) Nimble has also added app & host-consistent integration for Oracle and SQL databases. Storage teams can now empower their application owners to perform key storage operations in the context of the database domain. DB administrators can snap, clone, replicate databases (not storage LUNs) without having to know the underpinnings of the storage constructs. Through this native integration, customers can avoid tracking maps between snapshots / databases, eliminate manual errors and enable self-service.

Native Integration

Fig3. App&Host-consistent native integration for Oracle and Microsoft SQL Server

At Nimble, we are dedicated to helping IT organizations bridge the gap between apps and data. The technologies discussed above are part of our Predictive Flash platform that gets you closer to the mission of managing storage with an app-centric approach. Reach out to us to learn more about how to make the journey towards an app-centric IT organization.

Written by:
Sakthi Chandra