Predictive Flash Takes to the Clouds at VMworld
By Mike Harding, Solution Marketing, Nimble Storage

Nimble_Predictive_FlashNimble Storage was a prominent actor in the spotlight at VMworld in Las Vegas last week – it’s the Predictive Flash storage innovator’s biggest show of the year. Nimble was a platinum sponsor with a number of presenters in several breakout sessions and we hosted a large cast of partner and customer speakers in our booth theatre over the course of the week. “Predictive Flash” became a familiar term at the event, whether from engineers conducting` demos or customers who had seen our products in action.

What struck a strong chord among attendees was the Predictive Infrastructure capabilities of Nimble InfoSight, which underscored many of the key themes discussed at VMworld. These included  the pervasiveness of virtualization, the need for intelligent Cloud-based management, and the customer value derived from being part of a broad, multi-cloud ecosystem.

Cirque du Flash

There were at least 30 companies promoting Flash, Storage, or Flash-based storage products at VMworld 2016. The pitches, messages and choices were potentially bewildering. But what separated Nimble Storage from the Flash Storage circus was the unique capability of InfoSight to provide Predictive Analytics, which combined with our high-performing all-flash storage,  defines what we mean by “Predictive Flash”. This major differentiator, plus our robust integration with VMware across a number of areas including vSphere Virtual Volumes, put us front-and-center at the show.

VMware speakers like Pat Gelsinger reinforced that the Cloud is possibly the most transformative tech phenomenon in recent memory. It has brought with it a vast amount of choice for IT, but not all choices are equal. The most valuable IT products are those with built-in intelligence that provide a degree of self-management by leveraging vast amounts of system data and cloud-connectedness to ensure ease-of-use, performance and availability.

I had the opportunity to speak with several customers at the show.  While many of them couldn’t explain a lot of specifics about InfoSight or its VMVision capabilities, they knew that their Nimble arrays “just worked” year after year, and that the cloud-based InfoSight dashboard that can see into the VM layer was “very cool” to use.  For those who missed it, we had a breakout session on “How to Use Machine Learning to Increase Application Availability.” We took a deep dive into the InfoSight service and the science behind using big data analytics to do things like cross-stack root cause analysis, enabling 99.9997 percent availability across a 10,000 storage-system installed base.

Another highlight that rose above the din of the event was the unveiling of Nimble integration with vSphere Virtual Volumes. Nimble has the most extensive integration with VVols and the breakout, delivered along with a CTO from VMware, showed support of the VMware Storage-Based Policy Management approach. This capability makes Nimble storage natively VM-centric, enabling virtual disk level offload of data services and delivering snapshots, replication and encryption through the vCenter interface.

Internet-Enabled Storage Revue

Across all of the conversations and meetings, there was a common set of issues and needs expressed by IT infrastructure attendees: increasing environmental complexity, increasing business expectations, tight budgets, and a shortage of skills.

Any innovation that allows IT teams to do more with less training, staff and budget is a welcome addition and we found that visitors were keen to hear about a free cloud-based capability that lets you know proactively about problems or potential issues. For instance, if a product alerted you today that you’d run out of storage on Christmas Eve, wouldn’t that be valuable?


InfoSight personalized resource needs analysis and consumption forecasting

Extending this visibility to the VM-layer, Nimble InfoSight VMVision shows latency and performance across the storage, network, and host layers through highly intuitive graphics. The visibility through the IT stack eliminates guesswork related to identifying bottlenecks, enabling fast resolution of problems and efficient use of resources.

Thanks to our valuable technology and growing reputation, we had over 10 percent of the 23,000 attendees watch a booth theatre presentation, witness a demo, or join our Tuesday afternoon ‘Beer Crawl’ and take home a collectible Nimble green beer glass. Another 650 guests joined us on Monday night at the Foundation Room atop Mandalay Bay hotel, before we maxed out the space. And another nearly 400 attendees packed our breakout sessions on VVol integration, VDI optimization and Machine Learning.

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The Curtain Rises on the Predictive Flash Era

We worked across many venues to deliver Predictive Flash as the “New Requirement of Virtualized Infrastructure” at this year’s VMworld. But if you missed the sessions, presentations or conversations, you can still catch up on what Predictive Flash is all about by accessing a number of resources that are available online. Make the most of these free tools and we look forward to seeing you soon at the next industry event.