By Gary Chan

Management of IT infrastructure in the data center is the fastest growing cost component in today’s data center economics. This is particularly challenging for enterprise IT customers, as users’ storage requirements continue to expand elastically as their applications grow and virtualization becomes mainstream. Successful IT solutions must lower the complexity and cost of managing this environment. Microsoft System Center 2012 R2 delivers best-in-class virtualization management for Windows Server environments. System Center 2012 R2 reduces datacenter complexity by simplifying how you provision, manage, and operate your infrastructure.

Nimble Storage has embraced System Center 2012 R2 including its Virtual Machine Manager component (SCVMM) as the unified management platform for storage across standalone and clustered Hyper-V hosts. Nimble’s unique implementation of SMI-S (Storage Management Initiative Specification) is embedded into our storage array, and ready to serve CIM requests from any SMI-S client, right out of the box. Since the SMI-S provider is natively integrated into the Nimble operating environment, Nimble arrays can be managed by SCVMM as SMI-S compliant storage devices, without requiring the installation of additional hardware or software.

Last year Nimble introduced the embedded SMI-S Provider with Nimble OS 2.2, which enabled SCVMM workflows for

  • Discovery of storage objects such as pools, volumes, and disks when registered as SMI-S compliant storage
  • Provisioning of volumes from available capacity
  • Allocation of volumes to Hyper-V hosts.

As a Microsoft Enterprise Cloud Alliance partner, Nimble has since broadened its portfolio investment in the Microsoft ecosystem to further simplify and automate storage management tasks, especially using SCVMM.

At Microsoft Ignite 2015 next week in Chicago, we will be demonstrating our newest capabilities with SCVMM, namely:

  • Rapid provisioning of Hyper-V virtual machines using Nimble’s SMI-S Provider and space efficient zero copy cloning technology
  • Offloaded Data Transfer (ODX) for virtual machine provisioning and migration.

As with our initial delivery of the embedded SMI-S Provider, Nimble’s implementations continue to be differentiated by the simplicity and transparency of managing storage volumes in a virtualized environment. While Nimble’s native snapshot and cloning array functions are working in the background, the user experience looks like the native Hyper-V environment.

If you are attending Microsoft Ignite 2015 in Chicago (May 4th through 8th), come by the Nimble booth (#618) to experience first hand how Nimble Storage with Microsoft can simplify and automate IT management tasks in the data center. If you’re not at Ignite, please contact us at to have one of our local representatives provide information and demonstrations at your site.

In addition to all the Microsoft-related goodness, we’ll also be demonstrating the incredible automation capabilities of Nimble Storage’s RESTful API implementation. Leveraged through PowerShell, the API set is a simple yet powerful means to automate common storage administration tasks such as creating and deleting volumes, managing snapshots, and deploying zero-copy clones.