Nimble Intros High-Density, Enterprise Storage Array

Nimble Storage's new Nimble CS260 packs 48 TBs of usable capacity along with 2.4 TBs of usable Flash storage in a 3U rack mount enclosure.

The Nimble CS260 is the second array to come to market for the San Jose, Calif.-based company which came out of stealth mode in June of 2010.

Squeezing 48 TBs of capacity into a 3U space makes the CS260 among the highest in terms of density in the industry, said Dan Leary, vice president of marketing for Nimble Storage.

"To be clear, we're not competing with EMC Symmetrix or some other very high-end systems," Leary said. "But we are moving up into the enterprise with customers who have several thousand employees, including some of our existing customers who are getting good performance who want to deploy our systems more broadly."

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Nimble's CS-series of storage appliances is based on the company's Cache-Accelerated Sequential Layout (CASL) architecture, which compresses data as it is inputted using variable-sized data blocks.

Those variable-sized data blocks can then be combined into larger data sets and written to Flash memory for high-performance access. By combining data into large sequential data blocks, the performance when writing to Flash memory and then to SATA drives is increased.

Nimble sees as its primary competitors products like Dell's EqualLogic line or NetApp's FAS3000 series, Leary said.

In addition to the new CS260, Nimble also updated its storage operating system with an enhanced plug-in for VMware's vCenter to allow VMware administrators to manage Nimble arrays through the vCenter GUI instead of going to the storage GUI, Leary said.

Also new for the storage operating system is the ability for companies with smaller IT staffs to install Nimble arrays with just a few clicks while maintaining full configuration capabilities for more experienced administrators, Leary said. It also now allows replication based on customer policies regarding bandwidth availability between two Nimble arrays for disaster recovery purposes, he said.

Nimble already has over 150 customers in its first year of shipping product, and has signed up nearly 100 solution providers in the U.S., Leary said.

"This a faster revenue ramp-up than EqualLogic, 3PAR, or other former startups had," he said.

The CS260 is currently available.