Nimbus Data Intros Low-Cost All-Flash Arrays For Less Than Hybrid Array, Plans '14 IPO

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EMC and NetApp have a lot of features and software beyond any particular storage technology, and the newer vendors, while providing performance, are not able to match those features, En Pointe's Hogue said.

"Nimbus and the others have made a Ferrari, but you are not going to take the kids to a soccer game in a Ferrari," he said.

Nimbus Data's new fourth-generation all-flash arrays are the industry's first to feature 1x-nanometer MLC flash technology, Nimbus' Isakovich said.

1x-nanometer refers to the production of semiconductors using a manufacturing process of 10 to 19 nanometers. The Nimbus Data arrays use 19-nanometer MLC flash, which results in a 35-percent cut in the cost-per-Gbyte ratio.

"It's very cost-effective," he said. "But despite the use of low-cost flash, we still offer the same 10-year warranty as our previous generations. And we remain the only company to offer 1x-nanometer flash while offering a 10-year warranty."

The new models also offer double the performance of earlier models via a software enhancement that turns random writes into sequential writes, Isakovich said.

The use 1x-nanometer MLC flash redefines the economics of all-flash arrays vs. that of hybrid arrays, which feature both flash and spinning disk storage, Isakovich said.

"Hybrid array vendors could in the past argue that all-flash storage is expensive," he said. "However, this has all changed. All-flash storage can achieve cost-parity with hybrid arrays."

Nimbus Data currently has about 500 all-flash array installations among about 350 different customers, and it is on track for an IPO some time in 2014, Isakovich said. About 80 percent of the company's revenue comes via solution providers, with the remaining 20 percent coming from a handful of larger customers, which the company treats more like OEMs, he said.


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