Tuesday, 17 March 2015 15:51

SAP HANA support coming to Nimble Storage

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Hybrid storage vendor Nimble Storage is preparing to deliver support for SAP HANA in the near future. Not only that, it's also about to give away some Apple Watches.

Nimble Storage recently added Fibre Channel support as an option on the higher performing models in its hybrid array products.

This expanded the company's addressable market fourfold, vice president for Asia Pacific and Japan Peter O'Connor (pictured) told iTWire, adding that Fibre Channel now accounts for "a significant percentage" of its business.

That will be followed in May by support for SAP's HANA in-memory database technology, he said, describing it as "a very attractive proposition for SAP customers."

Even before that announcement, "the company is doing extraordinarily well in terms of growth," he said.

It now has more than 5,000 customers globally, with more than 200 in Australia and New Zealand. These include universities, schools, law firms, healthcare providers and financial institutions, O'Connor said.

"We're thrilled by the way it's progressing."

He noted that a growing percentage of customers are buying Nimble Storage products as part of complete systems (such as SmartStack configurations with Cisco UCS servers) rather than as storage arrays that will be added to existing systems.

There are already around 10 SmartStack customers in Australia, and the product is particularly suited to companies such as miners and retailers that have multiple sites around the country, O'Connor said.

In the context of local sales, he sounded bullish about the recent appointment of Nextgen as Nimble's national distributor for Australia and New Zealand.

While Nimble remains committed to a mix of direct and channel sales, O'Connor said "they're a very strong Oracle partner" and Nimble's hybrid arrays are good for database applications.

As for new competitors in the ANZ market such as SolidFire, O'Connor said "it's been a buyers' market for a couple of years. I've never seen the storage market more competitive."

But he drew attention to Nimble's Adaptive Flash Challenge, which offers an Apple Watch and other to storage purchasers who are prepared to benchmark Nimble's product against the all-flash array that they are thinking of buying.

"Very rarely do we get beaten by an all-flash device," he said. One recent performance evaluation conducted by a consultancy did the comparison and found Nimble's product was about 55% faster in a mixed environment, about 10% faster for random reads, and more than twice as fast for random writes.

The Nimble arrays demonstrate "a clear gap" over all-flash competitors, with "a considerably lower price and a lot more usable capacity," he added.

You can watch an earlier (December 2014) iTWire video interview with O'Connor here.


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Stephen Withers

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Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences and a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies.

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