Startup News Flash part 2

First part of the Startup News Flash was published a couple of weeks ago, and as many things have happened I figured I would publish another. At times I guess I will miss out on a news fact or a new company, if that happens don’t hesitate to leave a comment with your findings/opinion or just a link to what you feel is newsworthy! As mentioned in part 1 the primary focus of this article is Startup news / Flash related news. As you can see most flash related except for one.

Nimbus Data launched two brand new arrays: Gemini F400 / F600 arrays. These are all flash arrays, and bring something unique to the table for sure… and that is costs: price per useable gigabyte is $0.78. Yes, that is low indeed. How do they bring it down? Well of course by very efficient deduplication and compression. On top of that, by leveraging standard hardware and getting all smarts from software the price can be kept low. According to the press release these new arrays will be able to provide between 3TB and 48TB of capacity (I almost said disk space there…) and will be shipping end of this year! Although Nimbus declared Hybrid Storage officially dead, mainly because of the cost of Nimbus all flash solution (the F400 starts under US$60,000, the F600 starts under US$80,000.), I still think there is a lot of room for growth in that space and many customer will be interested in those solutions. My question yesterday on twitter was to Nimbus which configuration they did the math with to declare hybrid dead, because cost per gigabyte is one thing, the upfront investment to reach that price point is another. It will be interesting to see how they will do the upcoming 12-18 months, but it is needless to say that they will be going after their competition aggressively. Talking about competition….

Last year at VMworld I briefly stopped at the Tegile booth, besides the occasional tweet I kind of lost track until recent as Tegile just announced series C funding… Not pocket money I would say but a serious round, $35 million, led by Meritech Capital Partners and original stakeholder August Capital and strategic partners Western Digital and SanDisk.  For those who don’t know, Tegile is a storage company who sells both a hybrid and an “all-flash” solution and they have done this in an interesting modular fashion (all-flash placed in front of spinning disks = modular hybrid). Of course they also offer functionality like dedupe/compression and replication. Although I haven’t heard too much from them lately it is a booth I will surely stop by at VMworld. Again, there is a lot of competition in this space and it would be interesting to see an “All-flash / Hybrid Storage bake off”. Tegile vs Nimbus, Nimble vs Tintri, Pure Storage vs Violin…

Violin Memory just announced the 6264 flash Memory Array. This new all flash storage system can provide a capacity of 64 TiB/70.3 TB with a footprint of just 3U, and that is impressive if you ask me. On top of that, it can provide up to 1 million IOps and at a ultra low latency! Who doesn’t want to have 1 million IOps to its disposal right? (More specs to be found here.) To me though what was more exciting in this press release was the announcement of a management tool called Symphony. Symphony provides a single pane of glass for all your Violin devices (read more details here.) It provides a smart management interface that allows you to create custom dashboard, comprehensive reporting, tagging and filtering and of course they provide a RESTful API for you admins out there who love to automate things. Nice announcement from Violin Memory, and those already running Violin hardware I would definitely recommend evaluating Symphony as the video looks promising.

CloudPhysics just announced the Card Store is GA as of today (13th August 2013) and a new round of funding ($ 10 million) led by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. Previous investors the Mayfield Fund, Mark Leslie, Peter Wagner, Carl Waldspurger, Nigel Stokes, Matt Ocko and VMware co-founders also participated in this round. I would say an exciting day for CloudPhysics. Many have asked over the last year why have I always been enthusiastic about what they do? I think John Blumenthal (CEO) explains it best:

Our servers receive a daily stream of 80+ billion samples of configuration, performance, failure and event data from our global user base with a total of 20+ trillion data points to date. This ‘collective intelligence,’ combined with CloudPhysics’ patent-pending datacenter simulation and unique resource management techniques, empowers enterprise IT to drive Google-like operations excellence using actionable analytics from a large, relevant, continually refreshed data set.

If you are interested in testing their solution, sign up for a free trial  at Pricing starts at $49/month per physical server, more details here. For those wondering what CloudPhysics has to do with flash, well they’ve got a card for that!

That was it for Part 2, hope you found it a useful round-up and I will expect to be able to publish another startup news flash within 2 weeks!


Nimbus Data releases HALO 2013

Last week Nimbus Data reached out to me to update me on what they are working on, and more explicitly what they are releasing today. Today Nimbus announces HALO 2013 (their storage operating system). Those who are not familiar with Nimbus Data my colleagues Cormac Hogan wrote a great article about what they offer last year, make sure to read it. In short though:

Nimbus Data offers a flash array which is called Gemini. The array offers support for Fibre Channel, Infiniband, iSCSI and NFS. Of course data services like deduplication and replication are supported and they are all about extreme amounts of IOps, low latency and high throughput. Gemini also supports VMware VAAI.

With the 2013 release of HALO I believe Nimbus is getting ready to enter the world of Software Defined Storage. The 2013 release of HALO offers an Analytics module. This analytics module can provide real-time and historical data, and serve up over 200 metrics. This includes things like storage utilization and efficiency, but also statistics on various different levels like host level / port level etc.

Why I said “is getting ready to enter the world of Software Defined Storage” is because Nimbus Data also developed and published a REST based API. This API will allow for full administration of the platform and allow you to integrate with existing solutions in your stack. For instance all statistics are exposed via the API, I guess that means that plugins for all relevant monitoring solutions would be a logical next step, personally I think having a VC Ops adapter would be nice. Another thing which is added with the 2013 release is a mobile management platform, although I am not sure how many people would expose that to the outside… it is nice to have at least the ability to do so if you want. The mobile solution offers you utilization and performance charts, but also allows you to monitor system events.

I guess that this REST API also means that it shouldn’t take too long before VMware Site Recovery Manager support is added for Nimbus Data. This in my opinion is one of the few gaps they will still need to address, but I am guessing that is a matter of time. Also, Gemini is as of writing not on the VMware HCL however Nimbus has indicated that they are going through the motion and they should be listed within a reasonable amount of time. (At least that is what I was told, make sure to check the HCL if you are looking to buy a new array) Nevertheless, a nice update from Nimbus Data which will make your life as an administrator easier.