Nimbus, Nimbus…

by Administrator on February 18, 2013

I don’t want anyone to think I have an axe to grind with Nimbus Data.  I received this tweet this morning…

Flash Memory Storage for More Scalable, Less Expensive VMware – @NimbusData #VMwarePEX presentation 2/26 at 11:30am

I replied:

@NimbusData What if you just didn’t use VMware. Imagine what Flash SSD would buy you then!

Just goes to show you that 140 characters doesn’t provide a lot of context or content.  I received an email back from their social media boss:

Hi Jon!

You must be out to make Mondays even more trouble than they already are! As [a] Nimbus’ social media [person], I just wanted to reach out to you to show you the evidence of how Nimbus Data is built for less expensive VMware.  Please see the below table in which Nimbus’ flash technology provides 80% lower cost per VDI users. I hope this helps clear things up and I look forward to seeing your tweets disappear.. ;) Let me know if you have any other questions and I would be more than happy to answer.

HDS 15K array

Nimbus All-flash

Cost of Array



# of VDI Users Supported



Effective Cost per User



Best Regards,

Marketing Associate

Nimbus Data

The Leader in Sustainable Storage®

I thought we were talking at cross-purposes, so I wrote back to clarify.


 The wording of you original tweet suggested that you were reducing the costs of VMware virtualization.  My thinking was that we can do that by getting rid of VMware.

I am fully familiar with what you are doing with flash at Nimbus.  I do not agree that we live in a Flash versus HDD versus Tape world.  Instead, future sustainable storage needs to use all recording mechanisms in hybridized ways to achieve the really important metric of lower power consumption.

For example, I get just as many IOPS with flash assisted HDD arrays (X-IO ISE for example) with a limited number of spindles as I do with HDD only arrays with thousands of spindles (think HP 3PAR) — but I do so in the hybrid kit without consuming as much electrical power.

Similarly, for rarely accessed files, it makes more sense to use tape, perhaps front ended by disk and/or flash for file caching, than it does to use all disk or all flash.

 My view point is inclusive.  What I don’t like are idiotic strategies like those being advanced by VMware, which basically preserve old memes of computing – stand up an application on a server and wait for someone to use it – instead of really virtualizing workload and doing app-on-demand loaded directly from flash or flash-assisted disk storage without a server hypervisor.

In short, I am not seeking to make trouble for Nimbus but to create and engender a broader conversation that will help folks to see the real importance of Flash storage.

Hope that helps.

Jon Toigo

Additionally, nobody I talk to is trying to do thousands of virtual desktops.  The really important price point is how little $$$ we can get away with spending for 100-400 virtual desktops.  That makes your comparison here specious and irrelevant.  Check out DataCore’s VDI testing, which leverages flash + virtualization to get to the lowest possible cost per desktop.

Most of the other papers you read on this topic come from storage rig peddlers who are trying to show you how many VDIs you can do if you buy their rig.  That isn’t what people need to know.  The message “For $400,000 (price of the rig), I can do this many desktops (IBM, EMC, NetApp, etc.)” is less interesting than ”X is the lowest cost per virtual desktop at 100 or 200 desktop increments, regardless of whose kit you use (DataCore’s paper).”

I guess I still have a lot of way to go to master this twitter stuff.

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