Did Nimble lose the plot while they were creating InfoSight?

rocky horror - nih

I recently re-watched the Rocky Horror Picture Show. This fall is the 40th anniversary of this cult classic – a movie that many laughed at and with, exhibiting an overdose of style and devoid of plot. Cult classics don’t need plots, they only need fans. Storage companies don’t have plots, they have architectures and roadmaps, which are proven over time through execution. Most of the time, the execution comes after a certain amount of hype.. Eventually companies either live up to their big talk or fade away. Cult classic storage products have short runs, except at places like Weird Stuff.

Companies that start trends don’t always make it through the market changes that follow. The hard part about being an early leader is keeping up with all the competitors who follow you. You have to keep leading, but you also have to copy the people who follow you sometimes, and that just doesn’t seem fair. Tegile was not the first with either Hybrid or All-Flash storage arrays. We have a lot of smart people contributing to our success at Tegile, people who have their own excellent ideas and can recognize a good idea when they see it. There is something to be said for snatching a good idea from a competitor and making hay with it. It’s also how competition benefits customers.

And so it is with our IntelliCare customer care program. Nearly all technology companies have customer support portals, but Nimble Storage broke new ground with their InfoSight cloud-based, array analytics service. It was obviously a good idea and so we decided to do something similar with IntelliCare and we suspect everybody else in the industry will have to follow suit before long. The great thing about analytics/support portals like IntelliCare or InfoSight is that they automatically record historical data for analysis by customers, support engineers and automated algorithms to identify problems and their root causes. It’s very fast and definitely the way of the future. FWIW, here are a few screenshots of some of the trend data available on IntelliCare:

IOPS
intellicare IOPS analysis

Capacity trending
intellicare space trend analysis

Latency
intellicare latency analysis

Did Nimble stop checking it’s mirrors?
As an early front-runner in flash arrays, Nimble went off to invent InfoSight and proved an important concept. Meanwhile, the rest of the industry worked full time on new table stakes: All-Flash and inline dedupe . For whatever reason, Nimble has been very slow to react to the new flash reality that Tegile, Pure, Tintri, EMC and SolidFire have brough to the market. To be fair to Nimble, they’ve said that they will have All-Flash soon, but it hasn’t happened yet. Even Hitachi has been busier than Nimble when it comes to All-Flash. The question for Nimble is if they will eventually be able to catch up to where the rest of the industry has already gone or if they will be a FIFO phenomena in flash.


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