Last week we had the pleasure of hosting a table of Cristie customers at the ME Hotel, London for lunch with Nimble Storage CEO Suresh Vasudevan.
Along with some lovely food, drink and company we were able to hear from Suresh about how Nimble are growing, what has been successful for them and gain an insight into some of the things coming in the near-future.
We were pleased to hear that the 5,000 customer mark has been passed, a great achievement that puts Nimble significantly ahead of their competition in the Storage startup space. We heard that many other traditional vendors are seeing a decline in their storage business, a trend we expect to see continue.
Hybrid Remains the Right Approach:
There was talk of increasing solid state drive capacities, with 2TB drives available imminently, potential for 4-6TB drives before the end of the year and an incredible 10TB capacity SSD in 2016. This could significantly change the flash storage market but Suresh was quick to highlight the lingering cost differential between SSD and HDD technologies - currently SSD being more expensive per GB by a factor of 14-16x. It turns out we're not expecting price parity between HDD & SSD until sometime around 2018 - it will be an interesting time when that happens though.
It was interesting to hear how Nimble handled a question around the perceived threat of Hyper-Converged, something that has been gaining market traction over the past quarter. The main argument against HC at this stage being the lack of ability to scale performance and capacity independently - we'll try and validate that point through our own investigations.
There were some other futures touched upon but we're sworn to secrecy on those - suffice to say, they all sound great! (we'll run a separate NDA roadmap session for anyone specifically interested).
Finally we were treated to a couple of testimonials from existing customers, one of which was Graeme Cappi, a long-term customer of Cristie and an great advocate of the Nimble technology. Both presentations were excellent, with references to Nimble's superb support, scalability and performance but one of the quotes that stuck with us was from Graeme, explaining how the challenges have been solved with technology but people and politics remain:
"the biggest problem isn't providing the service that the user requires, it is managing what the service user thinks they require".