SOURCE: Nimble Storage

Nimble Storage

February 23, 2011 06:00 ET

Clackamas County Retools Its Storage Operations, Deploying Nimble Storage Arrays to Serve Its 400,000 Citizens

"Converged" Storage and Backup Provides County With High-Performance, Cost-Effective Storage, While Exceeding Recovery Point Objectives

SAN JOSE, CA--(Marketwire - February 23, 2011) - Nimble Storage, developer of the first converged data storage and backup solution, today announced that Clackamas County, Oregon, has retooled its storage operations by deploying two Nimble CS240 converged storage arrays. In just six months of using its Nimble arrays -- which provide integrated primary data storage and backup -- the county has dramatically accelerated primary storage performance, eliminated the costs of a second storage tier, and improved recovery point objectives (RPOs) for all county data and services.

Clackamas County, encompassing the Portland-Beaverton metro area and serving over 400,000 citizens, provides high-quality IT services and rapid response to its citizens, county departments, and elected officials. "We want to make conducting business in our county as easy as possible," explained Chris Fricke, IT administrator for Clackamas County. To help achieve this goal, the county's IT department developed a web portal that provides access to the thousands of forms and services its users require each day.

But as demand for data and services increased, performance on the online portal started to degrade. Aggregate requirements for data access were mounting with the county's databases, user access, and virtualized servers, creating performance bottlenecks on the existing iSCSI SAN. But the county's tight budgets made it impossible to consider other high-performance options, such as solid-state drives or arrays of Fibre Channel disks, or to implement a mandated disaster-recovery plan. Fricke explains, "Anytime we create a new service, we build a redundant presence in our other datacenter. But having a second presence used too much disk space. We simply couldn't afford enough capacity to meet our RPOs."

Increased Performance, Lower Costs, Reduced Complexity
The county, which purchased two Nimble CS240 arrays in the fall of 2010, has created "a multipurpose, end-all, be-all solution that solves all of our storage challenges," said Fricke. "When we moved our user data volumes from our EqualLogic SAN to the Nimble SAN, we saw huge increases in raw speed."

The county used Nimble's high-performance flash and high-capacity SATA disks to place multiple tiers of storage on just one Nimble array, reducing cost and IT complexity significantly. For any new storage volume on the Nimble array, blocks of data requiring high performance are dynamically moved to the solid-state cache. Those that don't are placed on cost-effective SATA disks. But tier-2 data is still online and available for use in a contiguous volume space. "Nimble minimizes our critical 'dollars per gigabyte' figure without impacting users," noted Fricke.

Before deploying the Nimble arrays, the county had found it too expensive to replicate data frequently. With Nimble, the county can now efficiently store and replicate as many snapshots as needed because it costs so little in terms of capacity. As a result, the county's RPOs have improved significantly.

With the success of the initial deployment, Clackamas County has decided to move all online data to the Nimble arrays. Performance-demanding tier-1 data will be able to take advantage of Nimble's high-performance solid-state cache. Equipped with ample cost-effective Nimble capacity, the county will then use the extra space on the Nimble arrays for its tier-2 applications. The county is also moving all document images from its Data Domain systems to Nimble.

"Nimble is definitely the most exciting storage startup I've seen in quite a while," concluded Fricke. "It's an elegant blend of very simple concepts from a user perspective -- making them not only accessible and cost-effective, but very attractive from an ROI point of view. That has more value than most people realize, especially in medium and smaller organizations that do not necessarily have dedicated storage staff. Nimble provides high performance, easy management, and reduced capital costs for our storage infrastructure."

About Clackamas County
Clackamas County, in north central Oregon, is one of the counties that make up the Portland, Oregon, metropolitan area. The county was named after the Native Americans living in the area, the Clackamas Indians, who were part of the Chinookan people. Since its formation back in 1843, agriculture, timber, manufacturing, and commerce have remained as the region's principal economic activities. For more information on Clackamas County, visit http://www.clackamas.us.

About Nimble Storage
Nimble Storage has developed the first converged storage and backup solution that significantly reduces the cost and complexity of storing, accessing, and protecting data for enterprises. The company's CASL architecture uniquely combines flash and high-capacity disk to support the most demanding primary applications and reduces backup windows and restore times from hours to seconds -- all for at least 60 percent lower cost than existing solutions. Nimble Storage also provides a simple, cost-effective disaster recovery solution that offers business continuity and long-term data protection. Nimble Storage solutions are available through a nationwide network of IT solution providers. For more information, visit www.nimblestorage.com.

©Nimble Storage and CASL are trademarks or registered trademarks of Nimble Storage. Other trade names or words used in this document are the properties of their respective owners.

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