SOURCE: Nimble Storage

Nimble Storage

January 31, 2012 08:00 ET

Florida Blood Services Replaces Three Disparate Storage Platforms With Nimble Storage Arrays for Primary Storage, Backup and Replication

Nimble Array Supports 160 Virtual Machines and Provides Centralized Storage for 40 Field Offices; "Three-to-One" Consolidation Simplifies Storage and Reduces System-Wide Backups From Days to Minutes

SAN JOSE, CA--(Marketwire - Jan 31, 2012) - Nimble Storage, the provider of flash-enabled, no-compromise storage solutions, today announced that Florida Blood Services, a nonprofit provider of blood for critical care, has driven down the cost and complexity of data storage by replacing three disparate storage systems with the Nimble CS240 converged storage array. In just two months of operation, Florida Blood Services (FBS) has vastly simplified its storage operations, providing fast, efficient centralized storage for its headquarters and 40 field offices and reducing system backups from days to seconds. In addition, by replacing lengthy system backups with frequent incremental snapshots, the service has dramatically improved its Recovery Time Objectives (RTOs) -- a critical concern for vital services in a highly regulated environment.

Today, two Nimble arrays at the company's St. Petersburg headquarters host primary storage house 160 virtual machines and provide a direct connection to 40 offices in Florida and Georgia. Two additional Nimble arrays, targeted for disaster recovery, are situated in FBS's nearby Lakeland, Florida, office. FBS's new storage architecture represents a "three-to-one consolidation that has worked magnificently for us," said Calvin Levy, Senior Systems Engineer.

Backup Times Reduced from Hours to Seconds

With FBS's previous system, performance degradation was a major challenge. Of the approximately 150 virtual machines under deployment, the storage team could back up only 13 VMs per night without affecting performance for the majority of its users. Backups would require over 40 hours, starting at 7:00 PM Friday and ending at approximately 3:00 PM on Sunday.

"With Nimble, we're able to back up all of our volumes in a matter of seconds and make intermediate, scheduled snapshots that take no toll on performance," said Levy.

Snapshots Improve Recovery Time Objectives

Storage snapshots, critical to maintaining an organization's Recovery Time Objectives (RTOs), had long been an issue for Florida Blood Services, a 24x7 operation requiring data access in real-time. With FBS's previous storage architecture, once a snapshot was placed on a storage server, users would experience noticeable performance degradation. Following a required firmware update, the situation became critical, said Levy. "Regardless of whether we tried to take 20 snapshots or 200, our performance was significantly hampered. Our fall-back position, and not a great alternative, was to rely exclusively on full backups."

Today, Levy and his team use Nimble's integral snapshots. "Across all of our volumes, we have thousands and thousands of snapshots on the system, and we've seen no degradation in performance. We've been so happy with the Nimble snapshotting system that we are pushing for a system-wide 15-minute backup frequency."

"Next Evolution" in Technology

According to Dan Higley, a Senior Systems Engineer for Florida Blood Services, the architecture and sequential file system of Nimble storage arrays distinguish Nimble from other storage models. "Nimble has taken flash into account and created a cost-effective device that stages data properly, both in flash and disk-based storage, to provide the highest performance at the lowest cost."

He added that the system-wide redundancy of the Nimble array provides an additional measure of assurance. Noting the 24x7 nature of FBS, he said that his team had replaced a controller and tested a new controller without having to power down the array. "Staying 100 percent operational is critically important in our environment."

"Critical-service organizations in regulated environments face the continual challenge of 24x7 uptime and rapid access to vital data," said Suresh Vasudevan, CEO of Nimble Storage. "We're delighted to have supported Florida Blood Service's migration to an architecture that consolidates their storage systems, helps them meet regulatory mandates, and offers the reserve capacity to support growth."

Florida Blood Services is one of an expanding list of health-care organizations that have replaced disparate, complex storage solutions with Nimble arrays that integrate primary storage, backup and disaster recovery into a single, integrated operating environment.

About Nimble Storage

Founded and led by storage industry veterans, Nimble Storage is the fastest growing storage vendor in history. Nimble Storage solutions are built on the idea that enterprises should not have to compromise between performance, capacity, ease of management, and price. Nimble's patented Cache Accelerated Sequential Layout architecture, designed from the ground up to effectively combine flash with high-capacity drives, makes high performance affordable, simplifies and enhances disaster recovery and backup, and delivers pain-free operations. Nimble Storage solutions are available through a global network of world-class channel partners. For more information, visit

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