SOURCE: Nimble Storage

Nimble Storage

April 12, 2011 06:00 ET

Grocery Outlet Adopts Nimble Storage Arrays to Eliminate Overnight Backups and Integrate Disaster Recovery

Converged Storage and Backup Arrays Slash Backup Times to Seconds, Eliminate Previously Unwieldy Disaster Recovery Practices

SAN JOSE, CA--(Marketwire - Apr 12, 2011) - Nimble Storage, developer of the first converged data storage and backup solution, today announced that Grocery Outlet has deployed two Nimble Storage CS220 arrays, eliminating overnight backups and simplifying disaster recovery. With the aid of the Nimble arrays, the retailer has reduced backup times to seconds, overcoming complex weekend backup operations that previously spilled over into Monday business hours. And, with one onsite Nimble array replicating to the second, Grocery Outlet today is assured of full disaster-recovery readiness, simplified DR processes, and the ability to perform rapid restores, as needed from the offsite array.

Because the Nimble arrays provide primary and secondary storage on a single device, Grocery Outlet no longer needs to maintain separate primary and backup tiers. The new storage infrastructure has significantly reduced capital costs for storage and operating costs for data backup, restores, and offsite replication, while delivering substantial gains in system performance. The adoption of Nimble came with the need by the grocery discounter, which maintains over 150 locations in the western United States, to replace an aging iSCSI SAN that had experienced severe performance degradation and an increase in backup times as a result of an exponential growth in data.

The move to Nimble also enabled Grocery Outlet to move away from a traditional storage architecture that stored data as fixed-size blocks. Because a Nimble array stores data as variable-size blocks, the array can provide 50 to 75-percent data compression with no added latency. With Nimble's zero-copy cloning capabilities, Grocery Outlet today makes multiple copies of databases cost-effectively and with no incremental consumption of storage capacity, reducing cost and speeding up application testing and development.

"Our previous storage architecture made DR too expensive to deploy," said Steve Tuscher, director of IT for Grocery Outlet. "The concept of converged storage and backup -- plus the ability to easily replicate to our DR site with a second Nimble array -- was irresistible. The Nimble platform is fast, simple, and cost-effective, and we no longer need to maintain our older disk backup devices."

Grocery Outlet also cited Nimble's use of flash memory for tier-one data as an advantage in accelerating storage and backup operations. "Nimble uses front-end cache for frequently accessed data," said Gordon Yee, senior network manager for Grocery Outlet. "All data resides on spindles, but a big portion is kept in the large flash cache to speed access time for applications that require rapid access and retrieval, such as our Oracle-based financials." He added that Grocery Outlet recently transitioned its financial system from an Oracle forms-based application to an Oracle .Net-based framework. "From the way the new Oracle application is architected, it absolutely requires Nimble's solid-state performance."

Plans Include Rollout of Virtual Desktops
With the success of its initial deployment, Grocery Outlet is now planning to move all of its storage onto the Nimble arrays. Tuscher said that Grocery Outlet will be deploying the Nimble CS220's snapshot capabilities across all of its applications, eliminating backup windows entirely. Given the cost-effective storage of up to 90 days of snapshots, this allows quick recovery in the event of data corruption. And, with the use of zero-copy cloning, the Nimble arrays will also be used for the retailer's implementation of virtual desktops in 2011.

Tuscher added: "It has been a very satisfying experience working with Nimble Storage -- both the company and the devices. We don't have this depth of relationship with every vendor -- only with those who have really helped us succeed and who have demonstrable, superior products. We are looking forward to a long-term relationship with Nimble Storage and its industry-changing storage arrays."

Revolutionary Flash-Based Architecture
Nimble Storage's CS-Series is based on the company's patent-pending architecture, Cache Accelerated Sequential Layout (CASL™), which enables fast inline data compression, intelligent data optimization leveraging flash memory and high-capacity disk, instant optimized backups, and WAN-efficient replication -- all in a single device. CASL allows organizations to reduce their capital expenditures for storage and backup by at least 60 percent, while eliminating the need for separate, disk-based backup.

About Grocery Outlet
Based in Berkeley, California, Grocery Outlet offers extreme bargains on brand name merchandise, with prices often up to 50% less than conventional retailers. The largest "extremevalue" grocer in the U.S., Grocery Outlet has over 150 locations in Arizona, California, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington. For more information, please visit www.groceryoutlet.com.

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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