SOURCE: Nimble Storage

Nimble Storage

December 13, 2011 08:00 ET

Nimble Storage's "CASL" Delivers the Definitive Storage Architecture for High-Performance, Low-Cost VDI

Real-World Tested in a Range of Demanding Operating Environments, Nimble Storage Arrays Give VDI Users Superior Responsiveness and Data Protection While Giving VDI Administrators Complete Flexibility and Control

SAN JOSE, CA--(Marketwire - Dec 13, 2011) - Nimble Storage, the provider of flash-enabled, no-compromise storage solutions, today announced that its patented CASL™ architecture for data storage has become the first technology to conquer the two major barriers to deployment of VDI (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure) -- performance and cost. This makes VDI practical for the enterprise, whether in rollouts of under 100 desktops or over 1,000. Nimble's CS-Series arrays deliver three fundamental advantages for VDI storage: highly efficient performance and capacity, reliable and efficient data protection, and ease of deployment and management. CASL provides real-time data compression to compress VDI data 30-75 percent without increasing latency, optimally combines an integrated flash cache for read performance with low-cost HDDs for capacity, and accelerates write performance by serializing and aggregating writes into full disk stripes. These advantages assure VDI administrators of a smooth, low-cost migration to VDI; they also assure an enhanced user experience for VDI users, who expect the responsiveness of a PC for everyday operations.

Unlike other storage technologies, Nimble's CASL has been tested and proven to deliver affordable and responsive high-performance VDI even during challenging corporate scenarios: "boot storms" caused by simultaneous user boot-ups at the beginning of the business day, "antivirus storms" caused by simultaneous updates of antivirus profiles to multiple user desktops, and patch upgrades to update users with the latest versions of desktop software. Nimble arrays utilize CASL to combine high performance, as measured in IOPS (Input/Output Operations per Second), with the responsiveness guaranteed by real-time handling of active data in flash storage. As a result, the Nimble CS-Series is the first data storage architecture that can consolidate a large number of virtual desktops, together with other demanding workloads, on a single array while delivering superior performance with significantly reduced cost.

Survey Highlights VDI Costs as IT Concern

The cost challenges of VDI were highlighted in a recent survey of 600 IT professionals,1 in which 33 percent of respondents cited cost as a major barrier to VDI. Nimble CS-Series arrays are able to cost-effectively support over 1,000 virtual desktops in a compact, 3U footprint.

In addition, Nimble addresses the added challenge of data protection by integrating instantly optimized backups that, according to industry analysts at the Taneja Group, reduce storage capacity needs by more than 90 percent over traditional backup methods. By reducing the VDI backup window from up to 10-12 hours to under a minute, the CS-Series enables users to take highly time-efficient snapshots frequently to maximize data protection -- and with no impact on VDI application performance. Furthermore, because CS-Series snapshots are a function of CASL, they do not add to either VDI capital or operating expenditures.

"Responsiveness is crucial in a VDI environment, and that makes performance the bottleneck that drives up the cost of VDI," said Dan Leary, vice president of marketing for Nimble Storage. "One approach is to 'throw more flash' at the problem, but that drives up costs considerably. With CASL, Nimble architected its arrays for optimal performance and cost, enabling a superior user experience and assuring administrators that they can meet user demands while managing the expense of VDI rollouts."

Further keeping costs in line, Nimble CS-Series arrays offer high capacity utilization through features such as zero copy cloning, enabling storage administrators to easily clone virtual desktops -- for example, Windows 7 desktop images -- for hundreds or thousands of VDI users, and with virtually no increase in storage consumption. Additionally, Nimble CS-Series arrays offer built-in integration with VMware, allowing VDI administrators to quickly and cost-effectively create Nimble volumes for datastores, develop snapshot schedules, set replication schedules, review capacity and performance, create groups of clones in a single operation, or restore data from snapshots -- all within the familiar VMware console they already use. The Nimble CS-Series has been certified Citrix Ready®, guaranteeing compatibility with XenDesktop and XenServer.

"With the CS-Series array family, Nimble has zeroed in on the capacity utilization issues and I/O bottlenecks that hamper traditional arrays when hosting VDI," said Jeff Byrne, senior analyst for the Taneja Group. "What distinguishes the CS-Series is its ability to scale to consolidate 1,000-plus desktops on a single array that serves other workloads as well, while retaining considerable performance headroom. It's a function of the efficient use of flash and disk resources, which, in turn, contains costs and improves ROI."

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

©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.

1 The survey, developed by Nimble Storage, asked for the opinions of IT professionals (not affiliated with Nimble) within organizations conducting business in the US. Respondents work in a variety of industries, including financial, legal, healthcare, education and services.

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