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Nimble Storage Is Now Part of HPE. Any Questions?



Back in the beginning of March, we announced our intent to acquire Nimble Storage. Today we’re announcing that we have completed the acquisition of Nimble Storage and it’s now part of Hewlett Packard Enterprise. I wanted to take this as opportunity to talk a bit about what I think this means going forward.  

Our SVP and GM of HPE Storage Bill Philbin posted a blog giving initial details on the acquisition, so check that out. If you don't have time to read his post (it's not that long), there's one thing that Bill said in his post that jumped out at me explaining why we acquired Nimble Storage.

The marriage of HPE Storage and Nimble is going to be a powerful force that isolated storage start-ups and overweight IT conglomerates are not prepared to deal with. Imagine a best-in-class storage focused business covering entry to enterprise embedded in the world’s largest server business with a clear roadmap to hyper-converged and composable infrastructure. ... For anyone looking at next generation infrastructure for hybrid IT, we’ve got you covered and are delivering "outside the box" with analytics-driven predictive support, extreme automation, with hooks into the public cloud to help you achieve the right mix of on-prem and off.

My take on some of the questions

I saw several blog posts and comments since we announced the acquisition and with a few exceptions, I did not post my thoughts. Now that the deal is sealed, I wanted to address some of the things I saw.

Can you successfully integrate Nimble Storage?

Some have commented that HPE will ruin Nimble. Let me remind everyone that it was HP/HPE Storage that executed arguably one of the most successful storage acquisitions in history. HP was either number 5 or 6 in the external storage Nimble Storage And HPE.JPGmarket when we acquired 3PAR in 2010. We took 3PAR – prior to Dell acquiring EMC – to number 1 in external storage. 3PAR is the number 1 Fibre Channel and midrange array (by market share) in the industry.  Kind of hard to argue that success. The same team that integrated 3PAR will successfully integrate Nimble Storage and make it better.

Speaking of making it better, someone else recently posted a blog saying that there was effectively no innovation from 3PAR after HP/HPE acquired them. I spit my coffee out when I read that. We have made changes to 3PAR to put it in the top tier of all-flash arrays – not only in market share but also performance, data services, flash efficiency - just about every measure of flash. In just the last few months, 3PAR was the first array to demo Intel Optane (NVMe-based flash) and introduced Peer Copy. Not to mention that the latest 3PAR OS 3.3.1 is packed with new features. I need to get the 3PAR team to do a blog post about everything we've done with 3PAR since October 2010. The list would overwhelm you. The innovation has multiplied since HPE acquired 3PAR and I have no reason to believe it will be any different with Nimble Storage. 

What about the Nimble Storage support experience? 

Nimble has the storage industry's highest net promoter score. This didn't escape the notice of HPE. A big part of this success is Nimble support and specifically how InfoSight Predictive Analytics has allowed Nimble to transform the support experience. Nothing will change here. Additionally, HPE plans to incorporate the InfoSight Predictive Analytics platform across its storage portfolio. This will enable a stronger, simplified support experience for HPE customers. For example, InfoSight automatically detects over 90 percent of issues within a customer’s infrastructure, and resolves over 85 percent of them before the customer is even aware of an issue. In a blog post today, Antonio Neri, Executive VP and GM of Enterprise Group said this

We are totally committed to current Nimble Storage customers and I want to assure you that we will take everything that made you fall in love with this solution and only make it stronger.  Imagine what could be possible when you couple the existing Nimble Storage innovation with the power of a company that is already an industry leader in servers, storage, and hybrid IT solutions across the globe.

Will Nimble replace 3PAR?

Ummm, no it won't. 3PAR is not going anywhere. It's not an outdated architecture. It was designed by former Sun Cluster experts and it really is very different than other arrays out there. It is now at the top of the all-flash arrays and has swept the field of Gartner Critical Capabilities for 2 years running. It has a rich set of data services and frequently displaces legacy storage for customers that want tier-1 capabilities in a modern multi-tenant and flash optimized package.

3PAR addresses customers that are looking for the most flexibility and feature-rich storage for the all flash data center. Nimble is for customers who are looking for a new approach to storage and prioritize simplicity and hooks into the public cloud. For SLA-focused customers that need best-in-class performance, federated clusters and multi-tenant design for ITaaS, 3PAR is the right choice. In the near future, I'll go deep on where we see the portfolio positioning, including MSA, SimpliVity and 3PAR.

Did HPE only want InfoSight and will discontinue other Nimble Storage products?

Again, that is not the plan. HPE views this as an expansion of our portfolio and intends to continue investing in the Nimble product line. We expect HPE will invest aggressively in innovation across its portfolio, including Nimble Storage.

Check out the new Nimble Storage page on

I was pointed to an FAQ on our new Nimble Storage page.  You can find the page with additional content and the full FAQ at I thought I would include some of those questions here which jumped out at me:

When can I order combined HPE and Nimble Storage Solutions?

Nimble Storage will continue to operate separately from HPE during the transition period. The availability of combined HPE and Nimble Storage solutions will be announced later in 2017. Until then, please contact your Nimble or HPE account representative, respectively, if you have questions about ordering.

How can I learn more about HPE Nimble solutions and roadmap?

Looking forward, we have a clear product roadmap for our hybrid IT offerings and storage portfolio. Our acquisition of Nimble fits squarely in it. We are listening to our customers’ needs and continuing to help them shift from the traditional data center to a software-defined data center, with all-flash storage at its core.

A key element of that roadmap is the Nimble InfoSight predictive analytics platform. HPE will leverage InfoSight across our portfolio of storage products, enabling our customers to monitor deployed infrastructure from the cloud, apply machine learning and predictive analytics to simplify operations and deliver a transformed support experience.

What impact will the acquisition of Nimble have on HPE Hyper Converged and SimpliVity OmniStack?

Hyper Converged and HPE SimpliVity OmniStack are unaffected by the acquisition of Nimble. Together, Nimble and SimpliVity will enable HPE to address a broader set of customer use cases and needs from leading predictive flash block storage to enterprise software defined Hyper Converged infrastructure, enabling customers to deploy the right data services across all workloads and deployment types.

What is the role of Nimble Storage's portfolio in the HPE storage portfolio?

Nimble flash arrays will extend the reach and coverage of the HPE storage portfolio. The portfolio provides predictive, cloud-ready storage with management simplicity for on-premises and the public cloud deployments. Nimble InfoSight will accelerate the transformation of the HPE storage portfolio into an analytics-based customer experience – including for 3PAR StoreServ. 

Does Nimble Storage work with HPE Servers?

The Nimble portfolio interoperates with a broad range of HPE and other vendors’ servers today. The Nimble interoperability matrix is planned to be added to the HPE interoperability matrix.

Closing thoughts

I have friends and colleagues across the industry including people I know at Nimble Storage.  I want to welcome them to HPE! I think they’ve landed in a great place.

The last seven years in HPE Storage has been incredible. Prior executive management – not to mention names but you’ve probably “hurd” me talk about it in the past – caused me concern because of the lack of investment in storage. I don’t have those concerns anymore. And seeing bold moves like acquiring Nimble Storage demonstrates to me that we are not settling for being “best-in-class” but the best of the class. 

IDC wrote its opinion of the acquisition in a Market Note titled “HPE Hits a Home Run with the Acquisition of Midmarket Enterprise Storage Vendor Nimble."  The title gives you a good idea of what IDC thinks of Nimble Storage joining HPE. A summary on the first page says this:

This is a bold, strategic move on HPE’s part that will benefit HPE and Nimble’s customers alike.

I couldn’t agree more.


About the Author


I have worked at HP and now HPE since 1983, all of it around storage but 100% focused on storage since 1990. I blog, create videos, and podcasts to help you better understand HPE Storage.


Do you foresee any impact to resources at Nimble post the acquisition? 

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