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Who Could’ve 'Predicted’ the Nimble Storage Flash Acquisition Announcement?



A few weeks ago I posted a blog article I titled What is Hewlett Packard Enterprise's Strategy? The happenings in the world of  IT infrastructure are fascinating. One of the comments I made in the post was that I think the days of the storage-only HPE to Acquire Nimble Storage.JPGvendors are limited. WIth today's news from HPE, there will be one less storage-only vendor and HPE Storage undeniably will have the best-in-class storage portfolio from entry to enterprise. I have a post from Bill Philbin, the SVP and GM of Storage and Big Data. Read on to learn more about the move that HPE is making and what Bill had to say about it. 

Here's the post from Bill Philbin:

The background

I joined HPE a number of years ago because I truly believed that the datacenter was evolving beyond the ability for pure storage vendors to deliver on what customers wanted. . . call it my own version of predictive analytics. Yet the engineer in me was still obsessed with storage-level innovation and leading the next technology revolution. Being able to bridge absolute best-in-class storage with the surrounding technology stack has enabled the best of both worlds and is why I travel over 400,000 miles each year to talk to customers, engineers, partners and sales teams to find out how we can keep improving. Bill Philbin SVP and GM HPE Storage.jpg

When HPE acquired 3PAR in 2010 we had a clear mission – to transform storage within Hewlett Packard and bring high-end storage built for ITaaS into the mainstream enterprise. Over the last 6+ years we’ve invested in R&D and our channel community to deliver on that mission. . . growing 3PAR to be the #1 platform in midrange enterprise storage and one of the fastest growing all-flash platforms in the industry. It’s a leader in both the general purpose and solid state Magic Quadrants and swept the #1 spot in all critical capabilities for an unprecedented two years running.    

We made the shift to the all-flash datacenter several years ago as the industry was exiting the first flash storage wave where performance was the only design. We helped usher in the second wave where the blend of performance, economics and data services enabled mainstream flash adoption.  We’re at the cusp of the third wave of flash where the "new normal" requires deeper application integration, automation up and down the IT stack, embedded risk management and a futureproof approach to managing IT investments. 

The news

Just like the NASA missions, it’s time for our next launch to expand to this new frontier. Today, we announced plans to acquire Nimble Storage. When looking at opportunities to complement our existing portfolio, Nimble jumped straight to the top of the list based on combined business opportunity and similarities in engineering design and culture. Much like 3PAR started high and then addressed the needs of customers pushing down market, our interest in Nimble started with an acknowledgement that the flash market is rapidly evolving and those same needs are moving even lower. Entry and midrange customers are demanding the same flash-optimized data services that their enterprise counterparts have enjoyed for several years.  However in this space there is also a need for incredibly straightforward, simple deployment and an expectation for support experience driven by the consumer interactions we all take for granted on our smart phones and devices. 

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. Bookending Nimble and 3PAR, we have more than 500,000 entry MSA and StoreVitual arrays deployed in small sites where cost is a major driver. On the extreme high-end, we continue to invest in new generations of the XP platform with deployments where 14-nines of high availability and mainframe connectivity are ongoing requirements. 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. 

Looking east-west, we can cover any storage requirement from SMB to Enterprise to Service Provider. If we turn attention to the north-south axis, we’ve been building in automation beyond the array into IP and Fibre Channel networks, have embedded security and data integrity from host servers through to the array, and are providing application integrated data protection with automated data movement across storage systems and sites, through to secondary storage, and even up to the public cloud. 

Even more possibilities

The proposed acquisition announced today opens up even more possibilities. Nimble’s InfoSight Predictive Analytics Platform is unlike anything else in the industry. Gathering literally tens of millions of data points each day, it enables over 90% of all support cases to be opened automatically. Customers get support without even knowing they may be at risk. Not only that, those cases are closed with just as much automation, leading to customer satisfaction scores that are through the roof. We can’t wait to leverage that engine and bring it to 3PAR and other pieces of the HPE portfolio. The other new possibility is that of multi-cloud storage with the recently announced Nimble Cloud Volumes (NCV). NCV provides block storage services for Compute from AWS and Azure that is as easy to use as public cloud storage – but with far superior resiliency and more advanced data services including hybrid cloud data mobility to prevent lock-in. The NCV approach also handily eliminates the cost associated with public cloud repatriation of data and opaque SLAs, which are two of the largest issues customers have expressed around storage in the public cloud.

It’s been an amazing ride here at HPE and we appreciate the trust you’ve given to us when it comes to your data – arguably one of your most critical business assets. The transformation that we’ve driven as a storage vendor and IT provider over the last several years has put us in position to help you manage the next wave of digital transformation. Today’s announcement is a critical piece of that puzzle and we look forward to bringing you more details as soon as we are able.

Forward-looking Statements

This document contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.  Such statements involve risks, uncertainties and assumptions.  If such risks or uncertainties materialize or such assumptions prove incorrect, the results of HPE and its consolidated subsidiaries could differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements and assumptions.  All statements other than statements of historical fact are statements that could be deemed forward-looking statements, including any statements regarding the expected benefits and costs of the transaction contemplated by this document; the expected timing of the completion of the transaction; the ability of HPE, its subsidiaries and Nimble to complete the transaction considering the various conditions to the transaction, some of which are outside the parties’ control, including those conditions related to regulatory approvals; any statements of expectation or belief; and any statements of assumptions underlying any of the foregoing.  Risks, uncertainties and assumptions include the possibility that expected benefits may not materialize as expected; that the transaction may not be timely completed, if at all; that, prior to the completion of the transaction, Nimble’s business may not perform as expected due to transaction-related uncertainty or other factors; that the parties are unable to successfully implement integration strategies; and other risks that are described in HPE’s SEC reports, including but not limited to the risks described in HPE’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for its fiscal year ended October 31, 2016.  HPE assumes no obligation and does not intend to update these forward-looking statements.

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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.


So all in all it's going to reduce job in storage administration?


@pyatin wrote:


So all in all it's going to reduce job in storage administration?

I think most IT managers I've talked to have more to do than people and resources to do it. Do you think vendors should make administration and ongoing support of IT infrastructure more difficult?  I don't.  If we can help move resources from day-to-day managing of infrastructure to strategic planning, I think it's a win.

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