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Addressing the Secondary Flash Controversy


Since the GA on May 11, the Nimble Secondary Flash array has been getting awareness, both positive and otherwise. On the plus side, multiple deals have been closed and a pipeline of demand is growing behind that. Recently however we’re seeing controversy over “Mis-naming”.

Let me address the issues brought up in today’s Register story:

  1. The new Secondary Flash Array does in fact use disk. It’s built on Nimble pioneering Hybrid flash technology. Thus it’s a mix of spinning disk and SSD, delivering affordable performance plus capacity optimizing Data Deduplication. Naming it “Secondary Hybrid Flash” seemed too long. We had considered “Secondary Storage Array” which would have been Less informative regarding what it’s made of. And the solution-specific name that was suggested, “Secondary Hybrid Integrated To Zerto”, had its own issue.
  2. The CS Series is still available. As was the case with Mark Twain, the reports of the death of the CS-Series are much exaggerated. The CS-Series adaptive flash arrays are still at the center of our product line, with IOPS maximizing All-Flash AF-Series on one end, and now the Capacity oriented SF-Series on the other. Our entire installed base of Nimble arrays are currently seeing a measured 99.9999% availability.
  3. “We should not view the SF Series as comparable to all-flash…” I totally agree. The Secondary Flash Array does not have the same IOPS of a Nimble All-Flash array, with scale-up performance topping 1.4 million IOPS, or even that of the CS-Series. I’d also add that the SF-Series is not the same as a purpose built backup appliance, such as StoreOnce, made just for serious backup workloads with support for VTL, very broad selection of application plug-ins, or very high levels of throughput (hundreds of TBs/Hour). The Secondary Flash Array serves an emerging need for customers with typical backup requirements and who want to put their backup data to work.

I hope this clears up things – thanks again for all of the overwhelming response on this topic, as well as for the interest in the new Nimble Secondary Flash Array.

Mike Harding | Microsoft Solutions Product Management
Hewlett Packard Enterprise
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