Nimble Storage Connects Hybrid Array to Fibre Channel

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How the Data Center Will Grow Up in Three Years

Nimble Storage, a provider of hybrid arrays, this week announced that it has added Fibre Channel support to its CS-series arrays as part of an effort to replace traditional storage area networks (SANs) in those environments.

Radhika Krishnan, vice president of product marketing and alliances at Nimble Storage, says that more often than not, IT organizations decide to deploy a SAN using Fibre Channel because they have applications that are extremely performance sensitive. The CS-series gives those organizations the opportunity to replace SAN systems with an array that is not only faster, but also takes up significantly less space, says Krishnan.

To make an all-Flash array a more attractive alternative to existing SANs, Nimble Storage says the emergence of new magnetic and solid-state drives now allows it to provide 160TB of Flash per cluster, all of which IT organizations can centrally manage via a cloud service provided by Nimble Storage.

However, while Nimble Storage plans to support Fibre Channel, Krishnan says it’s unlikely that Nimble Storage will add support for Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE). From a performance perspective, Krishnan says FCoE doesn’t provide any benefit over iSCSI over Ethernet, so Nimble Storage is seeing little demand for FCoE, especially in data centers that already have Fibre Channel installed.

Most organizations are not going throw out their existing SAN investments. But as the terms and conditions for paying for that additional storage become more flexible, it’s clear that IT organizations have many more upgrade options at their disposal.