Nimble Storage launches multi-cloud storage service for AWS and Azure

Nimble Cloud Volumes adapts Nimble’s technology so it can be delivered as a service, which the company believes will significantly expand their total addressable market.

Gavin Cohen, Nimble’s Vice President of Product and Solutions Marketing

Flash-focused Nimble Storage has announced Nimble Cloud Volumes, an enterprise-class multi-cloud storage service that runs applications in Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure.

“This is a very significant announcement,” said Gavin Cohen, Nimble’s Vice President of Product and Solutions Marketing. “Nimble Cloud Volumes is the first multi-Cloud enterprise grade service available for both AWS and Azure. Until now, our technology has only been available on-prem. But we have spent the last 18 months building this so that it can be delivered as an end-to-end service. Providing our first multi-cloud storage service makes all of our products cloud-ready, even for customers who purchased years ago.”

Nimble is emphasizing that Nimble Cloud Volumes provides both the enterprise grade durability and services needed in the market.

“Until now, cloud applications have been primarily new, born-in-the-cloud ones, but enterprises are now at the stage where they are considering moving their traditional core business applications to the cloud as well,” Cohen said. “The challenge has been with the block storage used in them, which is not enterprise grade, and is low durability. We deliver six nines (99.9999%) of measured storage availability. We are also a million times more durable than native cloud storage, which we think really makes us a sweet spot for systems of record.”

Cohen also emphasized that Nimble Cloud Volumes is a cloud built by Nimble.

“We’ve built our own cloud here, not just layering something on top of native AWS or Azure,” he said. “It offers block storage volumes which attach to EC2 or Azure, and are designed to be as simple to use as their native block storage – but with more scalability. No other vendor has done this. A couple of storage vendors have put their technology in the cloud. But this isn’t an array in the cloud. It delivers our storage technology as a pay-as-you-go service.”

Nimble Cloud Volumes also have a broader range of services than the native cloud.

“Enterprises are used to rich data services, which are essential for transactional workloads with significant storage requirements,” Cohen said. “The cloud lacks these services, like snapshots and clones. These services mean that you don’t have to do total data volumes to make a copy, so you are only paying for the data that changes. Our cloud also has InfoSight predictive analytics, and multi-cloud Flash Fabric. Native clouds also have limited visibility under the covers, and it’s hard to get data to the cloud, from one cloud to the other, or back on-prem. None of these are an issue with Nimble Cloud Volumes.” Cohen said that their cloud predictive analytics is “largely the same thing as the on-prem version from which it is taken.

Nimble says that their partners are excited about the new offering.

“We have talked to a lot of partners about this,” said Leonard Iventosch, Nimble’s Vice President of Worldwide Channels. “They have seen the move to the public cloud coming for several years, although it has been a little slower than the analysts predicted. This time, it’s for real, and partners are interested in knowing how to get their customers to public cloud.”

Iventosch said this offering has multiple advantages to partners.

Leonard Iventosch, Nimble’s Vice President of Worldwide Channels

“Our existing partners have their set of customers and this helps them maintain account control,” he said. “They know their strategy can’t be to continue to talk to staying on-prem, and most have already built out some type of cloud practice. But the public cloud until now has been like the Hotel California, where it’s difficult and expensive to get out. Nimble Cloud Volumes overcomes those problems and lets partners maintain their stickiness with the customer while adding consulting services around cloud migration services, public cloud managed services, and digital transformation. It also creates a strong margin opportunity based on recurring revenue.”

Iventosch also said they expect this to appeal to new types of partners.

“We are already partnered with cloud service providers, born in the cloud, and others have shown interest in partnering with us around this,” he said.

The offering is also expected to be popular in large enterprise accounts, strengthening Nimble there.

“We will approach our existing enterprise customers, who we believe will find this attractive,” Iventosch said. “We believe this will be attractive to partners with large scale enterprise accounts, and will give us better access to enterprise accounts controlled by the partner community. It’s a great new enterprise opportunity.

“This service fills a gap for us, and opens up our TAM by letting us talk to customers who have never considered Nimble before,” Cohen added.

Nimble Cloud Volumes starts at 10 cents per GB per month. It is in an extensive beta cycle now, 40 per cent of which are global 5000. A customer preview will be available in the U.S. in the current quarter. Additional regions, including Canada, will become available over the next six to 12 months.