I’m seriously thinking the recent announcement that Nimble Storage will support Fibre Channel might herald the birth of a new major primary storage player. And I seriously mean a major player… right up there with EMC, NetApp, HDS, HP…
How come? Isn’t the FC market flat?
Well, may be. But it’s still a huge-old market. And up until now it’s been one that Nimble simply doesn’t compete in. And so far, that’s been a good thing…………. well… at least for the likes of EMC, HP and HDS.
Nimble Storage – A Proper Storage Company
In my opinion, Nimble Storage are a proper storage company. But what do I mean by proper storage company?
Well…… it’s my opinion that they’re past being a risky start-up. They really look like they’ve got serious intentions of sticking around and making a go of it. They’ve got good tech and good people. And they’ve got a healthy growing install base.
Oh, and any time I write or tweet anything remotely critical of Nimble, I get fanboys leaping to their defence. And while I’m not a big *fan* of the fanboy thing, it shows that they have a pretty satisfied and loyal customer base. Not to mention the fact that a ton of their customers seem to trust the tech enough to upgrade it during prime-time business hours….
What Will This Mean?
The two things that immediately spring to mind are –
First up, this’ll open up a ton of doors for Nimble. I’ve worked at plenty of shops in the past that wouldn’t entertain the likes of Nimble purely because they didn’t have a Fibre Channel play. Well they’ve got that now. My only major question that I’m not quite sold on is scalability.
Second up, this isn’t good news for the likes of EMC, HP, HDS, Dell etc. Especially in the SME space. I think the really big enterprise shops still have a cultural problem where they feel safe (wrongly IMO) buying from the traditional safe houses of EMC, IBM, HDS etc. But outside of the really big enterprises, and definitely the SMB market, folks aren’t so scared of building on top of newer and potentially more innovative tech. So while I think Nimble have already made inroads into NetApp accounts, they’ve now got the missing piece that will allow them to start eating into EMC, HP, HDS accounts…
I am seriously wondering whether this might be the start of something huge for Nimble – kinda like the caterpillar coming out of the cocoon. This could be of 3PAR proportions.
Speaking of 3PAR…… while Nimble have been adding FC, last I looked 3PAR still doesn’t do proper multi-protocol…..