A few years ago when all-flash arrays (AFAs) were still gaining momentum, newcomers like Nimbus Data appeared poised to take the storage world by storm. But as the big boys of storage (Dell, HDS, and HPE, among others,) entered the AFA market, Nimbus opted to retrench and rethink the value proposition of its all-flash arrays. Its latest AFA models, the ExaFlash D-Series, is one of the outcomes of that repositioning as these arrays answer the call of today’s hosting providers. These arrays deliver the high levels of availability, flexibility, performance, and storage density that they seek backed by one of the lowest cost per GB price points in the market.
To get a better handle on the changes that have occurred at Nimbus Data over the past few years and the AFA market in general, I spoke with its CEO and founder, Thomas Isakovich. As the predominant enterprise storage players entered the AFA market, Nimbus had to first quantify the ways in which its models differentiated themselves from the pack and then communicate that message to the market place.
In comparing its features to its competitors, it identified some areas where its products out shined the competition. Specifically, its models offered support for multiple different high performance storage network protocols, it had a much lower price point on a per/TB basis, and its all-flash D-Series (one of its four platforms) pack much more flash into a 4U rack unit than models from the largest AFA providers. Notably, the research in the DCIG Competitive Intelligence Portal backs up these claims as the chart below reveals.
DCIG Comparison of Key Nimbus ExaFlash D-Series to Large AFA Providers
Source: DCIG Competitive Intelligence Portal; Names of Competitive Models Available with Paid Subscription*
This analysis of its product feature helped Nimbus to refine and better articulate its go-to-market strategy. For instance, thanks to its scale-out design coupled with its very high performance and low cost point, Nimbus now primarily focuses its sales efforts on hyper-scalers that need AFAs with these specific attributes.
Nimbus finds its most success with cloud infrastructure companies as well as organizations in the life sciences, post-production, and financial services markets. Further, due to the size and specific needs of customers in these markets, it suspended sales through the channel and has switched to primarily relying on direct sales.
The conversation I had with its CEO revealed that Nimbus is alive and well in the AFA market and still innovating much as it did when it first arrived on the scene years ago. However, it is also clear that Nimbus has a much better grasp of its competitive advantages in the market place and has adapted its go-to market plan based upon that insight to ensure its near and long term success.