Press Releases

Demartek Validates Nimbus Data’s Industry-leading Flash Memory Performance and VMware Integration

SSD Deployment Guide Shows Nimbus’ Best-in-class Performance and VMware Storage API Support

South San Francisco, CA, April 25, 2012 – Nimbus Data Systems, Inc., the leader in intelligent flash memory storage systems, today announced that Demartek, a highly-regarded hands-on test lab for storage, has completed a comprehensive performance validation of Nimbus’ S-Class multiprotocol flash system. In the study, the Nimbus S-Class delivers nearly 8,000 MB per second, a record-setting accomplishment for a single flash memory storage system. The report also validates Nimbus’ support of VMware Storage APIs for Array Integration, formerly known as VAAI, including Hardware Acceleration APIs, Array Thin Provisioning APIs, and Automatic SSD Enablement. The exceptional performance and virtualization support shown in Demartek’s tests demonstrate Nimbus’ leadership in next-generation all-flash systems.

“Establishing new levels of performance is important for the industry, and establishing new unified flash memory storage technologies that have practical use in the real world is what is valuable to IT professionals struggling to meet user demands and budget realities,” said Dennis Martin, President of Demartek. “Solid-state memory solutions like Nimbus’ are affordable, high performance alternatives to adding hundreds of additional spindles of HDDs. Nimbus’ close integration with VMware and its storage-specific APIs will further help broaden the potential audience for flash memory technology and simplify deployment in virtualized environments.”

Industry-leading Multiprotocol Storage Performance

The Demartek SSD Deployment Guide confirms that Nimbus’ award winning S-Class flash memory systems deliver outstanding performance across a broad range of protocols, including 10 Gigabit Ethernet, Fibre Channel and InfiniBand. Demartek ran IOzone and TIObench, two prominent benchmark tools, against the Nimbus S-Class, performing individual tests at varying block sizes and combined tests over multiple protocols at the same time. In IOzone, just one Nimbus S-Class 2.5 TB system utilizing a dual-port QDR InfiniBand connection delivered near line-rate 7.6 GBps performance on reads and over 2 GBps on parity-protected (RAID 5/6) writes.

Purpose-built Non-blocking Architecture Fuels Record Performance

The uncached performance results demonstrate the inherent advantages of Nimbus’ proprietary non-blocking controller architecture. Unlike off-the-shelf storage enclosures and servers, Nimbus’ approach eliminates expanders and oversubscription that hinder legacy storage arrays modified with flash or all-flash arrays based on commodity servers. TIObench results, which take advantage of caching, show even higher performance, with multithreaded read operations bursting to over 20 GBps, an astonishing accomplishment for a single Nimbus S-Class system. This industry-leading speed sets a new bar for price/performance and energy/performance unmatched by legacy 15K RPM disk arrays or competing flash arrays.

Full VMware Storage API (VAAI) Integration

Demartek also validated Nimbus’ support of VMware’s Storage Hardware Acceleration APIs, including Full Copy, Block Zeroing, and Hardware-Assisted Locking. These storage array-specific features reduce the CPU and memory utilization of VMware hosts, increasing VM consolidation per host and reducing administration and licensing costs. Full Copy, also called copy offload, enables Nimbus systems to make full copies of data within the storage system without having the host read and write the data, accelerating operations like vMotion and reducing the network load when cloning and provisioning VMs from templates. Block Zeroing, also called write same, enables the Nimbus system to zero out a large number of blocks to provide newly allocated storage, increasing effective storage utilization and simplifying administration. Hardware-assisted locking, also called atomic test and set (ATS), enables the Nimbus systems to support sector-level, rather than LUN-level locking, enabling larger LUN sizes while improving storage performance, increasing VM consolidation, and simplifying administration.

Automatic SSD Enablement

Demartek also validated Nimbus’ support of Automatic SSD Enablement, a new feature in vSphere 5 that leverages the low latency of flash technology to improve VMware operations. Benefits include the ability to utilize Nimbus-based datastores as swap space and host cache for improved system performance. By automatically appearing as an “SSD Type” device, Nimbus datastores do not require manual SSD tagging, simplifying out-of-the-box administration. Nimbus is the only flash memory system in Demartek’s SSD Deployment Guide shown to support these capabilities.

“As demonstrated Demartek’s hands-on test results, a single Nimbus S-Class system can replace hundreds of 15K spinning disks, slashing power and operating costs while increasing VM density and storage performance dramatically,” stated Thomas Isakovich, CEO and founder of Nimbus. “The close VMware integration also demonstrates Nimbus’ commitment to solving the unique challenges faced by virtualization users by providing not just flash hardware, but an intelligent flash memory platform that works seamlessly with end-user applications and deployment scenarios.”

About the SSD Deployment Guide

The April 2012 SSD Deployment Guide released by Demartek is designed for managers and technical professionals within IT departments who are exploring the possible benefits of SSD technology or who are looking for actual deployment examples of SSD storage solutions. The Demartek SSD Deployment Guide is designed to provide basic information about SSDs and practical guidance for planning and deploying SSD technology and products. This is primarily a technical document, including information about the types of solid state media that are available, form factors, deployment examples, and more.

About Demartek

Demartek focuses on real-world, hands-on industry analysis and lab validation testing of server, network, storage and security technologies, for the small and medium business (SMB) environment and the large enterprise. With its own on-site test lab, Demartek provides lab validation reports and vendor-neutral product comparison research reports for software and infrastructure products.

About Nimbus Data Systems

Nimbus develops award-winning Sustainable Storage® systems, the most intelligent and efficient solid state storage platform engineered for server and desktop virtualization, databases, HPC, and next-generation cloud infrastructure. Combining low-latency flash memory hardware, comprehensive data management software, on-demand capacity scalability, and multiprotocol storage capabilities, Nimbus systems deliver up to 10x greater performance and 80% lower operating costs than conventional disk-based primary storage arrays, all at a comparable acquisition cost. Nimbus solutions are installed worldwide at the most demanding data-intensive corporations and government agencies. For more information, visit or follow Nimbus at