Welcome to NG-IT

NG-IT is a company dedicated to meet the data storage, management, and virtualisation needs of today’s business environment. Instead of taking legacy ideas, systems, processes and technologies, we deliver an exceptional experience around the understanding, design, deployment and management of data centre solutions.

We are able to provide our customers with a full end to end service, from assessment, design, implementation, testing, through to data migration, acceptance testing and support.


How SmartStack saves you money
Part 1 – Storage

Mr Scrooge is keen to understand exactly how SmartStack offers such exceptional value…..sometimes it seems too good to be true to get so much from so little. Today we will look at how the efficiency of the Nimble Storage array, which makes up the storage part of the converged infrastructure solution, helps reduce cost.

Use less hardware

Nimble Storage has architected a solution from the ground up that takes advantage of the strengths of SSDs and HDDs to provide a high performance storage array that is also able to provide high capacity at a very affordable cost.
If you could deliver better performance from high capacity, lower cost HDDs than with using lower capacity, higher cost SSDs, it will inevitably help in reducing the overall cost of the solution. The reason why Nimble Storage are able to do this is because they have developed a filesystem called CASL, which optimises write activity using high performance multi-core CPUs and RAM, to ‘prepare’ the data before sending them to disk.

By compressing the blocks of data, coalescing them into larger chunks and then writing them to HDDs in a sequential manner, Nimble can achieve over 125,000 write IOPs with sub-millisecond latency using only 12 NL-SAS HDDs – a feat that traditional vendors would suggest impossible since they are only able to achieve about 1000 IOPs using 12 HDDs with sub-20 millisecond latency.

CASL’s prep work drastically reduces the activity on HDDs, and uses them in the optimal way to get the best possible performance out of them; with IOPs instead being derived from the CPU in the controllers. By reducing the amount of disks we need, we drastically shrink the number of shelves and rack space required, helping to reduce storage footprint significantly when compared to legacy infrastructures. The added benefit of this of course is also a reduction in power and cooling.

Simplify Management

Reducing management complexity helps achieve cost savings in the longer term. Having a system that can be managed without requiring extensive training and hands-on experience, allows even IT generalists with limited storage knowledge to perform administrative duties.

Nimble Storage was designed to be easy to use and manage. We are not simply providing the administrator an intuitive interface to work with, but also removing any unnecessary and irrelevant tasks. With Nimble, there is no need to assign disks, create raid groups, balance, fine tune caching parameters, set individual protection policies or even lengthy software upgrade procedures. Everything that can be automated and removed from the administrator, has been. With Nimble, you simply carve out volumes from a single pool of capacity, present it to a host and start using the storage.



Automate Support

Nimble Storage took a good hard look at how vendors were providing support and quickly recognised there was much room for improvement. The topic of Nimble Support and Infosight is a large one and we have written about it in the past, but in summary, building a predictive cloud based analytics platform, sending up to 70 million pieces of telemetry from every deployed array in the world and using a team of dedicated Data Scientists to model all this data, brings with it a myriad of improvements to your traditional support model. The costs savings that result from this are:

  • Reduced annual support costs – Nimble’s annual support is much lower than competing solutions
  • Automatic Case Logging – Infosight automates case opening and closing so Nimble do not requires 1st or 2nd line case loggers. When you ring Nimble Support, you are through to a 3rd line highly technical consultant who can begin troubleshooting your issues immediately
  • Proactive Wellness – All the information your array sends daily is analysed by Infosight and any potential issues are automatically detected. By addressing issues before they become a problem, helps reduce the number of Nimble cases and support calls, and keeping the cost of support down



Add the Features

With lots of features built into the array, means a more efficient system that does not require additional components, devices or software to serve certain functions, helping reduce costs in your overall infrastructure.
For example, with snapshot backup, cloning and replication technology, this can address backup challenges and help to reduce costs associated with data protection, recovery and DR.
Another example is with built-in data encryption, there is no need to buy expensive self-encrypting disk drives, encryption appliances or key management devices…this is all managed by the array at no additional cost.

Make it Easily Scalable

Nimble is a fully scalable solution with the ability to expand capacity, cache or increase IOPs with no downtime. With the ability to scale capacity and performance independently, we avoid the need to rip and replace existing equipment, protecting your initial investment.
For example, a CS300 array can be upgraded from 30,000 to 100,000, IOPs simply by replacing the controllers (no downtime). This replacement is relatively low cost (try asking your current storage vendor for a 3 fold increase in performance and see what they quote you).



Drop the Licensing

With Nimble Storage, you will never get caught out with product licensing. Nimble don’t use licensing. All the features available to the array like, snapshots, cloning, replication, encryption, cache pinning, compression and so on, are all included and available for use.

In summary, Nimble Storage was designed to deliver high performance and capacity, agility, availability, features and simplicity from inception, achieving approx. 70% reduction in hardware with a 3x increase in performance, all of which contribute to a more efficient and affordable enterprise class storage device.

Want more information? Call us on 0844 502 7870 or email enquiries@smartstack.co.uk