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Flash accelerates Nimble sales, not profits

Nimble Storage received a quick jolt from its All Flash arrays last quarter, as the platform drove larger deals and helped bring in bigger customers. The vendor continued to lose money, however, despite a 21% increase in revenue over last year.

Nimble’s revenue of $86.4 million exceeded its previous forecast for the quarter.  The vendor still lost $20 million in the quarter and CEO Suresh Vasudevan would not give an estimate when Nimble might approach profitability. Nimble ended the quarter with $203 million in cash. Nimble forecasted revenue in the range of $93 million to $96 million this quarter.

Nimble claims it added 55 all-flash array customers in the product’s first six weeks on the market. Vasudevan said all-flash sales made up 12% of Nimble’s array bookings in the quarter. He said 25 all-flash customers were new to Nimble. Overall, Nimble added 580 customers in the quarter.

Vasudevan said the deal size for all-flash arrays were around twice that of Nimble’s hybrid systems with flash and hard disk drives. He said the typical workloads for all-flash systems were virtual desktop storage, databases and other performance-intensive applications.

Vasudevan credited all-flash and Fibre Channel support introduced in 2014 for making Nimble more of an enterprise play. He said Nimble had a record quarter for deals over $250,000, with those deals making up 20% of its total revenue.

“What is interesting for us is that the number of larger enterprise opportunities we’re competing in is substantially higher than in the past,” he said. “The all-flash array has really moved the needle for us and it was a record level of contribution from the enterprise segment for us.”

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