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This content is part of the Awards: Best data storage products 2018: Products of the Year
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HPE Nimble Storage arrays

Our Products of the Year judges give HPE's all-flash arrays high marks for built-in analytics, automation, ease of use and price-to-performance balance for midmarket enterprises.

Gold winner in Storage magazine and SearchStorage's 2018 Products of the Year storage arrays category.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise acquired Nimble Storage in 2017, and the Nimble Storage arrays quickly became key pieces of HPE's product family.

HPE has expanded Nimble InfoSight predictive analytics into a broad infrastructure management platform. And upgrades to HPE Nimble Storage arrays have been impressive enough to earn the platform the gold medal in the storage array category.

Nimble arrays include all-flash and hybrid models. Nimble InfoSight automates Level 1 and Level 2 network support and glances across the stack to signal potential storage disruptions.

New features added in 2018 included support for NVMe and storage-class memory, a new 6 TB entry-level model and the ability to scale to 800 TB of capacity across a four-node cluster. HPE also made performance enhancements in its first major Nimble upgrade.

Our judges weren't necessarily blown away by the hardware of the HPE Nimble Storage arrays. According to HPE, both all-flash and hybrid Nimble models can achieve "single-controller performance" of about 450,000 IOPS in an active-standby controller architecture, with sub-millisecond latency.

What impressed judges most is the way Nimble Storage interweaves InfoSight to improve flash efficiency. One judge described Nimble InfoSight as an "incredible" tool to curtail manual administration for "ease of administration."

For redundancy, HPE Nimble Storage arrays guarantee 99.9999% of uptime. They can withstand three simultaneous drive failures without downtime or losing data, according to HPE.  For data protection, the arrays natively integrate triple-parity RAID, snapshot replication and encryption of data at rest and in flight.

Hybrid arrays start at roughly $60,000 for 6 TB of raw flash. All-flash customers can buy 11 TB of all-flash Nimble Storage for about $70,000. In addition to primary enterprise storage, HPE offers Nimble Storage HPE Cloud Volumes infrastructure with AWS and Microsoft Azure.

Our judges are a demanding group, and some pointed to potential weak spots in the Nimble storage platform. Although priced largely for midmarket enterprises, HPE Nimble Storage arrays lag against competitors integrating NAS functionality.

HPE Nimble Storage Flash Arrays
HPE Nimble Storage Flash Arrays include the AF-Series, providing primary storage for high-performance applications, and the HF-Series for secondary storage, and incorporate cloud-based InfoSight analytics, guaranteed 99.9999% of uptime and inline data deduplication.

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How do HPE's hybrid flash Nimble Storage arrays stack up to other flash systems?
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