Among the advantages of cloud storage are that you only pay for what you use, and if you need more space you simply pay for more. Wouldn't it be convenient if on-premises storage was available the same way?
That's the premise of Nimble's storage on demand service.
Nimble installs its Adaptive Flash storage systems for customers, and then bills them monthly according to the number of gigabytes actually used. It's that simple: use more, pay more; use less, pay less.
The storage on demand plans come in four tiers, allowing customers to balance performance, capacity and cost.
How much does it cost? You'll have to ask the company, because it won't tell us the prices. All a spokesperson would say was that it's "cents per gigabyte per month." You wouldn't expect it to be dollars a gigabyte, as HP can supply a flash array outright for less than US$2 a gigabyte.
A feature of Nimble's platform is the way the storage arrays 'phone home' with data about usage and performance for support purposes, so the company has the insight required to ship extra drives to the customer before they are needed to store additional data or maintain performance.
The company aims to ensure that the customer has at least 10% free space.
"Storage-on-Demand provides enterprises and service providers with a flexible, efficient and high-performance solution that enables them to build and leverage the benefits and cost-savings of the cloud," said Nimble senior director of strategy and market development Gavin Cohen.
"Long-term contracts leave customers with obsolete technology and empty wallets. We want customers to have the peace of mind in knowing that they are only paying for what they use and can grow and shrink capacity at any time as their business requirements change."
In related news, Nimble has announced OpenStack integration, with support for Cinder storage, Nova compute, and Glance image repository services.
"The Nimble Storage Adaptive Flash platform provides us with all the flexibility and performance we require in a very small data center footprint," said Yahoo! Japan senior manager Takuya Ito.
"By utilising Nimble's OpenStack Cinder driver we have been able to leverage Nimble's advanced functionality including the creation and provisioning of space efficient snapshots and volume clones."