Thoughts on HPE’s Nimble Acquisition

It’s only a couple of months ago I was writing about the Simplivity acquisition and it seems HPE have been splashing the cash again, this time announcing the intention to purchase Nimble Storage.  I must say I really didn’t see this coming, so let’s take  a look at what Nimble are all about and what we might expect.

 Nimble

Founded in 2007, Nimble were one of the new breed of storage companies that grew up around flash.    They began offering hybrid arrays, later moving into all flash and recently announcing cloud based storage.

Tech start-ups are generally funded by investors whom seek a return on their investment, the two most common exit routes are an IPO or to get purchased. Nimble went down the IPO route and went public in 2013. Although it has not been a very successful flotation, as the company never regained its peak value seen in the first 6 months after going public. Hence we find ourselves in the somewhat less common scenario of going public and then being purchased. HPE have agreed to pay $12.5 per share giving a total valuation of $1.1 billion, second time lucky for Nimble.

 Tech

Unlike all flash Vendors such as SolidFire and Pure, Nimble took a bet on the future being in hybrid systems that contained a mixture of flash and spinning disk. Nimble’s architecture contained a flash layer for the acceleration of performance and spinning disk for capacity.  Nimble’s secret sauce was CASL, which stood for Cache Accelerated Sequential Layout and aimed to buffer and then optimise writes ready for spinning disk .  I have to say at the time I thought it was really neat, why would you want lots of expensive flash when a hybrid system plus CASL combined performance and capacity. Unfortunately for Nimble the price of flash dropped quicker than expected, companies saw the benefit of all flash and other vendors managed to use data reduction techniques that made flash viable.

 Nimble reacted to this by announcing a range of all flash systems last year.   Their systems feature the full suite of data reduction technologies (thin provisioning, dedupe, compression) and they also have QoS. Data mobility between Nimble’s all flash and Hybrid offerings is enabled via Unified Flash Fabric.

Key to the Nimble offering has been Infosight, this tool collects a significant amount of analytics from the system to ensure high availability and optimum performance. Originally name Proactive Wellness, Nimble advises that Infosight detects and resolves 90% of issues without the customer even knowing about it.  I can only assume the name change to Infosight was to reflect a product evolving beyond error detection, into one offering capacity planning and the ability to extend the predictive analytics beyond the storage array into vSphere.

 Recently Nimble have announced Nimble Cloud Volumes (NCV) which allow block storage to be presented to the cloud.  This block storage can be utilised in AWS and Azure, allowing mobility between the clouds plus richer data services. A NCV lives on a Nimble array managed by Nimble in their datacentre and is managed via a web interface. NCV are currently in beta.

 Thoughts

There is definitely some overlap between the existing midrange 3PAR and the Nimble systems. The strategy that plays out from here is going to be really interesting, it would seem logical that they would wish to minimise overlapping product lines to reduce costs so that development efforts can be focused.

 The press release emphasises the services surrounding the Nimble ecosystem, Nimble has class leading monitoring and analytics with its Infosight system.

Maybe we need to stop thinking about specific product lines and how Nimble product X will match up against 3Par product Y, and start thinking about IP and feature sets. Taking the key features from this new look storage line up reveals some key capabilities/features:

·       3PAR – ASIC, Thin Provisioning and virtualised storage, Scalable active active design

·       Simplivity –  Class leading dedupe/compression enabled via the OmniStack Accelerator Card plus data mobility

·        Nimble –  Class leading analytics and now cloud storage platform

This is quite some line up. The potential to combine these offerings and produce best in class products is going to Keep HPE’s developers busy.

Layering on top of this new tech portfolio a tool such as Synergy, to consolidate, orchestrate and dynamically re-composition the environment would allow a cloud like experience ideal for a company with ambitions to be the leader in hybrid cloud, I think  I see where this is going ………….

 

 

 

Domain Name Migration Experience

So the domain name change is done, 3ParDude is dead and d8taDude.com is alive. I almost died or at least shortened my lifespan in the process but the migration is complete and so far traffic levels look good.  I seem to have managed to avoid a Wall Street style crash or a Titanic style sinking in my SEO, so how did I do it?

What I actually wanted to do

My old blog had the domain 3Pardude.com I wanted to change to d8taDude.  I searched the web to find others that had done a similar thing and the results were limited, I was go to have to go it alone.

The bit before the start bit

I knew that this was a big job so I wanted to tackle it as you would a project a work and put in a fully written out plan before I even started. In the great history of corporate meetings I had a meeting about the meeting before I even started.  As it was just me this was a chance to use the meeting to do some planning.  The first thing I needed was a name new domain name, I knew I wanted to keep the Dude bit but wasn’t sure what to match it with. After much brain storming I came up with d8taDude.

First tip, when you think of your new domain name check that it’s available and the associated social media handle you want to use.  I like to keep my domain and social media handles as similar as similar as possible to keep the brand consistent.  You can use this neat website to check your chosen social media handle is available across all social media networks you need.

Also do a google search and have a sniff around to see what else is associate with your new domain name. I recently had a yoga teacher tell me the name of her website, I googled it and found it was also associated with an adult film star. Take your time with this bit, brand is key.

In summary in this beginning bit I brain stormed ideas, checked domain and social media availability, googled the new name to ensure it wasn’t associated with crazy shit.

Office 365

I have an office 365 setup, I have a filo fax too, and I am just a crazy business man really. It’s nice to have an e-mail address associated with your domain, you can manage all this through Exchange in office 365.

  • For WordPress add your new domain and DNS records as per this document.
  • Create mail new boxes for aliases you want info@ etc. Office 365 Admin, Exchange Admin Centre, shared mailbox.

SOCIAL MEDIA SETUP

BELCHATOW POLAND - MAY 02 2013: Modern white keyboard with colored social network buttons.

Even if you don’t intend to setup all your social media profiles grab the ID from the start before someone else does. Some of the main ones

  • LinkedIn – Create business page. Log into personal profile, interests companies, create page
  • Face Book create page. How to here
  • YouTube  – Create channel from this page
  • Instagram
  • Twitter
  • Google plus

If you are using WordPress.com setup publicize, this allows you to associate your social media accounts with WordPress. Any new posts will be sent to these social media accounts.

Mail Chimp

Creating e-mail subscribers list gives another option for how your readers may want to follow you.

  • Create subscriber list
  • Add members, if you have existing subscribers from another source
  • Create campaign RSS. If you add your RSS feed to an RSS campaign this will automatically send your posts to your mail subscribers when they are published
  • Create sign up form. You will need to create a subscription box to allow users to sign up for your mail list. You can do this from Lists, sign up forms, general forms design and setup and get URL

WORDPRESS.COM SETUP

Some general settings to apply to wordpress.com

  • Set new site to private so it is not visible while you are working on it
  • Set time and site title – General settings , site title, tagline, time zone
  • Check permalinks enabled and URL structure is the same as your source blog
  • Set author name and photo
  • Set social media sharing buttons. Users, my profile – Settings sharing social media buttons
  • Choose Theme
  • Complete site theme customization
  • Show tags on posts
  • Show category on posts
  • Show related posts. Settings, reading, enable
  • Enable mobile view fir theme. Appearance, mobile, enable

STAKEHOLDERS TO INFORM

stake-holders

It’s not all about the tech, don’t forget to inform your readers

  • Warn readers of change via social media
  • Warn social media followers of change
  • Inform companies you work closely with
  • Inform any sponsors

Get the new blog ready

  • Backup old blog ready for transfer
  • Import backup to new blog
  • Check through posts for formatting – do comments, tags, pictures etc. look OK
  • Import stats from old blog. WordPress can do this for you on WordPress.com
  • Copy followers to new site. WordPress can do this for you on WordPress.com
  • Export and import links (blogroll)
  • Add social media links to new site
  • Update static pages such as about, with updated information about the new blog
  • Add widgets you want such as top posts, recent posts
  • Update internal links. This is the really time consuming part.  Get a list of URL’s from the new site, then go through every posts updating to the new blog every time you reference on your own site.
  • Update your blog URL at any link or syndication sites
  • Request any key links to your blog are updated

SWITCH OVER

clover

The bit I really wanted to take my time over and get right as it was the main element that determined if I maintained SEO, I took hold of my lucky clover and was ready to proceed..  If you have an existing site that you have spent time and effort building up your SEO on you will want to do everything you can to preserve it.  I will detail the steps I went through specific to my migration but google produces a full guide on the process I would definitely recommend that you read that to ensure you don’t miss any steps relevant to your transfer.

  • You need to have completed all the steps above to get your new site ready
  • Ensure all internal links have already been updated as discussed previously
  • Check permalink structure matches between both sites
  • Change the new site visibility to public. Equivalent to changing robots.txt to allow /disallow search engine crawl on other sites
  • Verify the new site in the Google search console. Add all variants e.g. http://d8taDude.com, https://d8taDude.com, http://www.d8taDude.com, https://www.d8taDude.com
  • Add sitemap. For wordpress.com sites this is simply http://www.blogname.com/sitemap.xml
  • Check for broken links
  • Register site with other search engines such as Bing
  • Set your old site to private in WordPress.com to stop search engines from crawling it. Equivalent to removing robots.txt directives
  • To forward traffic from your old site to your new one you need to put in place a 301 redirect. This will automatically forward anyone landing at your old site to your new one, according to Google whilst preserving SEO.  You can redirect individual pages or at a domain level.  I redirected at the domain level so effectively all pages from the old site were redirected to the new site
  • In WordPress.com I implemented a 301 redirect by adding the old domain name to a list of domain searches. This guide shows how to transfer the domain and then to set the new one as primary.
  • Keep redirects in place for as long as possible. Indefinitely if possible.
  • Submit a change of address form in the Google search console
  • Register new site google analytics

POST TRANSFER

  • Check new site is accessible
  • Check old site redirects new. Try a number of different links to ensure 301 redirect is working
  • Try fetch as google and check its reporting a redirect
  • Check traffic at both sites
  • Check google search console for any errors
  • Check mobile theme works
  • Create a short post to check everything is working as expected and inform readers
  • Inform other stake holders of the move
  • Check post is sending to social media as expected

I talked about this whole experience with Eric Wright on his GC ON Demand Podcast check it out.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HPE Simplivity Models Revealed

A few weeks ago I covered the news that HPE had announced their intention to acquire hyper-converged outfit SimpliVity. Well HPE have wasted no time completing the acquisition and rolling out the first opportunity to bundle SimpliVity with HPE products.

The initial offering announced recently combines the SimpliVity software with the world’s bestselling server a HPE DL 380. The product is being snappily called a HPE SimpliVity 380 with OmniStack, those geniuses in marketing have really out done themselves this time. At least it has escaped the fate of being called a Store something and hopefully Nimble can as well when they join the product line up.

 

The SimpliVity offering is slightly different from the StoreVirtual VSA in that its component parts are not only software but software and hardware in the form of the OmniStack Accelerator Card. This PCIe based device enables caching, dedupe and compression and form a key part of the SimpliVity solution. From HPE’s point of view this prevents them from bundling the SimpliVity option with all servers like was possible with the VSA. It will be interesting to see in the future if you can add SimpliVity functionality post purchase with a software upgrade and installation of OmniStack Accelerator Card. I am sure someone from SimpliVity/HPE will shout if there are technical barriers to this.

 

Back to the recent announcement 3 models will be available at launch all based on the DL 380 servers platform and so will take on a 2U form factor. The new models will be all flash only and come in a small, medium and large models. The variance between the models is storage space and additional memory in the larger models to drive the VM’s and throughput.

 

This is in line with the current OmniCube and 3rd party modelling offerings from SimpliVity. What is different is that they are only available in all flash in the HPE form. It will be interesting to see if this is a strategic decision to go all flash only. The only other difference I could spot with the previous version was that the medium and large models will both run RAID 6 whereas previously it was just the largest model. This seems likely linked to the larger HD size 1.9TB seen in the HPE model v 1.6TB seen in the previous model.

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