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5 Questions You Know You’ve Wanted to Ask

A recent study by managed services vendor Adapt revealed that 61 percent of people attending the Cloud Computing Form claim to be familiar with the concept of SDDC but were unclear when explaining its benefits. That’s not surprising considering the conversations that we have daily with customers and prospects covering everything from SDDC to virtualization to storage. Knowing there’s quite a bit of confusion in the marketplace, we wanted to set the record straight on some key topics. With that, I present five of the most popular questions we get from our prospects and customers.

Question 1: Over 180k IOPS on an OOTB 1U NIMBOXX system, really?

It’s true, but I understand why people would ask.  I have seen other vendors promote much smaller numbers (less than 20k). Let’s first look at how we achieved those numbers and then why NIMBOXX is able to get such high performance.

The how:

We tested this on six Windows 2008 Server VMs (Window desktop OS’s limit max I/O) with IOmeter, which is a 3rd party standard I/O benchmarking tool that is freely available. On each W2K8 VM we installed IOmeter, configured it to run 50 parallel threads on each VM. We also set it to run large reads and writes, small reads and writes, and random reads and writes (If you are familiar with IOmeter this was 50 workers all set to run the “all-in-one” test). With both the most realistic test (massive parallel usage), and the most difficult (random reads and writes of different sizes), this puts the most strain on any storage system.

The why:

We can achieve this performance between a combination of hardware and software optimizations. On the hardware side we have a three-tiered storage system with memory, solid-state drives and spinning disks. Keep in mind though; NIMBOXX is a software company using commodity hardware. What differentiates our technology is the software layer - this is proven by our 180K IOPS being faster than the SSD manufacturers advertise for max throughput. We're actually accelerating I/O with our software innovations.

I know IOPs are not the be-all, end-all of anything. So forget the number. Our pilot customers saw 10x performance gains in applications like SQL, Oracle and Splunk. At the least this is a strong indication of a performance mismatch.

Still skeptical? Email me at [email protected] and I will be happy to set you up with a pilot system so you can see the IOPS in your own data center.

Question 2: How long does it take to deploy?

Less than 10 minutes soup to nuts.  Working with Spiceworks, we did a SpicePanel where we sent 20 pilot NIMBOXX systems to customers around North America. They received the NIMBOXX system in the mail with only a 1 page, 5 step quick start guide (who needs documentation, right?). We asked them to rack the NIMBOXX system, start a timer and deploy it. All of them finished in less than 10 minutes and most of them were done in less than 7. Every pilot customer has been able to do a soup to nuts deployment, with limited documentation and out of the box optimizations for crazy performance in less than 10 minutes.

Question 3: What is your minimum deployment size? How do you scale that?

Our minimum deployment size is a 1U standalone NIMBOXX system. We scale 1U at a time from one NIMBOXX system to the hundreds.

This is why we call ourselves the atomic unit of the SDDC. It's the smallest unit (a single 1U node) that has the characteristics of a software-defined data center.

Question 4: How much do I need to know about KVM?

Nothing. Nada. Zilch. The only reason we mention KVM is so you know we have an industry tested and proven solution. Google, HP, IBM and Rackspace all use KVM in their public clouds.

We used a tried and true open-source technology, but instead of having you do it yourself on the implementation, we built a full end-to-end solution around it. You could use NIMBOXX for years and never know we embedded KVM.

Question 5: What are the hardware specs on a NIMBOXX system?

I get asked this often, and for completeness I will answer it below, but comparing our specs to a server with similar specs is not an apples-to-apples comparison. NIMBOXX is a software company.  We take commodity hardware (margins run in the pennies) and pass that savings to our customers with our software loaded on there. It’s is our software, not hardware that makes us special. The sum performance of a NIMBOXX system is far greater than the aggregate of our hardware components.

Out entry level system comes with:

  • CPU: 2x 2.1 GHz hyper threaded 6 core processor
  • RAM: 64 GB
  • Hard Disk Storage: 6x 600 GB SAS Drives (10K)
  • Solid State Drives: 2x 240 GB

Of course I’m sure there are plenty more questions you’d love to ask, so email me at [email protected] and we’ll get you squared away. 

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By David Cauthron

David Cauthron is founder and CTO at NIMBOXX, responsible for product direction and delivery. David is a seasoned technologist with recognized expertise in information technology, telecommunications and datacenter integration. Prior to founding NIMBOXX, David was chief technology officer at Galactic Computing Corporation where he was responsible for the technical and architectural vision of the supercomputer manufacturer. He has also held key development roles at Neutility, Inc. and Chainworks, Inc.

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