Imagine for a moment that you are calling technical support for a traditional storage solution. You are first greeted by a customer service representative whose job is to take basic information about your problem at hand and forward it on to the appropriate technical support technician or engineer. The representative will ask for the usual product ID numbers, your name, contact information, and remind you of the expiration date of your current service contract. Once your customer profile is established, the barrage of questions begins:
- What software or firmware version are you running?
- Have you made any changes recently to the unit?
- Can you access the administrative console?
- Are there any lights flashing on the drives?
- Is your data currently available
Once these questions are answered, a brief interruption of one or two minutes occurs as your call is forwarded to the appropriate technical engineer. The first thing the technician requests is for you to pull a log from the unit. The technician then may ask you to email the log, at which point you have to carefully listen as the technician spells out their email address. Sometimes, the technician will email you a link for you to upload the log using some sort of secure FTP process. Once the log is in the hands of the engineer, he or she asks you to wait while they review the log.
You now have fifteen minutes of your precious time involved with this call. Perhaps the issue is simply a bad drive. You know it is a bad drive because of the amber light above it, the fact that the admin console says the drive is currently unavailable or unrecognized, and the fact that this identical problem has occurred several times before and your experience says you simply need a new drive. The engineer comes back on the line, confirms that the drive is bad, and begins the five to ten minute ordeal of processing a replacement drive.
Now perhaps since you knew the problem was simply a bad drive, you delayed the call by a day due to an involved deployment you were implementing that would add value to your company. Perhaps the issue was far more involved, and after an hour with Level 2 support, you were than upgraded to Level 3 support, which meant having to wait for a call back from the subsequent engineer.
Sound familiar? Up until recently, vendor technical support was always conducted this way.
How The Nimble Storage Experience is Different
You can forget all of this with Nimble Storage support. So how is Nimble different? Let’s start with the scenario of the hard drive failure. First off, you would have never placed the call in the first place. This is because Nimble support would already know about it before you did. When a drive fails, the event is immediately picked up and a ticket is opened. Nimble knows that it is a simple case of a failed drive because it can see everything about your array. A drive is shipped overnight and is ready for you to replace in the morning. This is standard protocol with Nimble because 90% of the time, Nimble tells you the problem before you are aware of it. It is an entirely new experience and in the rare times you do have to contact Nimble Technical Support you are not greeted by a customer service representative to discern what type of problem you are experiencing.
- Your call is instantly picked up by a Level 3 engineer. In fact, there is no Level 1 and 2 because there are no problems at those levels that you have to worry about. Nimble solves these problems before they are an issue.
- Nimble support will never ask you what version you are running. They already know.
- Nimble support will already know of any changes you may have made recently.
- Nimble support does not have to ask you to access the administrative console because they are constantly monitoring and addressing issues.
All of this is made possible by HPE InfoSight Predictive Analytics, which is integrated into Nimble’s storage solutions. Every Nimble storage array in the world sends machine data to InfoSight in the cloud thanks to the thousands of sensors that are located within the operating system of each and every Nimble storage unit. Nimble is not just about storage, it is about intelligence. This built in intelligence is what allows HPE InfoSight to actively monitor your storage environment, predicting most problems before they occur. When an issue is uncovered, HPE InfoSight proactively resolves it.
Nimble storage is not just a storage solution. It is a solution built around reducing risk, improving reliability, and maximizing the productivity of your infrastructure and IT personnel. For your company, it is a competitive advantage. For the IT manager, it just makes your job easier.
Next Steps: Learn more about the potential of software defined storage solutions by downloading our white paper, “Managing your Data with SDS.”