back to article Best be Nimble, best be quick. You're out of a job at HPE – and that's sh*t

We are hearing that Nimble staff, no longer needed by Hewlett Packard Enterprise following its acquisition of the storage biz, are being laid off – up to a hundred of them. HPE bought Nimble for $1.2bn in March, and a fairly obvious way of making synergies in the acquisition playbook is to absorb Nimble's engineering …

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Mushroom

Human resources

What do you do with resources? You consume them.

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Re: Human resources

Then shit them out.

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Re: Human resources

"What do you do with resources? You consume them."

Welcome to life in the natural world, precious little snowflakes. Consume or be consumed.

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Mushroom

Used to recommend Nimble

Not any more. HPE will just do what they always do. Strip the tech, throw it in to a sub-par product made in cut rate style, charge more than it is worth and not support it worth a darn. Nimble was a great company with great products and wonderful support.

RIP Nimble

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Re: Used to recommend Nimble

Your post could have changed HPE for .... say Microsoft and it would have made just as much sense... Perfect sense.

What is it with these companies that fart around with good stuff they buy and make crap that they then release on us.

I honestly don't know of even on tech giant that digests other companies very well.

Oh well, the Nimble bosses are probably sitting on some tropical island right now counting their lucre so what do the care eh?

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Re: Used to recommend Nimble

This is because M&A == R&D for big companies. Why risk losing money on R&D when VCs throw money at startups with good ideas?

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Anonymous Coward

Humans are not resources, that's insultingly arrogant management speak; it's really no different than calling humans cattle, which is how the degenerate 'elites' appear to view us! These takeover are not healthy and effectively funded by fraudulent money.

It's about bloody time that (perpetual) corporations were all seen as zombie abominations serving parasitic rentiers, supported by corrupt government license and fraudulent money from private bankster central banks, so should be deleted along with central banks and the huge cancerous growths on governments.

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Bronze badge

Your objection has been duly noted, now get back to your slaughter pen.

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Anonymous Coward

I am not an HP booster but have to disagree. In storage HPE typically makes the products they acquire better over the first few years and they retain and pay the engineers. The problems come 4 - 5 years later when key engineers leave. Examples - EVA got better, and 3Par got better. 3par added ssd/flash, online migration and went from a $100k minimum per box to as low as $25ka d went to channel etc. It was pretty much just a service provider box when they bought it. Now, later on the **** hit the fan when the engineers left and the box got older. Both EVA and 3par hit quality problems later and when they were shipping a lot of them. Nimble is a nice product but not perfect. Infosight is great and that whole secondary live copy thing is cool but Nimble is relatively slow and lacks some key features. I expect HPE will plug the gaps and speed it up; they just need to keep the engineers long enough.

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JRW

Slow Like a Sports Car

"Nimble is relatively slow"

John from Nimble here.

An AF9000 will delivery 300K random 4K IOPS on a 70/30 read/write split with all data services enabled and at consistent <1ms latency. IMO This is fast enough for most workloads. If you need more up to four may be clustered together and administered like a single array.

My thoughts on the acquisition are posted here:

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/brand-new-start-john-winney

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Re: Slow Like a Sports Car

Yes 300k is relativly slow and whatabout bandwith?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Slow Like a Sports Car

Ok .. so 4k iosz. Who uses 4k io? the majority of what I see is 64k IO SQL Exchange etc. Backups do 250k to 500k and higher.

So lets do some math. 64/4=16 300k/16 18.75K IOPS for a real world workload. So wouldnt that be 1.2GB a sec? My math could be wrong. I didnt check it and wrote this quickly. 300kx4=1200000/1000=1200 or 1.2GB a sec right? I dont know anything about nimble. But I know a little about storage. How many disks, what type, how many iops can they handle, how much cache do the controllers have, what type of front end host ports are you using and how fast are they?

4k iops can usually be handled better with lower end storage than higher end from my experience. The higher end arrays have to wait for enough data to actually hit them. Just my two cents.

Pretty crappy tho laying off folks. I think they could have benefited from some extra people who know what they are doing.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Slow Like a Sports Car

multiply 300k by 4k and you get 1.2GB.

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JRW

Re: Slow Like a Sports Car

John from Nimble back

I used 4K numbers because it is the one the storage industry tends to publish. One of the many brilliant things InfoSight does for Nimble customers is let them understand (if they are interested) exactly what every application and volume is doing in terms of IOPS. I do see a lot of small IOPS out in the field (8K and below). InfoSight lets the whole customer base benefit from the hundreds of billions of data points it ingests everyday.

Dr Adamson's blog here gives an idea of the type of data science Nimble does about IO sizes. He definitely understands it better than I do.

https://www.nimblestorage.com/blog/busting-the-myth-of-storage-block-size/

I would say if a 'higher end' array is handling IOPS less well than a 'lower end' array then there is something wrong with the 'high end' array. I've worked with XP and 8 node 3PARs and particularly in all flash configuration they can support numbers of IOPS well above the million+ IOPS of a Nimble cluster. That said, most storage users don't need >1m IOPS.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Slow Like a Sports Car

(caveat - I work for a company that evaluates, positions and sells multiple storage products and brands)

So basically, it's just as fast as any other array with flash drives in it and customers are enamoured with the product because they haven't seen demos of other hybrid or all-flash solutions other than this and their mental standard is the 5 year old clunky spinning drive-laden SAN in the back of their data centre.

There's nothing special about Nimble. Good brand. Novel for the hybrid phase a few years ago, but I can get more for my money from a price-performance POV from other brands out there.

I believe that HPE bought the brand for its name and installed base, more than the IP in the technology. It will sell because of the wide expanse of HPE resellers, despite the tarnished HPE brand.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Slow Like a Sports Car

I firmly believe the only reason HPE bought Nimble wasn't for the arrays or even the install base, it was for InfoSight. For $1 billion they got several years worth of storage metrics from many many customers, and also the analytics platform itself.

If it hadn't been for InfoSight, I don't think HPE would have bought them. And even with InfoSight, nobody else wanted Nimble. Recall the SEC filing that said they approached a few other companies about an acquisition, and none of them resulted in another offer. HPE was the only one.

It's an interesting cautionary tale to other young storage companies. You think your IP might be in your storage product, but if all you're doing is building a better mousetrap (yawn), you better have another ace up your sleeves. I bet Nimble didn't build InfoSight for that purpose, but it's a damn good thing for them they did.

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I am not a resource!

I detest the term "human resources". It reduces humans to the same status as a lump of iron ore.

Which is about what modern corporations think of us.

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Gimp

Re: I am not a resource!

I detest the term "human resources". It reduces humans to the same status as a lump of iron ore.

Would that they thought that highly of us; Iron ore is valuable, Human talent .... not so much

Gimp mask: as that is all we are to them :(

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I am not a resource!

'Human Remains' is the correct department title...

And in less than 20-years one of the longest established technology firms with what was once regarded as one of the best companies to work for with one of the best cultures has been completely destroyed and is now circling the drain.

What an insult to the memories of Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard, those two brilliant engineers.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I am not a resource!

Then there's "employees are our most valuable asset". Which makes perfect sense when you remember what big dumb corporations do with assets:

1. wring every bit of use out of them

2. depreciate their book value on a fixed schedule

3. write them off and into the bin

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Unhappy

Re: I am not a resource!

Hewlett and Packard wanted to make the best quality engineering kit possible. It was costly but generally worth it if you could afford it.

When I visited a large HP facility around 1999 or so I asked about their quality assurance testing. Once the laughter subsided I was told: "If it powers on, it ships!"

I think I also vaguely recall a time when employers saw critical minded, skilled employees as a valuable resource. By the 1990s they were a disposable asset. Now they're just a cost to be cut.

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Bronze badge

They fired the wrong people

Having been on the inside one of HPEs major problems it that their Marketing and Sales is among the most incompetent group of 4$$ clowns I've seen. But then again, not my circus not my monkeys (any more)

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Anonymous Coward

knowing HPE, and given the current state of the company, Meg's gonna transfer as much work to India as she can, fire all the experienced Nimble support folks and replace them with new Latin American employees who get scripted answers to give to customers while asking for lots of debug output and constantly requesting firmware updates because for sure the latest patch will fix all the customer's problems. Finally, the sales team will be replaced with fresh college graduates and while Nimble R&D won't be able to buy a paper-clip, the newbie sales folks will get catered sushi every week.

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They can order a paperclip providing they create a product order code for it....

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Anonymous Coward

Sounds like a disgruntled R&D person at the former EDS headquarters.

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Silver badge

American Pie is now stuck in my head, but I must say, spectacular headline.

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FAIL

HPE fail

Nimble storage is really good, but if HP"E" does to it what they did to 3PAR... oy.

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Re: HPE fail

You mean make it it+s most sold midrange array in the world?

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I was an HP customer in the 90's, defining and authorizing 8 digit purchases from them year after year. I decided to get into the provider side as Carly the Destroyer arrived.

Later, my employer was acquired by Mischief Mark and suffered the same fate as the other heads on Mark's den wall. Acquired with no strategy, instead of integrating with HP, just picked over for parts, and then cast aside by the mentally diminished Aunt Meg.

HP is what Rolls Royce would be if Trabant had bought them.

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