Thursday, September 3, 2015

“Nothing is trivial”: The Unsung Heroes of Nimble Storage OS 2.3.4

Here’s a bit of movie trivia, name the movie with this quote:  “Nothing is trivial”

Nimble Storage recently released their latest operating system, 2.3.4, to the masses and I have to say, I’m very happy with the subtleties they baked into their interface.  I’ve always been a fan of looking beyond the major features, past the ‘industry disruptive’ tech, and finding the little nuances that make your life easier without you even noticing.  I’d like to highlight a couple of these features that I’ve come to appreciate with the latest Nimble update.

First of the two features is a simple search box:

Some might not even notice, some may have noticed and just shrugged thinking, “I only have 10 Volumes, no need to search.”  Trust me on this; you will be doing yourself a disservice by overlooking this feature.  Type in a letter, just one character, and you’re immediately returned categorized results containing that character.  Volumes, Users, Initiator Groups, just about every object is searched and returned in the results immediately.  This may not seem valuable unless you have a large number of volumes in your Nimble Group. I tend to agree with you on this, but think for a moment about a recent VMware feature, Virtual Volumes.  Once implemented, this will create a Nimble Volume for each VM file associated with the virtual machine (vmdk, vmx, vswp, etc.).  This means you can say goodbye to your handful of Volumes and welcome a much longer list of Volumes in your Group.  The benefit of VVOLs is for another blog series, but it’s not going away.  Starting to see the value of this Search feature?

The second feature is more subtle.  It’s a Hotfix checker built into the Nimble Windows Toolkit.  This is compatible with Windows Server 2008R2 SP1 onwards and checks for recommended storage stack hotfixes prior to installing the NWT.  If you’ve installed previous versions of NWT, then you may be familiar with the recommended hotfixes - it’s a pretty extensive list.  In addition to the initial checker, a hotfix monitor service is setup that will continue to validate the presence of hotfixes on every reboot.  You can imagine this will be updated to check for new hotfixes as they’re needed.

Seeing these included with the latest release from Nimble brought that movie quote to mind.  Any guess on the movie?  Need a hint?  Here’s the full quote from the movie:

“It’s funny, little things used to mean so much to Shelly.  I used to think they were kind of trivial, believe me, nothing is trivial.”

Sometimes I think there’s so much noise and so many buzzwords created in our industry that the little things go unappreciated.  So, what are you favorite subtle features?  What ‘small’ feature would you like to take from one product and put into another to make it better?

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