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Nimble Storage – The life of a failed disk

Today I found out a disk had failed in a production SAN. Oh no!!!


But like previous experiences, this is different. And my support experience is pretty darn good. So I thought lets write this up. Because you always here about the terrible failures and pain in the arse experiences, never the good.

Note:  This post is about the support experience, but it must be noted, there was performance or end user impact during this failure either!

The notifications

So the first notification came in, telling me the disk was unhealthy and that it was being inspected by the array, the main thing is;

  • Informed me of the issue
  • Informed me of the actions

Nimble Storage Disk failed Notification 1

Second notification, confirmation the RAID was in a degraded state.

Nimble Storage Disk failed Notification 2

Third notification,  confirmation the disk had failed.

Nimble Storage Disk failed Notification 2

The support call

Or rather the lack of support call, I logged onto Nimble Infosight. Looked at support section, and I could see a call was already open, and there was an awaiting action for the customer to confirm the delivery address of the hard drive (you can pre-define this so its just auto-shipped, or have support confirm with yourself first, we have the latter set).

Nimble Storage Disk failed Infosight Auto Support 1

Below is the update from a Nimble engineer, asking to confirm the delivery details, and also spotting another issue, my array is not sending performance data to Nimble! I’ll have to find out who has changed the firewall settings recently…..

Nimble Storage Disk failed Infosight Auto Support 2

How easy was that?

No uploading logs, or pulling it out and re-inserting etc, just a disk replacement, and if you want to see how easy it is for the array to use the new disk, see this blog post.

This is one of the reasons why I evangelize for Nimble Storage, they are certainly one of the best vendors to deal with, and its the fact their built a company around providing first class support to their customers. Their arrays in terms of usability and performance are brilliant, but its everything else outside of what those disks do that makes Nimble Storage my go to storage vendor. And when you go on community forums such as Reddit, and look at the feedback, you find that its not just me who says this!


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