HPE Nimble Storage Secondary Flash Array (SFA) Optimized For Capacity And Performance


HPE’s release of HPE Nimble Storage Secondary Flash Array (SFA) last May put backup and copy data management front and center in the storage conversation. The HPE Nimble Storage SFA leverages the backups you are already storing to perform QA, analytics, and development/testing. The SF-series’ focus on capacity, flash, disk, and IOPS means both capacity and performance enable extended offerings that increase workload possibilities. Basically, you can store more and do more with it.

We’ll examine the specs, dive into the increased capabilities, and consider how HPE Nimble Storage Secondary Flash Array, when implemented strategically, can integrate disaster recovery, backup, and secondary storage workloads in one device.

HPE Nimble Storage Secondary Flash Array (SFA) Overview


nimble secondary flash arrayThe HPE Nimble Storage Predictive Cloud Platform is an attempt to solve the app-data gap. Diving deep into the challenges with backups and secondary storage, Nimble identifies the struggles you are likely facing with your secondary storage tools:


  • Slow backups
  • Slow restores
  • Wasted data backup utilization
  • Lack of expertise
  • Lack of data center space
  • Growing maintenance expenses


Backups are not just meant to sit and wait for a disaster. Your backups are copies of your most valuable information, and that data can be used to perform analytics and support business strategy. HPE Nimble Storage SFAs put the data to work. When you get more value from your backups – through development and testing, QA, reporting, analytics, etc. – you meet the emerging needs of your business. Since it combines flash performance with built-in inline deduplication and compression, you get more use from the device capacity.  

nimble secondary flash storage

The SF-series is optimized for data protection and secondary storage workloads. SFA’s flash-enabled architecture delivers fast flash backup and restores. This speed translates to testing and verification, which is vital to any successful disaster recovery plan.

nimble secondary flash arrayIf you haven’t already, be sure to create a data backup policy for your disaster recovery plan. You can use the Mindsight data backup policy template or create your own. Just be sure to clearly state who is responsible for what and identify the backup schedule; policies for security, access, and transportation; testing and verification schedule; and data recovery and restoration request procedures.

As a data lifecycle management tool, the HPE Nimble Storage Secondary Flash Array series provides an easy path to cloud archival processes. Accessing, copying, restoring, and utilizing your information – access files, applications, entire systems – is quick and easy. Better yet, there is no compromise in performance.


SF Series SF100 and SF300 Specs

nimble storage secondary flash array


Check out the full data sheet from HPE Nimble Storage.

The HPE Nimble Storage SFA models, the SF100 and SF300, use a hybrid flash and disk array set-up. HPE describes the SF-series as capacity-optimized, and asserts that SF Series models “consist of up to 21 HDD drives and 3 DFCs (holding up to 6 SSDs)”. DFC stands for Dual Flash Carrier; these 2TB disk drives enable the HPE Nimble Storage SFAs to optimize storage and workload capacity.

Expansion shelves are available for both the SF100 and the SF300. Plus, both models are scalable to any SF model.


Want to see how HPE Nimble SFAs might work for you? Mindsight solution architects can provide a live simulation of the SFA for your organization. Contact us to schedule your demo today. 


Get A Free Nimble SFA Demo

Put Your Data To Work: Key HPE Nimble Storage SFA Difference

nimble secondary flash storage

HPE claims Nimble Storage Secondary Flash Array can “put your backup data to work.” What exactly do they mean?

The key to HPE Nimble’s success with SFA is that it puts Flash into your backup target. This enables additional functionality with Veeam (and, HPE Nimble notes, other vendors in the near future) by combining SF-series arrays with data protection software. It simplifies data management, offers a validated design, and works with both Nimble primary or non-Nimble primary storage.


  1. Optimized for Performance and Capacity

Flash-enabled architecture brings peace of mind with disaster recovery and backups. SFA delivers fast restores, tests, and verifications of backups. Plus, inline deduplication reduces data by a factor of up to 8:1. That means your data costs less to store, and you can use it more effectively to manage storage and recovery.

  1. Live Mount Production Workloads

You can run workloads at full speed on the SFA and restore in parallel. Eliminating backup and restore windows is a huge benefit of Nimble’s SFA.

  1. Storage Agnostic

Whatever primary storage array you use, HPE Nimble Storage SF-Series Array models can integrate as a backup target. If you already use Nimble storage, the Nimble-to-Nimble backup uses a multicloud flash fabric to “scale to thousands of instant, zero-impact snapshot backups.”

  1. One Device

Backups, disaster recovery, and secondary storage converge in the SFA, enabling you to use a single device to both support data protection and perform analytics, development and testing, reporting, and QA.


Secondary storage is how agile businesses leverage their older backups to help build business strategy. HPE Nimble Storage Secondary Flash Array models continue to disrupt the industry, providing fast flash storage options that offer a unique combination of capacity and performance.

Mindsight’s expert team of engineers and solutions’ architects are ready to help you implement HPE Nimble’s SF-series models into your current backup plan. Great technology is only as good as your plan. Mindsight’s team works with yours to develop a roadmap that integrates your disaster recovery and backup plan.


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