StorageMojo has said little about Nimbus Data, despite several briefings by CEO Thomas Isakovich over the years, due to skepticism about the company. Would you trust a company that lists one person as the management team?

But Nimbus has persevered despite StorageMojo’s inattention.

Mr. Isakovich has been a fixture in the storage arena since he started TrueSAN in late 90s. Nimbus has been in business since 2006, and Tom says the company is profitable. It better be, because it has no VC funding per se, listing 3 individual investors on the management page.

One is Ed Zschau, founder of Systems Industries, a successful storage company back in the 80s that focussed on add-on storage for minicomputers. Another is Dick Watts, who led ConvergeNet to an acquisition by Dell.

Tom recently said that the company is up to 50 employees. They’ve recently installed multiple 100TB systems – which may not sound like much, but this is flash at ≈$10/GB – and they list 200 customers on their web site.

Ebay has deployed a half petabyte of Nimbus Data. At another company they beat out a NetApp filer that not only had a flash cache, but also had SSDs instead of disk drives.

Nimbus started out with disk-based arrays, but has moved to all-flash media, including building their own SSDs for greater density, lower cost and higher performance. Their HALO OS supports iSCSI, SMB, NFS, Fibre Channel and Infiniband and offers replication, de-dup, encryption and snapshots.

Their newest product, Gemini promises 10 year endurance writing 1PB a week.

The StorageMojo take
While still mystified by a 1-man management “team” – who does the engineering and sales? – StorageMojo concludes that Tom has built a real company based on successful products and several unique decisions:

  • No VC funding – which Violin Memory has also avoided – is today a more common option since startup costs are so much lower than a decade ago. The big advantage is that you avoid the overhead of dealing with VC investors and having to deal with their business needs.
  • Building their own SSDs and array packaging. That flies in the face of the “volume begets lower costs” mantra of Intel and Pure Storage, but it looks like Nimbus has made it work for them.
  • No debt. No VC money and no debt = exceptional bootstrap startup. I don’t know what they’re doing for working capital – vendor financing? – but it seems to be working.

Nimbus Data: check ’em out.

Courteous comments welcome, of course. Anyone using their products care to comment on your experience?

Regrettably, Nimbus Data has never paid me for any work, but they are a sponsor of Tech Field Days that brings me and other blogger/analysts on junkets to (usually) Silicon Valley.