Nimble achieves 287% ROI and average annual benefit of over $13.6 million with Vertica


Challenge: As Nimble Storage expanded, they sought to move off their previous database solution to a product that was also more scalable and more robust. They had been using the open-source object-relational database system PostgreSQL. While PostgreSQL is scalable to the multiple terabyte level, Nimble Storage found that it would be a complicated endeavor and preferred a solution that had more flexibility and back-end support.


The company evaluated a few options other than Vertica Analytics Platform such as Hadoop, another open-source system like PostgreSQL, but only seriously investigated Vertica Analytics because they saw that it filled in all the gaps from their previous solution while greatly exceeding their prior analytics capabilities. One additional benefit of Vertica Analytics Platform over other solutions was the flexibility of node scaling, allowing for extra nodes to be added without downtime.

Nimble Storage started their deployment in 2014 and gradually expanded their number of licenses with Vertica Analytics Platform as they and their customer base grew. They doubled their number of subscriptions in 2015 and increased by a similar amount the year after that.


  • Avoided support engineers hires. Due to the increased functionality of Vertica Analytics, the support engineer team is now able to take on three times the amount of work than had they scaled their past solution, leading to a large number of avoided hires as the company grew. Given the high cost of these employees, this was the biggest benefit that the company saw.
  • Reduced hardware costs. Although Nimble Storage is a storage company, they do still benefit from the greater data compression from Vertica Analytics, as much as five times that of their previous system. This allows for a reduction in the amount of new hardware needed as their data ingest increases.
  • Employee productivity. Both data scientists and analysts benefit from faster analytics queries and more automated processes within the DevOps cycle. Prior to using Vertica Analytics, for example, data would have to be queried and then reinserted into temporary tables. Depending on the analytics job, they have reduced query times by between 50 to 83 percent.
  • Reduced support cases. With Vertica Analytics, Nimble Storage is able to close 86 percent of support cases automatically. The support team now needs to make 19 percent fewer calls each year, again leading to avoided hires as the company grows. Much of this stems from the predictive analytics that help the company be proactive when problems are likely to occur and can help advise customers on CPU sizing.
  • Improved sales cycle. The company reported that simplicity of operation and the InfoSight analytics feature based on the Vertica Analytics Platform was the primary win-reason when closing Nimble Storage sales deals. With a sales team of hundreds of members, this boost to their sales cycle had a big impact on increasing revenue.