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Tintri takes on hybrid storage startup rivals with VM-eating array

Fifth-gen product ups capacity, performance, management

Hybrid storage upstart Tintri has just brought out fifth-generation hybrid arrays that support 75 per cent more virtual machines and come in a three-box line-up covering a wider range of needs than the two-box T600 model roster.

There are three main players in hybrid storage startup game at present: Tintri, Nimble Storage and Tegile – all racing each other to take the biggest bites out of the incumbent storage array suppliers such as EMC, Netapp, HP, IBM, Dell and HDS.

The three say their flash+disk arrays are faster and have better software than the incumbents' old and disk-based designs, while offering near all-flash array performance at far lower cost. The claim is that 99 per cent of IO will come from flash.

Tegile announced new all-flash products recently as it is attacking all-flash array vendors as well.

Tintri has always focused on providing storage for virtual machines (VMs) with management designed for VM administrators and not storage people. V3.0 of its OS in August this year added Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization support to its existing VMware integration.

Tintri's T600 series dual-controller VMstores came out in October 2013, using 4U rack shelves. The T620 had 13.5TB of usable capacity and supported up to 500 VMs. The more capable T650 had 33.5TB of usable capacity and supported up to 2,000 VMs. The three T800s use the same 4U enclosure and add up to a more powerful product set:

  • T820 - 10.5TB usable and 750 VMS supported, faster than previous T620,
  • T850 - 30TB usable and 2.000 VMs, equivalent to old T650,
  • T880 - to 45TB usable and 3,500 VMs, a new high-end.

The raw capacity details:

  • T820: 1.7TB flash and 20TB disk,
  • T850: 5.3TB flash and 52TB disk,
  • T880: 8.8TB flash and 78TB disk.

Two 10GbitE ports are used for data access on the T880 and T850, with 2 x 1GbitE on the T820 with optional 2 x 10GbitE. Tintri says a 42U rack can support up to 35,000 virtual machines, 1PB of usable capacity and up to 1.4 million IOPS.

Tintri OS v3.1 supports VMware vSphere 4.x and 5.x (NFS), Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization 3.3+ (NFS), and has a technology preview of Microsoft Hyper-V 2012 (SMB3). VMware and RHEV can co-exist on a single VMstore. Tintri's new OS software also integrates with vCenter SRM (Site Recovery Manager) for automated DR. SecureVM software can provide encryption for stored data using self-encrypting flash and disk drives.

There is a REST API for automating VM-level workflows with CTO and company founder Kieran Harty blogging that this is "a task which is highly manual for all other storage solutions".


Bezel quality - not even a speck to dislike.

Harty is proud of the new products, even down to the look of the box-front: "Even our new bezel exudes quality. We worked with design luminary, Speck, to prove that storage doesn’t have to be a black box" – or even a white box (heaven forfend), as it happens.

Get a VMstore T800 datasheet here [PDF]. List prices start at $74,000 and the products are available from Tintri's worldwide channel. ®

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