Tintri T850: Storage array demonstrates stiff upper lip under pressure

Watch out, performance hogs. This is NOT a contention-based model

Parting thoughts

I don't generally like storage arrays. In case anyone hadn't noticed, I rather like the hyperconverged approach to storage. This is mostly because I'm not a storage administrator by trade; I'm much closer to a virtualisation administrator and I prefer to shoo away pesky storage admins that cramp my style. (Companies don't make money resizing LUNs!)

Despite this, I like Tintri. It's simple. There aren't eleventy squillion little nerd knobs to twiddle that constantly make you feel like maybe there is a way to make it "more efficient". It's a box of storage. It goes fast. It is VM aware and deals with things on a VM (rather than LUN) basis. I'm entirely down with that.

The T850 has room for improvement, but I was unable to find major flaws or critical bugs. I have to agree with many of my enterprise systems administrator colleagues who have deployed these units: they are functionally "fire and forget".

They don't constantly nag you, they don't randomly fall over dead for no discernible reason, and their performance doesn't suddenly fall of a cliff.

Tintri T850 UI latency explainer

Neat UI element explains what is responsible for latency; click to embiggen

Tintri is the reliable family sedan (or minivan) that just keeps doing its thing, day in and day out. It isn't a drag racer or a flashy Ferrari, but neither is it trying to schlep the family to umpteen after-school events in a Smart car.

An all flash array will beat a Tintri in a number of tests. It will also cost rather a lot more. An all-magnetic array can be found that will provide you more storage for less money. It will also provide comparatively horrible performance.

Don't do high frequency trading on a Tintri. That's dumb. By the same token, you're not going to want to try to buy Facebook-class cold storage deep data farms on Tintri's offerings either. That's also dumb. In the fuzzy gray middle, however? Tintri does pretty well.

As always, test any potential storage solution for yourself before purchasing. Make sure that it's right for your workloads. Be warned, however: if you use legacy magnetic arrays to run your workloads today, you may not want to give Tintri its POC unit back when the trial is over.

The Tintri T850 I've had to work with is good enough to run business workloads. From SQL to Exchange to VDI to image rendering, and all of these at the same time. It degrades gracefully when at the redline.

Years of testing storage solutions have led me to believe this is a reasonably rare combination of features. Frequently advertised, rarely delivered. I, for one, am going to be sad when the T850 in my lab returns to the mothership. ®

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