How has it helped my organization?
We have 300 virtual desktops running on VMware Horizon. While many VDI deployments (like call centers) are able to take advantage of non-persistent desktops, licensing and other application issues forced us to use more IO-intensive persistent desktops. The T650 allowed us to cost-efficiently provide very high performing desktops by optimizing the use of Flash. We're currently using 19 TB of storage space for the desktops, but their optimization has consistently given us a 100% flash-hit ratio.
What is most valuable?
For my company, Tintri's most valuable feature is it's TCO. This system is easy to install, requires no training, and is easy to upgrade. I've worked on both EMC and NetApp SANs, and this is by far the easiest system to maintain. As a SysAdmin, I really appreciate the built-in monitoring capabilities as well as the PowerShell and REST API toolkits.
What needs improvement?
I would love to see improvements in their replication engine. Their current replication is really just enough to "check the box" that they do replication. We'll probably implement Actifio, Zerto or EMC RecoverPoint for VMs for more critical data replication.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
We've had no problems at all with stability. At this point, we've done several upgrades of the system which uses the High Availability features to restart each head during the upgrade.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
We've had no issues with scalability.
How are customer service and technical support?
As I mentioned above, their level of customer service is extraordinary.
Technical support has been very responsive. A few weeks ago we upgraded some switches at a remote site, causing the T650's management interface to go offline for a few minutes. Within a few minutes, we got a few emails from tech support and my sales engineer offering any help. They're also very good about keeping us informed about any new upgrades or patches.
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
This system was used for a new project.
How was the initial setup?
Initial set-up was very easy and was probably finished in 30 minutes. I was surprised that the initial set-up required a keyboard, mouse and monitor rather than just a serial connection.
What about the implementation team?
We purchased through a vendor called Datalink, but our Tintri sales engineer came in and installed the system at no additional cost.
What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?
With any SAN purchase, the sizing procedure is the most important step. I'd suggest going through exactly how you will use the system with your sales engineer and get their approval in writing.
Which other solutions did I evaluate?
We evaluated EMC, NetApp, Nimble Storage, and Pure Storage. At the time the "all-flash" options were still very expensive and we hoped that a hybrid approach would be sufficient for our performance needs. We're very happy with the decision.
What other advice do I have?
With the drop in flash prices, there are a lot more options on the market than when we first started our research for this project. In particular, I'm currently very interested in hyper-converged solutions. However, if are looking for an easy, but high performing storage platform for VMware, then you can't go wrong with Tintri.