Tintri VMstore Review

The most valuable features are VM awareness and QoS policies.

How has it helped my organization?

From a PoC standpoint, both the hybrid and all-flash boxes delivered a performance boost up to twice the performance in comparison with what was there in production: First Generation VNX, NetApp FAS 6000.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable features are VM awareness and QoS policies. While VAAI and VASA set the stage for arrays to be intelligent from a virtualization perspective, Tintri has taken it a step beyond.

You can control resources on a per VM basis to ensure that contention in resources does not hamper performance.

On a related note, the advent of VVol (which Tintri supports) will be interesting to watch. While VVol is gaining acceptance and can be seen adding similar capabilities to legacy arrays, Tintri does integrate and leverages VASA/VVol.

The product offers a number of features apart from the standard set found on most arrays (snapshots, replication, etc.). This includes inline deduplication and compression, which are now almost standard.

The single discerning feature in which the vendor has been an absolute pioneer is VM awareness and the ability to set QoS on a per-VM basis. While this is available in other products such as SolidFire, EMC SPBM (storage policy based management), Tintri is the pioneer.

What needs improvement?

I think with the world soon becoming only SSD, possibly NVMe, and 3D Xpoint. It would make sense for Tintri to drop the hybrid array down the line. The storage market is becoming cluttered.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

There were no issues in terms of stability. But in terms of performance, with the hybrid box, when the IOmeter was set to literally bombard the box, there was an increase in latency which we managed to address with policies. So in short, the box is highly configurable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

There were no issues with scalability. While we didn’t have the need to add shelves, that should be a straightforward process

How is customer service and technical support?

The support we had during the PoC was good.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was absolutely straightforward. We found Tintri more than ready to support us during the installation.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Treat this no differently than any other standard array. Decide on the functionality suite. The licensing model is relatively simple. For things like replication, however, the licensing needs to be looked at.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We evaluated Pure Storage and XtremIO.

What other advice do I have?

Understand your workloads and their demands well. This means you need VM performance metrics for at least three to six months, ideally, from vRealize Operations. Setting up policies is crucial as it has direct implications.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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