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IntelliFlash OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

IntelliFlash is the #9 ranked solution in our list of best NVMe All-Flash Arrays. It is most often compared to Tintri VMstore: IntelliFlash vs Tintri VMstore

What is IntelliFlash?

Western Digital through its IntelliFlash arrays delivers high-performance storage with a complete range of features and connectivity options, including inline compression and deduplication, application and VM consistent snapshots, replication, RAID, data encryption, VMware vCenter integration, and multi-protocol support for SAN (FC, iSCSI) and NAS (NFS, SMBv3). IntelliFlash arrays deliver high availability through dualredundant and hot-swappable components, active/active or active/passive controllers, non-disruptive software upgrades, eMLC flash, and proactive cloud-based monitoring, analytics, and intelligence. A RESTful API provides scripted or programmatic control.

IntelliFlash is also known as Tegile, IntelliFlash N-Series, IntelliFlash T-Series, IntelliFlash HD-Series.

Buyer's Guide

Download the NVMe All-Flash Storage Arrays Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: October 2021

IntelliFlash Customers

Bank of Stockton, Barnsley College, Boyes Turner, Brigham Young University

IntelliFlash Video

Archived IntelliFlash Reviews (more than two years old)

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MS
IT Director at a tech vendor with 51-200 employees
Real User
Improved throughput throughout our organization, and very robust

Pros and Cons

  • "It's very fast. We were seeing read latencies of less than one millisecond. It is robust."
  • "It's somewhat scalable, but maybe not so much as some of the competition."

What is our primary use case?

It is our primary shared storage. Primary uses are to support virtual machines and SQL database.

How has it helped my organization?

It has improved throughput throughout the organization. Our entire server stack runs on this. It has cut batch job runtime in half, so we're seeing performance improvement throughout the organization.

What is most valuable?

It's very fast. We were seeing read latencies of less than one millisecond. It is robust. This is our second Tegile product, so we are happy with the company and their support.

It's very flexible. It has features we don't even use at this point.

What needs improvement?

It does what we need.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Very stable, just like the other Tegile array that we had, which was a hybrid array. Not as high performance, but always very solid, very stable. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I would say it's somewhat scalable, maybe not so much as some of the competition, but we don't really care. It has more capacity than we need. We're not even likely to upgrade it. 

How are customer service and technical support?

For the previous box we used tech support on a couple of occasions, and we used their tech support to do the installation of this box. They're very competent. 

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We were using another Tegile product, a hybrid array, and were seeing average latencies of about eight milliseconds, but we were seeing spikes up to 50 milliseconds, and when that happened everything slowed down. We were looking for a performance improvement across the board.

When selecting a vendor I would say 

  • price
  • performance
  • support

would be our top criteria.

How was the initial setup?

I was not involved personally in the setup. We have a network administrator and he worked with the Tegile engineer to set it up. But I think it was pretty straightforward.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

This time around it was Tegile versus Pure Storage. We went with Tegile, because they made us a good offer, and we were happy with them from our previous experience.

What other advice do I have?

We don't really have any other comparison. We're perfectly happy with it, so I'd have to give it a 10 out of 10.

I would tell colleagues to at least consider Tegile. They're not as big a name, they were probably left off your list. However, they are financially stable now that Western Digital is backing them, and it's a good product. 

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
Senior Systems Engineer / Projects Lead at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Consultant
The most valuable features are multipathing and Easy Tier.

Pros and Cons

  • "EasyTier/hotcaching: Valuable because it allows greater performance than standard SAS disks"
  • "We had just one small stability problem with power flapping and it did not start up again automatically. We had to access service ports and manually restart the storage processors."

How has it helped my organization?

Being able to add additional disks to a volume to expand. For example, for RAID-5 mdisk/volume, add three additional disks in RAID-5 and expand the existing data.

What is most valuable?

  • The most valuable features are multipathing and Easy Tier.
  • EasyTier/hotcaching: Valuable because it allows greater performance than standard SAS disks
  • Cheaper than pure solid state without needing to actively manage where the data is located.
  • Multipathing: Provides redundancy by allowing each host to have multiple paths to storage, protecting against NIC/drive/storage processor failure

What needs improvement?

No issues so far.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We did not have scalability issues.

How are customer service and technical support?

I would give technical support a rating of 7/10.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We used EMC and IBM. We got a good deal on Storewize and 6GB SAS connectivity was a better performance/value option compared to 1GB or 10GB Ethernet iSCSI.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was straightforward.

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

It's good.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We evaluated EMC VNXe3150.

What other advice do I have?

I don’t have any advice.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: We are a reseller.
Find out what your peers are saying about Tintri, Dell EMC, Pure Storage and others in NVMe All-Flash Storage Arrays. Updated: October 2021.
540,694 professionals have used our research since 2012.
ITCS user
Consultant at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Real User
It provides a combination of protocols without losing deduplication and compression.

Pros and Cons

  • "It provides a combination of all the protocols that you need, without losing deduplication and compression."
  • "In the proxy section you can’t choose a user account and password, so it is not allowed at the moment to go out, if customer has such constellation."

How has it helped my organization?

Moving over from NetApp to Tegile was easy because of the software completion. It was less complex to install. It takes around twenty minutes to activate storage.

What is most valuable?

It provides a combination of all the protocols that you need, without losing deduplication and compression. It is easy to manage and control.

What needs improvement?

The system has been used, but not with all the features in it. One feature that could improve is Call-Home alerts. At the moment, the system allows access to the internet directly or over a proxy, but in the proxy section you can’t choose a user account and password, so it is not allowed at the moment to go out, if customer has such constellation.

In case of security it is important for my customer to control any access from out to in and vice versa. The issue is addressed to Tegile and will be a part of one of the next patch in summer 2017.


What do I think about the stability of the solution?

There were no stability issues. It’s what the customer expects from a storage solution with five nines availability.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

There were no scalability issues. It is easy to expand. Performance is the same or equal to the number of shelves you add, because every shelf is SSD-powered.

This is greatly different to the NetApp solution, which the customer had used before. If you add shelves in NetApp, then the performance goes down.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support team is perfect. They are fast and competent.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We have used NetApp and the reason why we switched was due to the overall cost. After five years, the cost decreases over 30% and the performance increases over 50%.

How was the initial setup?

As mentioned before, it takes around twenty minutes to go into production. The setup was easy and has a clear Web UI.

After the system starts, you change the IP, make the array active, build a LUN, and then present it to vSphere. That’s all.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We did a complete evaluation, in terms of an ROI of the competitor products. (This is a specialty of our company.)

NetApp, Atlantis USX, and SimpliVity were the products we evaluated. We also looked into sourcing to a provider.

What other advice do I have?

All the features should be calculated with the company's cost and effect to the business. Every company has its own DNA, so the best solution for each business differs.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: We are partners, but not on a reselling level, only for getting all the technical information of these systems. Use our expertise and call us (www.holistic3.com), for a complete vendor independent ROI.
it_user495576
System Architect at a tech services company with 201-500 employees
Consultant
One can learn this data compression tool fairly quickly.

What is most valuable?

Ease of Use: Someone can learn it in only few hours Performance: Easy Tier is doing miracles Data Compression: Up to 80% space reduction in the database

What needs improvement?

Performance supervision: It only keeps one hour of real-time data without the ability to do deep analysis of each element.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We have not had stability issues.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have not had scalability issues.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is quite good, even though there is room for improvement.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We wanted ease of use and storage savings.

How was the initial setup?

It is easy to do the…

What is most valuable?

  • Ease of Use: Someone can learn it in only few hours
  • Performance: Easy Tier is doing miracles
  • Data Compression: Up to 80% space reduction in the database

What needs improvement?

Performance supervision: It only keeps one hour of real-time data without the ability to do deep analysis of each element.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We have not had stability issues.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have not had scalability issues.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is quite good, even though there is room for improvement.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We wanted ease of use and storage savings.

How was the initial setup?

It is easy to do the initial installation/configuration. It is intuitive and well documented.

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

I recommend the full bundle software in order to have all the functionality. It is more expensive to purchase it one by one.

What other advice do I have?

You will be quite surprised by the ease of use.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: We are a business partner.
it_user657768
IT Manager at a wholesaler/distributor with 501-1,000 employees
Vendor
The extra capacity has allowed us to consolidate most of our storage onto one platform.

Pros and Cons

  • "High performance and ease-of-management are the most valuable features."
  • "Snapshots are not as easy to access as on a NetApp device."

How has it helped my organization?

The extra capacity has allowed us to consolidate most of our storage onto one platform.

What is most valuable?

High performance and ease-of-management are the most valuable features.

What needs improvement?

It's annoying that if you turn on SMB3 (as opposed to the earlier CIFS protocol), then it is not possible to access a file store using a mixture of SMB and NFS. This is a serious restriction for a multi-protocol file server.

Snapshots are not as easy to access as on a NetApp device.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We have not had issues with stability.

How are customer service and technical support?

Support has been good, although we haven't needed to use it much.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We switched from NetApp, mainly due to cost.

How was the initial setup?

The setup was reasonably straightforward, although the documentation could be improved in terms of the networking.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We evaluated NetApp.

What other advice do I have?

It's a good product with good support. I would recommend it.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user370707
Solution Architect at a comms service provider with 51-200 employees
Reseller
We find setup to be straightforward and quick.

Pros and Cons

  • "It has reduced our electricity usage by reducing the amount of disks needed for the virtual environment."
  • "They need to offer better integration for a virtual platform to enable you to create hyper-converged solution."

Improvements to My Organization

This product is relatively new, no major feature release yet.

Valuable Features

We've been able to realise storage space savings for our virtualization environment. Also, it has reduced our electricity usage by reducing the amount of disks needed for the virtual environment.

Room for Improvement

The monitoring matrix and its dashboard need work. They need to offer better integration for a virtual platform to enable you to create hyper-converged solution. They need to help increase ways to save on hardware and electricity usage.

Stability Issues

There have been no performance issues.

Scalability Issues

We've not had to scale it yet.

Customer Service and Technical Support

It's excellent.

Initial Setup

It's straightforward and quick. The provisioning of a volume can be done within a minutes.

Implementation Team

We implemented it in-house.

ROI

It takes around three and half years to achieve ROI.

Other Solutions Considered

We also looked at HP EVA, IBM v7000, and Compellent 8000.

Other Advice

When installing it, you should utilize two controllers with an additional disk shelf.

Space Savings with VMs and ~10 database servers


Usage during normal day


Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: We're distributors.
ITCS user
IT Director with 51-200 employees
Vendor
The hybrid storage array models leverage flash, hard disks and the IntelliFlash™ operating system.
Originally posted at https://vinfrastructure.it/2015/12/tegile-an-hybrid-all-flash-array-storage/ Tegile is a storage company with interesting products declared to be “one flash (hybrid or all flash) for any workload”. For sure they are a strong company, with more than 1800 systems deployed with Tegileproducts, including interesting names including Ferrari, McLaren, Tesla, … More than 1100 customers, doesn’t sound bad, at all! And around 360 employees worldwide and good investors (one, for example, is HGST!). During the last IT Press Tour #17 I’ve got the opportunity to learn more about this company  and their solutions. Rohit Kshetrapal (CEO at Tegile) has introded the company with strong updates on their unique products optimized both for Hybrid  and All-Flash. After the…

Originally posted at https://vinfrastructure.it/2015/12/tegile-an-hybrid-all-flash-array-storage/

Tegile is a storage company with interesting products declared to be “one flash (hybrid or all flash) for any workload”. For sure they are a strong company, with more than 1800 systems deployed with Tegileproducts, including interesting names including Ferrari, McLaren, Tesla, … More than 1100 customers, doesn’t sound bad, at all!

And around 360 employees worldwide and good investors (one, for example, is HGST!).

During the last IT Press Tour #17 I’ve got the opportunity to learn more about this company  and their solutions. Rohit Kshetrapal (CEO at Tegile) has introded the company with strong updates on their unique products optimized both for Hybrid  and All-Flash.

After the introduction, Rajesh Nair (CTO at Tegile) has give a product deep dive and an interesting roadmap.

Their solutions are available in two different approach: Intelligent Flash Arrays (in hybrid or all-flash configuration both powered by IntelliFlash) or prebuilded IntelliStack converged infrastructure solutions. IntelliStack combined the storage features of Tegile and the computing power of Cisco UCS to offer pre-validated, pre-sized, and certified configurations to fit a wide range of deployment requirements.

Tegile All-Flash Storage Arrays deliver maximum performance, high density,  compelling economics and it is ideal for latency-sensitive, business-critical workloads such as online transaction processing, real-time analytics, decision support, and data warehousing. It’s available in three different models:

Model T3600 T3700 T3800
Controller Memory 192GB 192GB 192GB
Raw Capacity (min/max) 12TB/300TB 24TB/312TB 48TB/336TB

The hybrid storage array models leverage the performance of flash, the density of hard disks and the rich features of IntelliFlash™ operating system to deliver a compelling storage platform that accelerates a wide variety of workloads in the enterprise. In this case there are four different models:

Model T3100 T3200 T3300 T3400
Controller Memory 96GB 192GB 192GB 192GB
Raw Capacity (min/max) 26TB/170TB 36TB/180TB 18TB/162TB 26TB/314TB

All T3xxx series are a scale-in system with dual controller and PCIe3 x8 NTB across controllers for inter-controller data transfer and configuration sync. Disks are shared with a SAS2 backbone. Each controller has 8-12 cores and 48-96GB DRAM and different type of front-end connectivity (1G, 10G & 8/16G FC).

The new T4xxx series (ETA – Feb ‘16) will provide on-board SAS3 for in-box disks and on-board NVMe (4x 2.5” SSDs), a new PCIe shared bus and controllers with 8-20 cores and 64-256GB DRAM.

All models shares the same “intelligence” called IntelliFlash. Tegile’s IntelliFlash software architecture is a fast and flexible operating environment designed to leverage different grades of storage media—hard disk, high-performance flash, high-density flash, etc.—in a single storage array. IntelliFlash understands the inherent characteristics of different storage media and intelligently manages the placement of data to deliver optimal performance (speed and latency) with the best possible economics. It also includes advanced data services, multi-protocol support, and flexible management capabilities, enabling you to significantly shrink your storage footprint, maximize uptime, consolidate workloads, and simplify storage administration.

The capability to adapt the software and the features to the new media (using a patent metadata acceleration) will permit to move to new media easy and fast when they will become interesting. But is not only capable to adapt to the right media, the software can also adapting and aligning the user workload to the right array.

The product and features philosophy is quite simple and effective: all in one, no options, everything is delivered and shipped.

But more interesting is the cloud analytics & support part. IntelliCare is a comprehensive support platform that’s driven by cloud analytics and backed by Tegile’s team of storage experts. Maybe nothing new compared to similar “pro supports”.

But the IntelliCare Flash “5” Guarantee is quite unique and make customers more confident in their purchase:

  • 5x faster performance compared to traditional storage
  • 5 years of flat support pricing with fresh flash and free controller upgrades
  • 5:1 data reduction in well-virtualized environments
  • 5$ per gigabyte of high-endurance eMLC flash
  • 5 nines availability — that’s 99.999% uptime

Analytics are actually an “internal” service oriented to improve the support team, but should be possible that more services user oriented could be added.
For the future, also if the storage actually is a scale-in architecture, some kind of scale-out models will be implemented, to arrive also to block scale-out (1H 2016) and file scale-out (2H 2016).

Of course Tegile is a storage designed for flash and virtualization is a natural user case. ActualTech Media and Tegile recently teamed up to get a deeper understanding of what’s happening at the intersection of virtualization and storage. ActualTech polled over 1,000 IT professionals to learn about the top challenges they’re facing within their organization, and how they plan to use solutions like flash storage, cloud storage, and VMware Virtual Volumes (VVols) to solve those challenges. Learn more downloading the paper.

But other typical user cases are database and there are partnership with Microsoft and Oracle. And also VDI is another great user cases, with partnership with Citrix, VMware and Microsoft.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
Managing Consultant with 51-200 employees
Vendor
Its data access is incredibly fast and efficient.
Ah, my first blog after Storage Field Day 6! It was a fantastic week and I only got to fathom the sensations and effects of the trip after my return from San Jose, California last week. Many thanks to Stephen Foskett (@sfoskett), Tom Hollingsworth (@networkingnerd) and Claire Chaplais (@cchaplais) of Gestalt IT for inviting me over for that wonderful trip 2 weeks’ ago. Tegile was one of the companies I had the privilege to visit and savour. In a world of utterly confusing messaging about Flash Storage, I was eager to find out what makes Tegile tick at the Storage Field Day session. Yes, I loved Tegile and the campus visit was very nice. I was also very impressed that they have more than 700 customers and over a thousand systems shipped, all within 2 years since they came out of…

Ah, my first blog after Storage Field Day 6!

It was a fantastic week and I only got to fathom the sensations and effects of the trip after my return from San Jose, California last week. Many thanks to Stephen Foskett (@sfoskett), Tom Hollingsworth (@networkingnerd) and Claire Chaplais (@cchaplais) of Gestalt IT for inviting me over for that wonderful trip 2 weeks’ ago. Tegile was one of the companies I had the privilege to visit and savour.

In a world of utterly confusing messaging about Flash Storage, I was eager to find out what makes Tegile tick at the Storage Field Day session. Yes, I loved Tegile and the campus visit was very nice. I was also very impressed that they have more than 700 customers and over a thousand systems shipped, all within 2 years since they came out of stealth in 2012. However, I was more interested in the essence of Tegile and what makes them stand out.

I have been a long time admirer of ZFS (Zettabyte File System). I have been a practitioner myself and I also studied the file system architecture and data structure some years back, when NetApp and Sun were involved in a lawsuit. A lot of have changed since then and I am very pleased to see Tegile doing great things with ZFS.

Tegile’s architecture is called IntelliFlash. Here’s a look at the overview of the IntelliFlash architecture:

So, what stands out for Tegile? I deduce that there are 3 important technology components that defines Tegile IntelliFlash ™ Operating System.

  • MASS (Metadata Accelerator Storage System)
  • Media Management
  • Inline Compression and Inline Deduplication

What is MASS? Tegile has patented MASS as an architecture that allows optimized data path to the file system metadata.

Often a typical file system metadata are stored together with the data. This results in a less optimized data access because both the data and metadata are given the same priority. However, Tegile’s MASS writes and stores the filesystem metadata in very high speed, low latency DRAM and Flash SSD. The filesystem metadata probably includes some very fine grained and intimate details about the mapping of blocks and pages to the respective capacity Flash SSDs and the mechanical HDDs. (Note: I made an educated guess here and I would be happy if someone corrected me)

Going a bit deeper, the DRAM in the Tegile hybrid storage array is used as a L1 Read Cache, while Flash SSDs are used as a L2 Read and Write Cache. Tegile takes further consideration that the Flash SSDs used for this caching purpose are different from the denser and higher capacity Flash SSDs used for storing data. These Flash SSDs for caching are obviously the faster, lower latency type of eMLCs and in the future, might be replaced by PCIe Flash optimized by NVMe.

This approach gives absolute priority, and near-instant access to the filesystem’s metadata, making the Tegile data access incredibly fast and efficient.

Tegile’s Media Management capabilities excite me. This is because it treats every single Flash SSD in the storage array with very precise organization of 3 types of data patterns.

  1. Write caching, which is high I/O is focused on a small segment of the drive
  2. Metadata caching, which has both Read and Write I/O is targeted to a slight larger segment of the drive
  3. Data is laid out on the rest of the capacity of the drive

Drilling deeper, the write caching (in item 1 above) high I/O writes are targeted at the drive segment’s range which is over-provisioned for greater efficiency and care. At the same time, the garbage collection(GC) of this segment is handled by the respective drive’s controller. This is important because the controller will be performing the GC function without inducing unnecessary latency to the storage array processing cycles, giving further boost to Tegile’s already awesome prowess.

In addition to that, IntelliFlash ™ aligns every block and every page exactly to each segment and each page boundary of the drives. This reduces block and page segmentation, and thereby reduces issues with file locality and free blocks locality. It also automatically adjust its block and page alignments to different drive types and models. Therefore, I believe, it would know how to align itself to a 512-bytes or a 520-bytes sector drives.

The Media Management function also has advanced cell care. The wear-leveling takes on a newer level of advancement where how the efficient organization of blocks and pages to the drives reduces additional and often unnecessary erase and rewrites. Furthermore, the use of Inline Compression and Inline Deduplication also reduces the number of writes to drives media, increasing their longevity.

Compression and deduplication are 2 very important technology features in almost all flash arrays. Likewise, these 2 technologies are crucial in the performance of Tegile storage systems. They are both inline i.e – Inline Compression and Inline Deduplication, and therefore both are boosted by the multi-core CPUs as well as the fast DRAM memory.

I don’t have the secret sauce formula of how Tegile designed their inline compression and deduplication. But there’s a very good article of how Tegile viewed their method of data reduction for compression and deduplication. Check out their blog here.

The metadata of data access of each and every customer is probably feeding into their Intellicare, a cloud-based customer care program. Intellicare is another a strong differentiator in Tegile’s offering.

Oh, did I mentioned they are unified storage as well with both SAN and NAS, including SMB 3.0 support?

I left Tegile that afternoon on November 5th feeling happy. I was pleased to catch up with Narayan Venkat, my old friend from NetApp, who is now their Chief Marketing Officer. I was equally pleased to see Tegile advancing ZFS further than the others I have known. With so much technological advancement and more coming, the world is their oyster.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user184665
Independent IT Analyst with 51-200 employees
Vendor
Tegile do not have scale-out, very high-end or fancy-shmancy storage…but they do what an SMB organization needs.
I have to admit that, almost 3 years ago, when I met Tegile for the first time I was all but impressed. At that time they had presented themselves as another company with a ZFS-based appliance… and my first thought was “you won’t be going anywhere!”. I was very wrong indeed (perhaps it was just a bad presentation) and since then they have been coming up with good things from both the product side and the ability to execute points of view. ZFS-ish core Tegile is ZFS but not “everything-ZFS”. First of all they made it clear from day-1, they are not playing in the open source field and they want to maintain maximum control on the roadmap, quality and enhancements they make. Consequently, the development team have maintained most of the FS unchanged but they have also improved all…

I have to admit that, almost 3 years ago, when I met Tegile for the first time I was all but impressed. At that time they had presented themselves as another company with a ZFS-based appliance… and my first thought was “you won’t be going anywhere!”. I was very wrong indeed (perhaps it was just a bad presentation) and since then they have been coming up with good things from both the product side and the ability to execute points of view.

ZFS-ish core

Tegile is ZFS but not “everything-ZFS”. First of all they made it clear from day-1, they are not playing in the open source field and they want to maintain maximum control on the roadmap, quality and enhancements they make.
Consequently, the development team have maintained most of the FS unchanged but they have also improved all the awkward parts like, for example, the deduplication engine. This has produced a powerful, feature rich, hybrid or All-Flash, 2-controller series of appliances which are capable of scaling from just a few disks up to more than 1PB of capacity in different configurations.

It is clear that SMB is the sweet spot for them. In fact, they are not good at serving very high end workloads (in the range of hundreds of thousands of IOPS all under 1mS) or very huge capacities (like for the write-once-read-never kind of archiving applications)… but they are good for 90-95% of SMB enterprise workloads… and they can also be a good option for larger enterprises in branch offices as well as secondary storage in many cases.

The product (and the company) you are actually buying

From the end user perspective (we are talking about SMB here) ZFS is not the core part. Important things come from other aspects of a storage systems: ease of use, features and capabilities come first but this type of customer also spends a lot of time looking at what other companies like them are doing (something like, if it works for them, it should work for us too!)…

From the features and capabilities POV the product is impressive: a good and easy to use management interface, all the features you can expect from a modern storage system, remote replication, many different supported protocols, strong integration with the most common hypervisors including server off-loading capabilities (again, not only VAAI but also ODX for Microsoft environments), VM-level granularity for most features and much more. They’re jumping on the Cloud-based management/analytics band wagon too. It’s also good to see Tegile embracing partnerships with companies like Oracle (it means a lot for a small organization that buys a single array to serve all its workloads, not only VMware!).
Are they perfect? No, of course. Could they be more efficient? Yes. (for example, some polemics started during the SFD6 session about how they manage compression+deduplication process) But, again, they are good enough (or better) in most cases.

If you look at the second aspect, I mean SMB users looking at each other, you can easily find Tegile’s growth very comparable to what we saw a few years back from other successful companies like Compellent and, lately, Nimble. They are very good at communicating what they are doing (I receive tons -too many- of PRs from them talking about wins, news, features and so on)… and I think they want to make sure they are well recognized by potential customers through other similar end users (as I said, SMBs look at other SMBs…)

They’re not very well known yet in Europe, but they are quickly expanding operations here too (for example, I know of one system sold here in Italy too). If I were a reseller or an end user I’d give them a look.

Closing the circle

Long story short, Tegile has leveraged the best of ZFS (an already mature, 10+ year_ old, FS which is a great backend for their system) to build a very interesting appliance full of features. From this point of view they have been very clever… after just two years in the wild, they have a mature product which is already at par (or better) with many competitors.

Tegile is still a small company but I like the way they do things and their pragmatism. They do not have scale-out, very high-end or fancy-shmancy storage… but they do what an SMB organization needs and I think they do it well. Don’t they?

First published here

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