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Tegile funding round gives it $33 million for NVMe push

Tegile Systems closed a $33 million funding round that the flash array vendor intends to use to invest heavily in NVMe, the next big thing in solid-state storage.

Like other flash vendors, Tegile has been looking toward non-volatile memory express (NVMe) for months. It stressed during its last product rollout in November 2016 that its new all-flash and hybrid arrays would support NVMe when drives become available.

The new Tegile funding will help market the NVMe systems.

Tegile rival Pure Storage today said it would ship an NVMe array in July. Tegile CEO Rohit Kshetrapal said his company is poised to ship NVMe as soon as drives become available.

Kshetrapal said current Tegile systems have four available slots for NVMe drives, and the vendor will also have an all-NVMe platform that it demonstrated last year at VMworld.

Tegile Systems CEO Rohit Kshetrapal

Rohit Kshetrapal

“We’ll use this funding to continue our vision of building out storage at the speed of memory,” he said. “We already have a high-density flash system. Now [with NVMe], you can get half a petabyte of data in 3U and accelerate performance to less than a sub-millisecond level,” Kshetrapal said.

Storage media vendor Western Digital led the Tegile funding round, which brings Tegile’s total funding to $178 million. Venture firms Meritech Capital, Capricorn Investment Group and Cross Creek Capital also participated in the Tegile funding round.

Both Western Digital and SanDisk — now part of Western Digital — were previous Tegile investors. They are also Tegile business partners. Tegile gets its flash drives from SanDisk and sells the SanDisk InfiniFlash enclosure arrays as Tegile IntelliFlash HD array through an OEM deal. Kshetrapal said the relationship is important for Tegile’s product development.

“They provide us access [to NAND flash] when the market is in tight supply, and now we partner on development of our next set of platforms,” he said.

Kshetrapal said he has no wild headcount expansion plans, although the Tegile funding will be used to help fuel sales. “We’re looking for growth at the right cost,” he said. “We can grow new markets and go into joint ventures with other companies. It’s always been about the balance of performance and cost.”

Kshetrapal said Tegile will build out its installed base by going after Nimble Storage customers now that Hewlett Packard Enterprise is buying Nimble. “We’re seeing a lot of reach out” from Nimble customers and channel partners, he said.

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