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Tegile adds all-flash array to multiprotocol storage lineup

Tegile Systems adds all-flash array and a third hybrid SSD-hard drive system to its multiprotocol storage family.

Tegile Systems today added an all-flash array and a higher-end hybrid solid-state drive (SSD) system to the startup's Zebi lineup of multiprotocol storage arrays.

Tegile upgraded its controller to support an all-SSD array, and its metadata-accelerated storage system (MASS) now includes the option to pin volumes to SSDs to improve performance and minimize delays due to caching algorithms or tiering policies.

The Zebi HA2800 all-flash array includes 192 GB of dynamic random access memory (DRAM) and 4.4 TB of SSD capacity. Rob Commins, Tegile's VP of marketing, said the HA2800 can handle 200,000 IOPS. Tegile offers hard-drive expansion shelves to expand the HA2800 to 146 TB of raw capacity, and customers can use the flash array as a cache in front of the spinning disk.

The Zebi HA2400 hybrid array ships with 48 GB of DRAM, 600 GB of enterprise multi-level cell (eMLC) SSDs and 22 TB serial-attached SCSI (SAS) spinning-disk capacity. Commins said the HA2400 can handle 125,000 IOPS. The system is targeted at server virtualization and virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) use cases.

Tegile uses flash as a cache and to accelerate the MASS. This separates the primary data path from metadata and other overhead to optimize data-reduction techniques such as compression, deduplication and snapshots.

"So if we look at the landscape of storage, we see flash used as really three different areas," Commins said, "as a tier for persistent storage, as cache, or what we are doing, which is carving off a piece of it and using it for metadata handling."

Tegile came out of stealth last February with systems that handle iSCSI and Fibre Channel block data, and NFS and CIFs file storage.

The enhanced MASS now features FlashVols, which pin designated volumes to SSDs for improved continued performance.

Tegile's biggest challenge is competing with large storage vendors who are also moving strong into flash. That group includes EMC, which has array- and server-based flash products on the market, along with an all-flash array in development.

But Terri McClure, a senior analyst with Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG), said Tegile's architecture can help it survive. Tegile is among the few vendors whose storage controllers are built specifically for flash instead of hard drives.

"So many storage systems in the market have a hybrid combination of disk drives and SSDs, but it's really storage systems designed for disk drives," she said. "And they're just plugging solid-state drives into the mix to get some level of performance acceleration.

"What's interesting about the Tegile system is that they've designed the system around the solid-state and [HDD] mix. They're not trying to adapt to it; they've been built for it. [Tegile] seemed to have achieved a really good balance between the price point you get using the [high-capacity SAS] disk drives, and the performance you get using solid-state with an intelligent way to balance what lives where within the system."

The new systems are generally available. The HA2400's base price is $168,389 and the HA2800 is $235,152.

Commins said Tegile's systems are priced as low as $1 per gigabyte when you include advanced data reduction features.

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