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Tintri adds asynchronous replication for virtual machines

Asynchronous replication of virtual machines is the highlight of VM-aware storage array startup Tintri's second-generation operating system.

Virtual machine-aware storage vendor Tintri Inc. is adding the ability to asynchronously replicate individual virtual machines between its VMstore arrays with version 2.0 of its operating system.

Tintri's ReplicateVM feature builds on its cloning and snapshot capabilities, and allows customers to replicate virtual machines (VMs) to another array or multiple arrays.

Tintri's file system operates natively at the VM level and doesn't require logical unit numbers (LUNs), volumes or RAID groups required to manage traditional storage arrays.

Tintri claims it has about 180 customers and supports roughly 34,000 VMs with its combination solid-state drive (SSD), flash and hard disk drive (HDD) hybrid storage arrays.

According to Geoff Stedman, Tintri's vice president of marketing, ReplicateVM simplifies data protection in virtualized environments.

"When you execute a data replication task you can pick a VM and replicate only that VM without having to worry about anything like a LUN or a volume or any other sort of mechanism within storage that you would normally have to replicate," Stedman said.

Asynchronous replication is designed to work over long distances. It writes data to the primary storage array first and copies the data in real time or at scheduled intervals to replication targets.

Tintri pitches the replication feature as a boon for virtual desktop infrastructure, workload consolidation, and test and development projects.

Wikibon senior analyst Stu Miniman said the addition of replication is essential to Tintri's growth. "Replication is one of those things that without it, you're limited in how many customers you're going to be able to sell to," Miniman said.

Tintri's hybrid flash arrays are purpose-built for virtualized environments because they offer visibility from the application, through the network and into the storage, Miniman said.

"Tintri is really the leader in giving you that visibility from the application through to what's happening," he said. "They are not trying to be a general-purpose storage array."

Tintri OS 2 is in beta testing and is scheduled for general availability in mid-May. Stedman said ReplicateVM will be a licensed feature on its hybrid arrays. Current customers will need to upgrade to the OS version 2.0 and then license the technology. Stedman said ReplicateVM pricing depends on the customer's appliance and configuration. For the Tintri VMstore T540 dual controller appliance, a one-time license will cost around $16,200.

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