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Tintri VMstore gets more capacity, compression, encryption

Tintri launches denser VMstore arrays for virtual machine storage and upgrades its operating system to support compression on hard drives and encryption.

Virtual machine storage specialist Tintri today added denser hybrid storage arrays and an operating system update...

that enables compression and encryption for its hard drives.

Tintri VMstore arrays manage storage at the virtual machine (VM) level across hypervisors. Tintri began in 2011 with storage for VMware, added Red Hat RHEL support last July and is scheduled to support Microsoft Hyper-V in December. Tintri's major use cases are private cloud deployments with hundreds or even thousands of VMs, and storage for a virtual desktop infrastructure and test/development.

The new Tintri VMstore T800 series consists of the T880, T850 and T820. All three are four-rack units in size.

The T880 includes 8.8 TB of flash and 78 TB of raw hard drive capacity. Tintri said the hard drive usable capacity -- after double parity RAID-6, spare and system overhead -- is 45 TB, and its effective usable capacity is 100 TB. Tintri uses a data reduction ratio of approximately 2.2-to-1 from compression and VM cloning to calculate effective capacity. Tintri claims the T880 can support 3,500 VMS and 140,000 IOPS in a single system.

The T850 includes 5.3 TB of flash, 52 TB of raw, 30 TB of usable and 66 TB of effective hard drive capacity, and can handle 2,000 VMs. The T820 has 1.7 TB of flash, 20 TB of raw, 10.5 TB of usable and 23 TB of effective hard drive capacity. It can handle 750 VMs.

Customers can cluster up to 32 VMstores and manage the pooled resources through Tintri's Global Center console.

Tintri will continue to sell its four-rack unit VMstore T650 (49.32 TB raw capacity) and T620 (19.44 TB raw) systems, according to Saradhi Sreegiriraju, Tintri's VP of product management. The vendor will end-of-life the older T540, with support continuing for five years.

All of the T800 models are currently available, with list pricing of $250,000 for the T880, $156,000 for the T850 and $74,000 for the T820.

"We're not going after new uses cases with these systems," Sreegiriraju said. "These are larger platforms in terms of effective capacity. They can handle more virtual machines."

New operating system enables hard drive compression, encryption

Tintri's new OS 3.1 supports compression for hard drives on the T800 (but not on T600) systems. Tintri already did inline deduplication and compression on solid-state drives (SSDs). There is still no deduplication for hard drives on VMstore systems, but Sreegiriraju said the vendor's VM cloning reduces capacity. With VM cloning, a 10 GB VM cloned 10 times will still take up 10 GB instead of 1 TB.

Sreegiriraju said all writes go to flash on VMstore. Metadata is stored in flash, but data is moved to the hard drive and deleted from SSDs when it becomes inactive.

"We write everything to flash, and store data only on hard drives," Sreegiriraju said.

Tintri OS 3.1 also supports a new SecureVM application that brings encryption at rest to VMstore arrays. SecureVM enables software for key management of self-encrypting SSDs and hard drives.

Also in OS 3.1, Tintri's ReplicateVM software has been integrated with VMware vCenter SRM to set up replication for DR workflows.

'LUN must die'

For all the enhancements, Tintri's core value remains in the way storage is provisioned and managed on its arrays. Tintri is among the vendors that eliminate the need for setting up LUNs and NAS mount points when provisioning storage -- even without the coming VMware Virtual Volumes.

Howard Marks, chief scientist of storage test and evaluation company DeepStorage, said vendors like Tintri and the even newer DataGravity have the right idea when dealing with storage. During a Storage Decisions session this week on purpose-built VM storage, Marks said:

"The LUN must die. By 2020, the concept of a storage system for a large number of VMs in a repository that doesn't provide per-VM services is going to be obsolete."

Next Steps

Tintri VMstore gets Hyper-V support

How VM-aware storage aids provisioning, migration, performance

Dig Deeper on Storage for virtual environments

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