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Tintri VMstore adds all-flash support for VM-aware storage

Tintri VMstore expands with the addition of a series of all-flash T5000 arrays to go with the flagship T800 hybrid array series.

Tintri today added an all-flash array platform to its line of virtual machine-aware storage systems.

The Tintri VMstore T5000 all-flash series consists of the T5080 and T5060, which joins Tintri's flagship VMstore T800 hybrid arrays. The T5080 holds 23 TB of raw capacity and is designed to handle 5,000 virtual machines (VMs). The T5060 holds 11.5 TB and can handle 2,500 VMs. Both are 2U systems.

Tintri's arrays have been hybrid from the start, with a fixed amount of solid-state drive capacity in each box. The Tintri VMstore T800 series has three models, ranging from 11.8 TB to 51 TB of total capacity. Roughly 15% of the capacity on those systems is flash with SATA hard disk drives making up the rest. The largest, the Tintri VMstore T880, can handle 3,500 VMs. The T800 systems are 4U boxes.

All Tintri VMstore arrays use multi-level cell flash. They also support VMware vSphere, Microsoft Hyper-V, Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization (RHEV) and OpenStack hypervisors. Tintri arrays present themselves as a large data store to the hypervisors, rather than using LUNs or volumes to provision storage.

Tintri executives said they expect all-flash arrays to be a minority of systems sold but they wanted to give customers the option, especially those with large databases that require more flash than the Tintri VMstore T800 provides. Tintri did not release pricing, but the all-flash systems will be significantly more expensive than hybrid arrays.

"We're not saying everything should go all-flash, but we want to be one of the vendors in the market that supports hybrid or all-flash," Tintri CTO Kieran Harty said. "About 80% of our deployments will be hybrid, but if you have the need for predictable performance, particularly for a large-scale database, you will want all-flash."

About 80% of our deployments will be hybrid, but if you have the need for predictable performance, particularly for a large-scale database, you will want all-flash.
Kieran HartyCTO, Tintri

Tintri senior director of product marketing Chuck Dubuque said it wasn't difficult to add all-flash arrays because Tintri's hybrid architecture already put all writes on flash and uses flash to handle around 99% of the IOPS. The T5000 uses the same Tintri OS and Tintri Global Center management application as the Tintri VMstore T800, but has different controllers. Both platforms have dual controllers with active standby, but the T5000 controllers have more internal bandwidth between them. The T5000 controllers use NVDIMM cache and each controller will support 40-Gigabit Ethernet (GigE) while the T800 use NVRAM cache and 10-GigE.

Stanley Zaffos, a research VP covering storage and servers for Gartner, said Tintri already had storage optimization features such as deduplication and compression that all-flash arrays require.

"Tintri designed its systems from the ground up to be flash-centric," Zaffos said. "When you look at a flash system, you want compression and deduplication and storage efficiency. These are all key design objectives in developing an all-flash array."

Zaffos said the most likely Tintri all-flash customers will be those who need "extreme performance for workloads that are storage-system unfriendly. They might have a bandwidth-sensitive application that is sequential in nature and would overflow a hybrid system."

Tintri also launched a VMstack converged infrastructure series of integrated bundles with Cisco and other partners. The bundles include VMstack for Server Virtualization optimized for virtual server applications using vSphere, Hyper-V or RHEV; VMstack for virtual desktop infrastructure optimized for VMware Horizon with View or Citrix XenDesktop; and VMstack for Private Cloud based on VMware vRealize Suite or OpenStack.

The VMstacks will include Cisco hardware, and be sold by partners, including Axispoint, 5S, Groupware, Nfrastructure, P1 and Virtual Armor.

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