Another storage vendor that I finally managed to catch up with at this year’s VMware Partner Exchange was Tegile. I was curious about the name, and I learnt that Tegile was a merging of the terms Technology and Agility. Tegile is another vendor that I have seen at various events, but have not had an opportunity to catch up with them in person and learn about their products. This time, I got an opportunity to catch up with Rob Commins (VP of Marketing) and Mike Recker of Tegile, and put a few questions to them.
First thing I asked Rob to do was give me a brief overview of the product line. Essentially, Tegile have 4 array models; the first 3 models are hybrid arrays which contain are a blend of spinning disks (HDD) & solid state disks (SSD). The top-end 2800 model is 4.4TB all flash array, but there is a hybrid twist where you have the option of adding an expansion chassis of spinning disk to scale up cheaply on capacity.
I asked about the hybrid array and what was the SSD to HDD ratio and was told that this is configurable depending on the application. Tegile’s primary market is server consolidation – basically, a general virtualization storage platform. Other markets for their array include VDI, which they claim benefits greatly with their inline dedupe technology. A third market is OLTP databases, since Tegile has a feature called FlashVols that allows certain volumes to be pinned to SSD, which is useful for say a SQL Server deployment.
The arrays all offer dual controller architecture and can achieve anywhere between 30,000 to 200,000 IOPs depending on the configuration.
I wanted to circle back and ask a few more questions around their dedupe technology. First off, I wanted to know about what dedupe & inline compression ratios could be achieved? Mike stated that in certain cases, they have seen up to 75% less capacity consumed with their dedupe and compression. However, once again this depends on the application. One other aspect of Tegile’s dedupe is that there is even though the dedupe is done inline, there is no penalty incurred from a latency perspective. Mike highlighted that many inline dedupe technologies out there incur an I/O penalty, but he claimed that Tegile’s dedupe mechanism does not introduce any latency.
Tegile’s in-box reliability comes from silent data corruption detection and correction, various RAID options (mirror, RAID 5/RAID 6 and Triple parity RAID, etc.), as well as dual hot swappable power supplies.
Tegile supports LUN level snapshots as well as LUN level asynchronous replication between arrays. There is no integration with VMware’s Site Recovery Manager (SRM), so no Storage Replication Adapter (SRA) at this time, but Rob tells me that it is something that is on Tegile road map.
Tegile supports quite a number of protocols, including Fiber Channel, iSCSI, NFS & CIFS. There is no support for FCoE as they do not see any demand for it from their customer base.
The Tegile arrays support VAAI. They have full support for both block primitives, and NAS primitives also. This is excellent.
The Tegile management console integrates directly into the vSphere web client, which is great to see (Remember that the C# client will eventually go away folks). Rob provided me with a screen-shot here:
I asked Rob my favorite question – how does Tegile differentiate itself from other array vendors in this space to potential customers? First off, Rob highlighted their very solid dedupe/compression ratios, and when this is included with the use of SSD plus spinning disk at the back-end, the cost of a Tegile array comes out at approx $1 per GB, which is very favorable when compared to other players in this space. Rob went on to call out the multi-protocol support, and he claim that Tegile is the only hybrid vendor supporting all of those protocols. Finally he called out the fact that the Tegile arrays are active/active – something which most other hybrid vendors are not.
In conclusion, I have to say that this array checks pretty much all the boxes. The only missing component as far as I can see is that they do not have a good DR story just yet, but hopefully integration with SRM will address that. Well worth a look if you are looking for a vSphere storage platform.