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Tintri expands VM-aware storage line, adds global management

Todd Erickson

Tintri Inc. today added two models -- including one for enterprises -- to its VMstore appliance platform and rolled out a global management interface that supports 32 systems.

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Tintri VMstore systems are hybrid flash arrays designed specifically for storage connected to VMware virtual machines (VMs). The VM-aware storage appliances do not use LUNs or volumes to provision storage. Instead, each box presents itself as a large data store to the VMware hypervisor.

The new VM-aware storage systems are the T650 for enterprises and the T620 for midrange companies. Both are 4U dual-controller systems. Tintri will continue to sell its 3U VMstore T540, giving it three product models.

The T650 can support up to 2,000 VMs, according to Geoff Stedman, Tintri's vice president of marketing. That's twice as many VMs than the VMstore T540 is rated for. The T650 includes 49.3 TB of raw capacity and 33.5 TB of usable capacity.

The Tintri T620 supports up to 500 VMs with a total raw capacity of 19.4 TB and 13.5 TB of usable capacity. It has the same raw and usable capacity as the T540, but the new system supports half as many VMs as the T540 because of the mix of hard disk drives (HDDs) and solid-state drives (SSDs).

All Tintri systems are hybrid flash units that ship with a set mix of SATA HDDs and SSDs. The T650 has nine 480 GB SSDs and 15 3 TB SATA drives, and the T620 has six 240 GB SSDs and 18 1 TB SATA drives, compared to the T540's eight 300 GB SSDs and eight 3 TB SATA drives in a 3U box.

Tintri VM-aware systems send all writes to SSDs and keep the active working data on SSDs.

List prices for the new systems are $139,000 for the T650 and $74,000 for the T620. The T540 remains listed at $90,000. Tintri positioned the T650 as a system for enterprises -- particularly with large database or virtual desktop infrastructure requirements -- while the T620 is for smaller companies with lower budgets.

To manage multiple units within an environment, the company also released its new Global Center management platform.

Stedman said Tintri's Global Center allows customers to manage 32 VMstores as one unit. It monitors all the systems and the VMs running on them, providing performance and capacity usage metrics in one panel.

"It's a way for us to scale out our Tintri infrastructure and give our users a single pane of glass for not only administering and monitoring the health of the Tintri appliances, but also [for] getting a single view into the inventory of all of the VMs that are resident across those different systems," he said.

The Global Center roadmap includes adding policy-based management automation, load balancing and data protection capabilities. Tintri plans to publish a Global Center application programming interface for integrating third-party management appliances.

Mike Matchett, a senior analyst at Hopkinton, Mass.-based Taneja Group, said he believes the release of Global Center will turn out to be more important than the T600 series products.

"While the hardware improvements are impressive and will likely get all the attention, I think it's the Global Center pieces that have far-reaching, game-changing potential, with operational scale-out, new storage services opportunities and a potential ecosystem of value-adding partners," he said.

Tintri's Stedman said Global Center will be priced "nominally" per Tintri system under management. Smaller installations with only a few units may be able to get the management software for free, he added.


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