Spinning Up the Hybrid Storage Model at VMworld 2014

Wow!  VMworld 2014 was a blast.  So many new technologies . . . so many new ways to get more aggressive in this virtualized world we all work in.  Of course, we at Tegile are excited about how we are spinning up (pun intended) the hybrid segment of the storage market.  Of the multiple approaches to storage available on the market today, hybrid storage uniquely provides the ability to satisfy exacting business needs of capacity, performance AND cost in a single offering.  Given old assumptions about hybrid storage with hard disks, hybrid storage may require enterprises to compromise one aspect for another in order to achieve this balanced trifecta of attributes.  Companies unwilling – or unable – to sacrifice latency consistency, for instance, may decide that the benefits of lower-priced data storage through the hybrid model come at too high of a performance cost and opt instead for an SSD-only design.  But rather than being forced into choosing between all-flash or hybrid storage, organizations can decide to compromise nothing and instead implement a solution that serves to meet their unique storage needs.

Oh, yeah, our Tesla game of chance was pretty cool too.

VMworld2014_Tesla

Hybrids are defined by the combination of two different elements to create a whole.  Conventional wisdom in storage has been that hybrids use flash as a storage cache for performance while hard disks are used mainly to provide capacity.  In taking a higher-level view of this arrangement, what “hybrid” storage truly provides is a performance layer AND a capacity layer.  Today, these layers happen to leverage flash and hard disk respectively but there is theoretically no limitation as to what technologies can be used to achieve each goal.

After spinning (pun intended, again) the conventional line of thinking about hybrid storage, what if a system could be developed that utilized flash as both the performance and the capacity layers?  Would such a system still be considered a hybrid?  How could such a system be deployed today and still satisfy all the tenets of performance, capacity and cost that hybrid solutions provide?

Rather than utilize a single, homogeneous pool of flash to provide both performance and capacity, it is possible to take a hybrid approach to all-flash systems by leveraging two divergent classes of flash – one that provides the fastest speeds and lowest latency as the performance layer and “cheap and deep” SSDs serving as the capacity layer.  Such an extensible architecture optimized for both storage performance and capacity in addition to always-on data reduction technologies has enabled Tegile Systems to offer a single all-flash system that delivers 1 million IOPS with 1 million GBs of capacity for less than $1 million.

Tegile Intelligent Storage arrays are purpose-built to deliver optimized storage performance for various application workloads, making them an excellent fit for mission-critical virtualized environments and business applications. The company’s patented IntelliFlash architecture with in-line deduplication and compression enables IT departments to balance high performance, capacity and features with game-changing storage economics.

IntelliFlash easily integrates into diverse enterprise IT environments by supporting SAN and NAS deployments from the same array with Fibre Channel and iSCSI block-level protocols, as well as NFS, CIFS and SMB3 file-level protocols.  Tegile provides VM-Aware storage to VMware and Microsoft hypervisors, allowing storage to be provisioned, monitored and managed from a VM granularity.  And unlike other array vendors that at best only provide compression, Tegile’s data optimization also provides inline data reduction to further reduce acquisition and operational costs critical in virtual environments.

With demand growing for bigger data and faster service, the choice to satisfy data storage needs can make or break a business. Tegile All-Flash Storage Arrays feature high density enterprise flash solid state drives designed to support mission-critical applications that require extremely high performance at low latency for extend periods of time. The company’s flash storage arrays, with patented IntelliFlash architecture, deliver high I/O and low latency for business applications such as databases, server virtualization and virtual desktops to help customers achieve business acceleration and unmatched storage capacity reduction.

Hybrid arrays that follow the traditional approach of mixing high-density flash solid-state drives with high-density hard disk storage remain a great option for organizations where low cost and high capacity trumps performance, including general purpose storage, server virtualization and VDI.  However, for those businesses that have needs for real-time analytics, OLTP and databases, all-flash storage arrays may be the best choice.  Depending on an enterprise’s workload, a hybrid approach using all-flash may still hit the sweet spot for balancing performance, capacity and cost with low latencies.  With these options currently available on the market today, companies should compromise nothing when it comes to their mission-critical data storage needs.


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