In the field, our Sales Teams at Tegile go head to head with the best in our business. Competition is a good thing. It keeps vendors on their toes and enables customers to get the best value for their money when buying products and services.
There is an unwritten rule of professional etiquette when it comes to selling. The goal is to focus on the value that one’s products deliver instead of mud-slinging the competition. Seems like somewhere along the way the Sales Teams of our competitor, Nimble, chose to flout this rule. Some people just never lose that playground mentality.
Indeed, nobody is as fond of using FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt) in its sales pitch as Nimble Storage does. Let’s look at some FUD that Nimble uses to scare people away from Tegile – and share why we don’t give a FUD what they say about us.
Active/passive controllers are the only way to assure predictable performance.
Tegile arrays have active/active controllers, and most customers appreciate twice the performance, plus the flexibility in data placement, that our controllers allow. Note that our active/active design can also be configured as active/passive, if that’s what the customer wants.
We find that when given the choice, most customers prefer active/active. Nimble arrays don’t even offer a choice. Frankly, in enterprise environments active/active is a requirement, especially when running multiple application workloads.
We have compression, thin provisioning, and space-efficient snapshots, which means we have deduplication. (Or, alternatively: you, the customer, won’t need deduplication because we have compression, thin provisioning, and space-efficient snapshots.)
Compression (Tegile does that), thin provisioning (that, too) and space-efficient snaps/clones (that, too) are not the same as deduplication, and do not serve interchangeable functions. Customers who test the data efficiency of Nimble compared with Tegile show us that Nimble’s approach reduces capacity usage by 30 percent, and Tegile’s approach reduces capacity usage by up to 90 percent.
As for who needs deduplication? This is for people who don’t love buying and managing unnecessary capacity. A vendor who says you don’t need deduplication is probably counting on selling you more drives, or more arrays, down the road.
This one’s a two-parter. Nimble says we use open source technologies and we don’t own our code and innovations.
Tegile flash storage arrays are based on ZFS, an open, standards-based system; and our operating environment is entirely our own, built for a flash-optimized software architecture (see IntelliFlash).
These days a great deal of innovation happens in open source — and to accelerate innovation, vendors leverage open technologies. Clearly we wouldn’t develop an operating system from scratch. We have leveraged open technologies like ZFS, and have significantly innovated and optimized our software stack to deliver IntelliFlash. The result is a superior architecture.
As for whether we own our code and innovations, you bet we do! We respect and appreciate the open-source legal constructs, make every effort to strengthen the open source community and help improve that ecosystem. Nimble doesn’t do any such thing. In fact, given that they use Linux, one has to wonder if they are fully compliant with the GPL.
But rather than focus on the question of open source and source code ownership, it’s more important to focus on the important issues of delivering value to the customer. This is a better question to ask your storage vendor: Whose solution delivers better economics, optimal space savings, performance and feature sets?
Tegile doesn’t have analytics like our InfoSight to tell you when you’re about to have a problem.
Tegile provides monitoring via our tender loving IntelliCare – which is short for “Intelligent Customer Care” (see what we did there).
Tegile IntelliCare ensures uptime and efficiency and saves time on administration. IntelliCare collects millions of data points in the field from Tegile arrays, then processes and analyzes that data to detect issues and identify patterns. IntelliCare can monitor the health, performance and usage of the customer’s array, predict future requirements, and detect problems before they develop into component and system failures.
We think Nimble’s InfoSight is good, really good, but because they use consumer-grade MLC flash (cMLC), versus enterprise-grade MLC flash (eMLC), as we do, they are forced to keep a more diligent eye on the SSDs. cMLC flash was developed for mobile gadgets, and by design, is not as resilient. On the other hand, eMLC flash is designed for enterprise workloads and the flash media optimization is far superior (garbage collection, wear leveling, endurance, etc.).
We have scale-out capabilities of up to four arrays. Tegile doesn’t.
It makes sense that they need to promote scale-out when their arrays are half as space-efficient and don’t offer inline deduplication, as ours do. What they offer is single pane-of-glass management of up to four different arrays. Tegile provides a metadata-tuned architecture that keeps performance ridiculously high, in a system that can scale to about half a petabyte of usable capacity.
Compare this: a single Tegile array will outperform a Nimble scale-out system, with far less complexity. To geek out a little, Nimble’s RAID and metadata overhead ranges from 60 to 70 percent, depending on spindle count.
As a privately owned company, Tegile is too much of a risk. Nimble is a public company; therefore, you can trust them.
It seems that Nimble speaks from both sides of its mouth. As a private company, it disrespected the incumbents and now as a newly public company they are singing a different tune. The fact of the matter is that Tegile is winning against Nimble consistently. And to prove it, consider the fact that Tegile has over 700 customers and more than 1300 systems deployed.
Tegile may not sell stock, but we certainly sell products. We have used our investment capital responsibly, been conservative with our resources, and seen tremendous growth. Our users are rabid fans (see this), plus tech analysts who are not moved by FUD keep handing our products awards for being best in class.
There’s no question that Nimble has a respectable product. On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being best, Nimble could be viewed as a solid 6. On the other hand, Tegile could be viewed as a 9.5 out of 10.
Another way to put it: Nimble has 6 of the top 10 features/capabilities that an enterprise user desires; Tegile has 9.5 of the top 10 desired features.
End users are intelligent and generally see through the FUD spread by our competitors. From time to time, though, we find we have to take matters into our own hands.
We ask the prospective customer to test the resiliency of Nimble’s implementation, run sustained I/O and then pull out and re-insert cables.
We ask prospective customers to judge the performance of Tegile arrays for their unique workload and applications, and support for all their protocols – and not just two protocols that can’t be run concurrently. Tegile will also help you compare the effective cost per gigabyte, which when you compare the cost for Tegile versus that of our competition, isn’t a fair fight at all.
This is why at the end of the day, at Tegile, we don’t give a FUD what our competition says about our products. We let Tegile’s top performance and lower cost per gigabyte say it all.