All-flash storage array vendor Tegile Systems on Wednesday enhanced its line with a multi-tier flash storage platform that automates the movement of data between high-performance NVMe and high-capacity flash.
The new IntelliFlash HD technology takes advantage of the different performance and capacity characteristics of the two types of flash storage to develop an offering that provides all the performance required from storage while keeping the price to about 50 cents per gigabyte, said Rob Commins, vice president of corporate marketing for the Newark, Calif.-based vendor.
The flash storage market has, for some time, been bifurcating into two types, Commins told CRN.
The first is toward high-performance flash, particularly NVMe, where the latency is up to 80 percent lower than that of traditional flash. The second is high-density flash, which is lower in cost-per-gigabyte but still higher in performance than that of spinning disk, he said.
For Tegile, which got its start as a provider of hybrid flash and hard drive storage arrays before moving to all-flash arrays, the move to multi-tier performance and capacity flash in one array is a natural evolution, Commins said.
"We said, 'Let's rip out the hard drive, move flash storage there for density, and add NVMe for performance,'" he said. "We are a step above what other vendors offer. We do placement of data in real-time rather than moving data per a set schedule, which is much more common."
Using compression and deduplication, Tegile can get total capacity of its IntelliFlash HD-based all-flash arrays to 20 petabytes in a 42U rack, with performance of up to 5 million IOs per second, Commins said.
The New IntelliFlash HD arrays support both block-based and file-based storage. "This lets data center administrators run a true all-flash data center," he said. "Look at how flash has been deployed. It has been sitting in front of or on top of traditional disk arrays to accelerate performance. But array capacity is still in the 10-TB to 20-TB range because disk capacity has not been increasing. Now customers can put 20 petabytes in a rack."
The combination of multi-tier flash technology and the company's Lifetime Storage Controller Refresh program, which allows customers to update the controller independent of the capacity, makes Tegile's all-flash storage technology the base of a private cloud with the pricing structure of public clouds, Commins said.
"It can look like a public cloud, but with all the creature comforts of a private cloud, including performance, data integrity, compliance, and control," he said.
Tegile has proven to be a channel-friendly vendor that also has a solid all-flash storage strategy, said Alec Taylor, partner and consultant at Ivoxy Consulting, a Kirkland, Wash.-based solution provider and Tegile channel partner.
Ivoxy's customers are very interested in future storage technologies, whether they're related to hyper-converged infrastructure, all-flash, or hybrid flash, Taylor told CRN.
"At the top of the list is NVMe," he said. "They want to know, what does NVMe cost, how to support it, and should they be purchasing storage without NVMe today and upgrade later. A lot of traditional storage protocols are heading for the chopping block because they were not designed for flash, and so they care about NVMe."
But they are also concerned about the economics of flash, which makes a multi-tier flash strategy interesting, Taylor said.
"They may not want everything on flash storage or everything on the fastest flash," he said. "How to get the benefits of both worlds is an important issue for them. As long as we can tie the technology to customers' requirements, and get if done efficiently to solve their problems, our customers definitely will get on board with the new technology."
Mark Galyardt, executive vice president of XIOSS, an Atlanta-based solution provider and Tegile channel partner, told CRN that bringing multi-tier flash technology to customers is a no-brainer.
"The hard drive business bifurcated into SAS and SATA," Galyardt said. "Flash storage can bifurcate, too."
Success with the multi-tier flash storage depends on ensuring the reliability of NVMe, which is a relatively new type of flash technology to the market, Galyardt said. "Large customers, especially services providers, don't have a lot of time for downtime," he said.
The IntelliFlash HD multi-tier flash storage offerings are already available to channel partners.
Current Tegile customers can upgrade to the IntelliFlash HD without the need to purchase a new array by amortizing the cost of the new technology into the existing maintenance cycle, Commins said. Customers can also add NVMe, density flash, or spinning disk to existing deployments via the company's expansion shelves, he said.