Back in May, I had the chance to meet up with Tegile Systems while at Citrix Synergy 2012. During the show, I had the opportunity to quickly video tape Rob Commins, VP of Marketing at Tegile Systems, and learn more about the company's new generation of enterprise storage Zebi arrays. You can watch that video here.
This week, I had the opportunity to catch up with Rob yet again. And this time, without the distraction of thousands of people around us, I was able to dig in a bit deeper and find out more great information about this company and what they are doing in the storage market as well as the server and desktop virtualization markets.
VMblog: Tegile Systems is relatively new in the storage
market. Explain if you would to VMblog readers, what does the company offer?
Rob Commins: Tegile Systems is pioneering a new
generation of affordable feature-rich storage arrays that are dramatically
faster and can store more data than standard arrays. Incorporating Tegile's
unique metadata handling technology, MASS, Zebi arrays deliver caching and
on-the-fly de-duplication and compression for primary storage. Customers in the
financial services, manufacturing, government, legal, healthcare and
transportation industry sectors have deployed Zebi as primary storage in
virtualized server, virtualized desktop (VDI), file services and database
environments as well as for replicated storage. The company is led by a
successful team of industry veterans and is committed to a philosophy of
application areas or use cases are most suited to your solution?
Commins: About 80% of our
business goes into server and desktop virtualization. On the server side, we
are typically engaging with customers who are deploying their second or third
generation platform, and have come to the realization that using traditional
storage architectures will not meet their performance and budget requirements. On
the desktop side, IT managers are finding that running a proof of concept with
tens of desktop instances on top of traditional storage is a relatively simple
exercise, but at scale, say 100s or even 1000s of desktop instances, the
performance of the traditional array quickly becomes a critical path
problem. Tegile's Zebi arrays address
these problems very nicely.
VMblog: What makes Tegile's systems so effective in
Commins: First and foremost, Tegile's patent-pending
MASS technology accelerates performance to solid state speeds without
sacrificing the capacity or cost advantage of hard disk storage. Our Zebi arrays leverage the performance of
SSD and low cost per TB of high capacity disk drives to deliver five times the
performance and up to 75% less capacity required than to legacy arrays. We
don't simply use SSDs as a tier of storage in our arrays, Tegile has
architected the performance benefits of SSDs throughout the data path, giving
every application a performance boost.
Through the deep integration of SSD and
caching technologies, Tegile systems deliver five times the performance of
legacy arrays. These performance gains are recognized by applications even when
their data ultimately lands on hard disk drives. High IOPS and low latency for
Additionally, up to 75% less capacity is
required with Tegile Zebi arrays. In-line compression and de-duplication are
used on DRAM, SSD and hard disk drive media throughout the array. This allows
customers to significantly reduce their acquisition and operational cost of
storage. All application data is reduced - Other solutions in the market with
de-duplication are either all-flash arrays that are very expensive when
compared to Tegile, or their performance is not suitable for high performance,
low latency environments such as server and desktop virtualization.
VMblog: How do Tegile arrays differ from
traditional legacy storage?
Commins: Tegile Systems' enterprise storage arrays
balance performance, capacity, features and price for virtualization, file
services and database applications. Our hybrid arrays are significantly faster
than legacy arrays and significantly less expensive than all solid-state
disk-based arrays. Our software simplifies administration and optimizes storage
for various applications including virtualization, file services and databases.
Our hardware provides high performance at low cost: Quad-core Xeon processors,
significant memory, sizable read and write caches using flash, multiple
networking interfaces, dual power supplies and hot disk spares. Additionally,
Tegile's patent-pending MASS technology accelerates performance to solid state
speeds without sacrificing the capacity or cost advantage of hard disk storage.
In terms of current systems, Tegile's Zebi
line of hybrid storage arrays is up to 5 times faster than all hard disk-based
arrays and significantly less expensive than all solid-state disk-based arrays.
The usable capacity of a Zebi is up to 5 times its raw capacity because of
Tegile's on-the-fly data compression and de-duplication technology. Zebi
provides better data protection than standard arrays with its
no-single-point-of-failure architecture, built-in snapshot, replication,
near-instant recovery, on- or offsite fail-over capabilities. Zebi arrays
integrate easily into both SAN and NAS environments. Most of the mainstream
disk arrays available today are based on graying product lines dressed up with
incremental modifications. These over-priced systems are based on old
architectures, legacy hardware, complex command line management interfaces, and
VMblog: What are some of the biggest problems that
companies face when deploying storage solutions?
Commins: Today companies are implementing server
virtualization, desktop virtualization, shared databases and file services -- all of which not only demand high capacity
storage, but also high performance storage that can handle high volume
transitions and a larger number of concurrent users. Advances in data
reliability, protection and efficiency, such as RAID, compression and
de-duplication, also demand better performance. As a result, IT managers need
to rebalance the key requirements (capacity, performance, compatibility,
usability (fit for purpose), reliability, data protection and value for money) for
storage in order to maintain an efficient IT infrastructure that supports
critical business operations and applications.
VMblog: Today virtualization is on every Data
Center Manager's mind. How do you solve the challenges that virtualization
Commins: Virtualization brings challenges. Server
virtualization puts greater demands on storage to deliver data without latency
- clearly a problem for mechanical hard disk drives. Virtual Desktop
Infrastructures (VDI), whether based on VMware View, Microsoft Terminal
Services, Citrix Xen or other solutions, notoriously
cause disruptive boot storms. Low-latency solid state disk is only a partial
solution as virtualized environments need high capacity, value, and advanced
features in addition to performance for their storage.
Today's IT managers need storage arrays
that deliver faster performance, higher capacities and robust data protection
with near-instant recovery times. They want these arrays to be affordable and
easier to use. Additionally, they want to work with a supplier that listens to
their specific needs and provides customer support as an integral part of their
offering, not as an afterthought.
We are seeing too that de-duplication and
compression capability is a major development that's important to IT
organizations implementing desktop virtualization (VDI) and server
IT managers want high performance
capabilities in order to mitigate the impact of "boot storms" and a growing
IT is also looking to quickly backup and
restore data. They want to conduct snapshots that can be scheduled every few
minutes, every hour, etc., depending upon the criticality of the data. They
want unlimited snapshot technology that is non-disruptive and space efficient
to record changed data without duplicating existing data. These are all key
VMblog: We've heard about data reduction
technologies from other vendors, but they use lots of cautionary statements
about performance. Tegile does not use
any of these cautionary statements. Can you talk a little about that?
Commins: The Tegile Zebi appliance supports in-line
compression and block level de-duplication of all data before it is written to
disk. It is not a post-processing batch job that is done after all the raw data
is written to disk. By combining its unique technology and using high performance
Xeon processors, Tegile ensures that the in-line compression and de-duplication
does not add any latency to the Zebi. For backup, organizations typically store
multiple copies of their full dataset, which is backed up on weekends. These
full copies inherently have a lot of duplicate data. The Tegile Zebi array is
able to detect duplicate blocks of data and avoid writing these duplicate
blocks of data to disk. This not only saves disk space but also improves
throughput speeds because the data does not have to be written again to disk.
Tegile Zebi is able to offer similar benefits for other use cases such as
virtual server / desktop environments where there is a lot of duplicate data.
VMblog: What unique technology does Tegile deliver
to customers who are looking to improve storage efficiency and performance?
Commins: Tegile's patent-pending technology
underpins the company's pioneering delivery of advanced, cost-effective storage
for 21st century data centers. Tegile's Zebi array uniquely combines a Redirect
on Write (ROW) file system with proprietary Metadata Accelerated Storage System
(MASS) technology to realize the holy grail of storage - high performance, high
capacity and high reliability at low cost. It combines this unique technology
approach with best in class data protection features, the most reliable
hardware and an extremely friendly user interface to take storage to a whole
new level of usability.
Tegile's highly experienced team underpins
its reputation as the IT manager's "innovation partner." When customers need
help, real experts are there for them. When a customer provides feedback,
Tegile executives evaluate it immediately. When multiple customers provide the
same feedback Tegile take immediate action to see how it can benefit all
customers. This simple process makes Tegile the ideal data storage partner for
business, government and educational organizations.
Once again, thanks to Rob Commins for taking time out to speak with VMblog.
About Rob Commins
Rob Commins has been instrumental in the success of some of the storage
industry's most interesting companies over the past twenty years. As Vice
President of Marketing at Tegile, he leads the company's marketing strategy; go
to market and demand generation activities, as well as competitive analysis.
Rob comes to Tegile from HP/3PAR, where he led the product marketing team through
several product launches and 3X customer growth over three quarters. Rob also
managed much of the functional marketing and operations integration after
Hewlett Packard acquired 3PAR. At Pillar Data Systems, he was at the forefront
of converged NAS/SAN storage systems and application-aware QoS in mid-range
storage. Rob is also a veteran of StorageWay, one of the first storage services
providers that launched cloud services.
About Tegile Systems
Tegile Systems is pioneering a new generation of affordable
feature-rich storage arrays that are dramatically faster, and can store more
data than standard arrays. Incorporating Tegile's unique metadata handling
technology, MASS, Zebi arrays deliver caching and on the fly de-duplication
and compression for primary storage. Customers in the financial services,
manufacturing, government, legal, healthcare and transportation industry
sectors have deployed Zebi as primary storage in virtualized server,
virtualized desktop (VDI), file services and database environments as well as
for replicated storage. The company is led by a successful team of industry
veterans and is committed to a philosophy of "customer first." For more
information on the company, visit www.tegile.com