Feeds

Newcomer gets out its box, plans to sell it cheaply to all comers

I swing all ways, iSCSI, Fibre Channel, CIFS, long time

High performance access to file storage

Here's another hybrid flash/disk array that's using dedupe and compression to produce impressive cost/GB numbers.

Tegile's Zebi product has been shipping for about a year and been bought by some 75 customers, with 80 per cent of involved in server and desktop virtualisation. It is a multi-protocol box, offering iSCSI, Fibre Channel, CIFS (or should we say SMB now) and NFS, and provides thin provisioning as well as the dedupe and compression.

Tegile's marketing VP, Rob Commings, says it provides performance through having a flash cache and large memory footprint; with from 48 to 96GB of RAM. The RAM is used as a cache for the most active data, with a layer of caching SSDs between it and 2TB 3.5-inch SAS disk drives used for bulk capacity.

There are one or two controllers, providing active-active high-availability. Overall the Zebi box has 10TB to 90TB of raw capacity. The effective capacity through the inline dedupe and compression is three to five times the raw capacity. The HA2100EP model has 96GB of RAM, 1.2TB of flash and 16TB of disk. A J2100 expansion tray has 800GB of flash and another 28TB of disk capacity.

Data management features include local snapshots, asynchronous remote replication and RAID. The company can provide application-level quality of service, like Oracle's Pillar Data's Axiom arrays.

Zebi's file system is based on ZFS and it has inline deduplication, re-written from the ZFS dedupe. Its MASS (Metadata Accelerated Storage) technology optimises caching, dedupe and RAID and generally speeds up storage processing.

Tegile states:

"With MASS, the Zebi storage system organises and stores metadata, independent of the data, on [SSDs] with optimised retrieval paths. This accelerates every storage function within the system, raising the performance of near-line SAS hard disk drives to the level of extremely expensive high-RPM SAS or Fibre Channel drives."

Customers

The array is targeted at server and desktop virtualisation; there are custom configurations for these. Tegile's main messages focus on storage efficiency and performance; 75 per cent less capacity required for seven times more IOPS.

The company cites:

- Washington and Lee University implementing 500 virtual desktop images and doing some file-sharing. The university achieved 7X the IOPS of its previous storage and a 70 per cent reduction in VDI capacity needs.
- Virgin America uses Zebi in a virtual server scenario and found it was three times the speed of NetApp kit at a tenth of the price; at $875,000 vs an $80,000 Zebi box.
- Starwood Capital Group recorded a dual controller Zebi config delivering 180,000 IOPS which was six times the speed of an EMC Clariion CX for v15 per cent of the price.

Tegile says the array can simultaneously serve blocks over Fibre Channel to a server hypervisor and files over CIFS to users in other servers. Users can get reporting on either a physical or virtual basis.

Tegile competition

How would Commings compare and contrast Tegile and Tintri?

"They run the VM right in their box. We're more of a traditional SAN/NAS array. They only run VMware environments [with] no inline dedupe; they have not cracked that. We run our system on top of ZFS [and] had to rewrite the dedupe engine, it being too much of a performance drag, driving latency through the roof. Tintri has good reporting. We have new software that will equal or surpass it."

And Nimble Storage?

"It's iSCSI block access only. Of our 75 customers only 16 per cent are iSCSI-only; so we can drive more customers. We run active-active; they run active-passive. nThey have compression and no dedupe."

Tegile provides a comparison emphasising its advantages against a 75,000 IOPS NetApp FAS 3000 array. The price difference is $400,000, five times the Zebi array's price. Of course EMC and NetApp are the stock targets for storage array start-ups and incumbents with a well-crafted and broad set of data management features and data-centre hardened gear can justifiably charge more than a startup.

Tegile's hope is that such a startling price difference will prise open business wallets for virtual server, desktop and file-sharing use cases bottlenecked by poor disk I/O. Commins said; "We try and get a trial box in to customers. We have an 80 per cent strike rate turning them into purchase orders." ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
This time it's 'Personal': new Office 365 sub covers just two devices
Redmond also brings Office into Google's back yard
European Court of Justice rips up Data Retention Directive
Rules 'interfering' measure to be 'invalid'
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Bored with trading oil and gold? Why not flog some CLOUD servers?
Chicago Mercantile Exchange plans cloud spot exchange
Just what could be inside Dropbox's new 'Home For Life'?
Biz apps, messaging, photos, email, more storage – sorry, did you think there would be cake?
IT bods: How long does it take YOU to train up on new tech?
I'll leave my arrays to do the hard work, if you don't mind
Amazon reveals its Google-killing 'R3' server instances
A mega-memory instance that never forgets
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.