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Mutant hybrid upstart joins pushback against storage giants

Array-maker boasts triple-digit growth at expense of HP, NetApp and pals

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Three hybrid flash-disk array upstarts are eating away at the incumbents' market share - and El Reg has peeked under the bonnet of one to find out how.

El Reg talked about Nimble Storage and Tintri a couple of weeks ago and that prompted Tegile to pull aside the curtain and show us a few more numerical goodies.

Rob Commins, its marketing veep, claimed:

  • Tegile is well past 200 customers today
  • We had 280 per cent year-on-year growth for the 12 months ended March 31, 2013
  • We had 475 per cent growth when comparing Q1 2013 against Q1 2012
  • Every two quarters, Tegile is doubling revenue
  • Our ASP (average systems price) is just under $80,000

He added this little nugget: "Approximately 20 per cent of our business comes from NetApp tech refresh displacements. Dell and EMC are right up there too."

Picking up a DCIG "best in class" rating couldn't have done it any harm either.

The three hybrid array start-ups are sprinting ahead while one, Starboard Systems is limping sideways. The three sprinters are running through a large gap left in the market by mainstream storage suppliers concentrating on all-flash array products, instead of building freshly-designed hybrid arrays.

The manufacturers reasoned that adding SSDs or a flash cache to their legacy arrays was good enough. It isn't and Nimble, Tegile and Tintri's growth rates are evidence of that.

EMC is responding, with a new hybrid VNX in development. It better be good; Tegile's Zebi array includes deduplication and compression to up the effective capacity.

Our thesis is that small and medium businesses and their channel suppliers like the hybrid arrays because they offer near-flash array performance at equal, or less, than disk drive array prices. What's not to like about that?

The hybrid guys' businesses have more than 1,500 customers now and (El Reg estimates) something like 3,000 deployed systems. Expect to see entry-level and mid-range systems sales from the HINHED* gang come under pressure. ®

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