To charge or not to charge? Tintri's asking for new SaaS analytics

One thing's for sure: more scale for VMs is on the way


Brandon Salmon from the office of the CTO at VM-centric storage outfit Tintri dropped into Sydney this week, and dangled two future features before Vulture South.

One is deeper performance analytics for the company's arrays, delivered in software-as-a-service mode. The idea is to suck performance data out of Tintri boxen, shove it all into the cloud and then give it the kind of analytical going-over it might be hard to do on-premises. Analysing array performance in the cloud is a decent idea, if only because asking an array to do it can, as an Oracle staffer recently pointed out, consume so much CPU that an array can't do its day job.

While Tintri's confident that it can cook up cloudy, custom, confidential, reports that add value for its customers by informing them how storage rigs are performing in terms of their impact on applications and business processes. Salmon's not sure, however, how to deliver the service. Should Tintri charge for it? Or offer a free tier and a paid tier, the latter with the really good insights?

(Or go whole hog and give the lot away, which might not be a terrible idea in a market that sees competitors like Pure basically give away new arrays every so often.)

Salmon told us the debate's taking place inside Tintri as you read these words and that the product will emerge in the first half of 2016.

Around about the same time, Salmon said, Tintri users can expect to see improved scale-out for virtual machines. Today's approach to scale-out storage, he said, generates lots of chatter between nodes. That chatter is not appreciated by VMs, which just want to talk to their servers and networks to run applications. Salmon said Tintri will debut an approach whereby they live in pools of storage appropriate to their roles, with east-west traffic minimised to assist VM performance.

More emphasis on and support for containers and OpenStack is coming too. Salmon said containers make life interesting because they behave more like a process than a VM. OpenStack, he said, is well and truly on Tintri's radar. The company has quietly added support for Cinder, Glance and Nova and will soon go deeper, too. ®

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