Checking out Tintri

I had a look yesterday evening at a webinar on Tintri, a start-up storage company founded by an ex-VMware guy amongst others. The concept is for VM-aware storage – no luns, just one big datastore per box which delivers VM storage. Everything seems to be managed by vCenter, or at least a very vCenter-like interface. It’s a single unit, which scales out by adding boxes in the manner of P4000 or Equallogic, but with dedupe and flash storage like a NetApp box with PAM/ Flash-Cache. $65k for 8.5Tb useable.

I love the concept – the theory that your VM administrators can manage the storage layer without needing to be a storage expert will I’m sure play well in the mid-market. Storage can be a bit of a black art for those who have never had a SAN before. Tintri is also VM storage only (VMware today, other hypervisors under consideration), and we seem to be pretty good at getting our customers to 100% virtualised.

There are a few things missing – no single view of multiple boxes, no replication, and as far as I can see no VSS snapshots (although integration with VMware snapshots helps), no VAAI (as that is block level only – will be supported with VMware’s NFS support in the next release). But it looks strong on thin provisioning, dedupe etc and it sounds like this stuff will be coming soon.

Sounds like they will hit the UK/ Europe towards the end of the year – I will look forward to seeing them land and to learning more about it as it sounds like a concept with potential for our customers.

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