Tintri covers the bases — all-flash and hybrid-flash storage

Choice is, to mangle a marketing line, the choice of a new generation. Tintri aims to offer it in spades to storage customers.

Tintri is a storage vendor and, as we all know, storage has traditionally been seen as one of the most boring parts of our industry. I mean, nothing ever really happens in storage, and those storage geeks seem to get excited about the weirdest of things — big spinning disks and tall racks with far too few flashing lights on them.

But in recent years, things have changed — the dual trends of rapidly reducing costs of flash storage and the move toward software-defined storage (SDS) has meant that this formerly sedentary part of the industry has suddenly become hot. Storage conversations have, without resorting to hyperbole, become kind of sexy for a change.

Tintri is one of the companies riding this wave. Tintri builds smart storage that can intuit what is going on within its operating environment and react to changes. Tintri delivers VM-aware storage that provides the sort of visibility, control, insight and agility we'd expect for virtual servers but applied to the traditionally sedentary storage space.

The company is today extending its product line and jumping into the all-flash world by releasing a new series of all-flash storage devices. These devices will join Tintri's existing hybrid devices. A supporter would suggest that it's a case of Tintri giving its customers ultimate choice, while a cynic would say that it is an admission that all-flash is a notion whose time has come and that hybrid approaches just aren't necessary anymore.

The new series will share an operating system with the existing hybrid product, meaning that customers have software consistency between all of their Tintri hardware, but also potentially meaning that customers can swap between hybrid and all-flash without a massive burden in terms of time and complexity.

On the one hand, I like that this shows Tintri giving customers more choice of the hardware on which their product runs, but on the other, it still has too many constraints. While these vendors that deliver packaged software plus hardware solutions would suggest that it is the only way for them to ensure performance and consistency, I still like the idea of broad software fabrics that can sit on top of whatever software organizations are using.

Tintri is pushing the specificity of its solution, suggesting it is purpose-built for virtualized enterprises. I'm not convinced that is a pitch that is significantly different from a number of other new-era storage vendors out there. The company is hanging its hat on solutions for specific use cases including:

  • Tintri VMstack for Server Virtualization: optimized for server virtualization based on VMware vSphere, Microsoft Hyper-V or other Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization sized for typical virtualized server applications.
  • Tintri VMstack for VDI: optimized for VDI, based on VMware Horizon with View or Citrix XenDesktop running on supported hypervisor platforms, sized for various user counts and concurrent desktop use.
  • Tintri VMstack for Private Cloud: optimized for private clouds based on VMware vRealize Suite, or OpenStack and sized for large numbers of dynamic workloads with a high rate of change.
I'm not completely convinced, but I'm looking forward to seeing what the market thinks of this new range of products from Tintri.

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