codypetry
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Tegile | Tintri | Compellent - Evaluating for next SAN refresh

I have quotes for all three - Tegile (HA2100,HA2300), Tintri (T650), and Compellent (SC8000).

I love how easy the Tintri was to setup and how it performs automatic I/O alignment.  The main thing I dislike about it is the lack of enterprise grade hardware (consumer grade MLCs, SATA vs SAS) and the lack of compression on the mechanical disks.  The Tegile has enterprise grade hardware (SAS, eMLC) and it does deduplication/compression on all disks (SSD and HDD).

The Compellent, well, every storage vendor tells me they are bad, don't go with them, but I honestly feel it's a case of "that's my competitor, buy my stuff!."

Dell gave me a fantastic deal on a Compellent array with 12 TB of SSD (6 pack SLC 400GB/ea, 6 pack 1.6TB/ea eMLC) and a tray (x24) of 1 TB 7200 rpm disks.  I dislike that this array moves data based on a schedule - once a day in 4K pages.  However, it's saving grace is the large amount of SSD and the fact that they are adding compression into T3 this September. 

Any experience with any of them? Right now I'm an all HDS shop (Hitachi, AMS and HUS).  I dislike these SANs.  They are solid but offer absolutely no innovation.

Compression/Deduplication is a huge deal for me as most data is cold and is def. very compressible.  I'm done with paying for space I don't need.  Compression and deduplication is the answer.  I should be able to put a 30 TB box in a 4U space that has the efficiency/capacity of a 120 TB SAN.  I know the Tegile can do this, but the entry level model they quoted me is pricey and has a low amount of SSD.

Tegile is not as reasonable with pricing as they would try to tell you.

15 Replies
depping
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Let me throw in Nimble as well then... They also have a compelling offering if you ask me. Most of them will do 10-15 TB usable in 2U, and dedupe/compression will depend on your workload. That could be 10:1 but also 2:1 who knows. The Nimble CS240 for instance. It is difficult for anyone to say what you need / should be looking at. I also personally don't see "non enterprise grade components" as a problem with Tintri for instance, as long as they offer you enterprise level support on them. Most of these companies have a smart way of leveraging the SSDs allowing them to extend their life span.

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Jeff8737
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We moved from Compellent to Tegile last year. Tegile compression and dedupe work as advertised and its a solid product. It really shines with VM and in VDI implementations. If you're planning to throw a wide variety of IO patterns at a single Tegile array - VM + SQL + Exchange + Fileshares all on the same array you'll want to do a rather extensive trial because we had issues getting SQL performance where we wanted it to be. There have been several dot releases of the code since we went live and they now have a nice set of docs for best practice cfgs for SQL but there is no substitute for running it in your environment if that can be arranged. A lot of the Tegile folks came from Compellent and they're a nice bunch of people to deal with.     

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codypetry
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How's the Tegiles reliability?  Someone told me they have reliability issues with NFS and that's why Tegile pushes FC.  I really want VM specific analytics which means NFS.

The only problem I see with Tintri is the lack of expandability. You have to buy a whole new unit to expand. That would cost another $60K for a 13.5TB unit. They don't dedupe/compress on HDD.

I talked to Pure Storage but they want $160K for 11TB of consumer grade MLC.

I was offered a great price on a Compellant SC8000.

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depping
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codypetry wrote:

How's the Tegiles reliability?  Someone told me they have reliability issues with NFS and that's why Tegile pushes FC.  I really want VM specific analytics which means NFS.

The only problem I see with Tintri is the lack of expandability. You have to buy a whole new unit to expand. That would cost another $60K for a 13.5TB unit. They don't dedupe/compress on HDD.

I talked to Pure Storage but they want $160K for 11TB of consumer grade MLC.

I was offered a great price on a Compellant SC8000.

You are not paying for the physical hardware, you are paying for the goodness they layered on top of it! Forgot the type of MLC used, it is about the experience they deliver... the operational simplicity, the performance etc

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Seanpeters
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I like the Tintri based on my experience with it.

I wrote my 2 cents about it here http://www.neeshanpeters.com/storage/tintri-datastores-a-customers-perspective

Remember to look at the array as a whole and just not for storage. The landscape is changing and Performance and Storage in an array can be separated easily. We have many Tintri arrays and all have worked great so far. Our sister company has them as well as a Nimble.

agipson
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First off, I'll say that I work for Tegile and as previously pointed out, several Tegile employees did come from Compellent after the Dell acquisition as did I.

Tegile

I'm biases on the reliability, so I won't speak to that one.  I will say there are plenty of other Tegile customers and can answer that for you though, just ask your account team to set up a reference or two.  However, you shouldn't find that Tegile pushes FC because of NFS reliability, in fact we often push VMware customers to at least try NFS because of the integration we have with vCenter/ESX.  With NFS in a VMware environment we can see per VM throughput, iops and latency from our management interface or through our VMware Plug-In.

Tintri

You've already stated the items I would point out regarding cMLC/SATA, HDD rehydration and scaling.  At least they did just announce support for Hyper-V and RHEV, so I can't ding them on being VMware only anymore.

Dell Compellent

Having sold, installed and supported over a hundred of these systems from 2007-2011, I'd tell you it is a good product and works well.  Data Progression is the data movement engine across the tiers and raid levels, but the key to it's success of moving the 2MB pages is Data Instant Replay (snapshots).  Without regular snapshots, data doesn't really move down the tiers with the default Storage Profiles.  In Storage Center 6.5 it has been announced that the array will have the option to compress data that has progressed down to the lowest tier and hasn't been accessed.  FC & iSCSI native only.  CIFS/NFS via server appliance.

Pure Storage

If you have the budget for an all flash array, then I'd suggest you compare the performance and price/TB of a Tegile all flash configuration too, but you seem to have already ruled this out based on price.  Otherwise, Pure is like Tintri and Nimble using cMLC SSD drives.  FC & iSCSI only.

Nimble Storage

Nimble offers compression, but no deduplication.  Just like Tintri, Nimble only offers cMLC and SATA drives.  iSCSI only support.

In general, cMLC and SATA isn't a bad thing and I would agree that as long as you have support the failed drives will be replaced.  As stated by another person, most storage systems that leverage SSD do have ways to minimize the writes and maximize the life, but the fact is that the SSD drives will generally degrade in performance long before they actually fail.  cMLC SSD drives typically have 1/10th of the write endurance of their eMLC counterparts, meaning you can write petabytes of data to them instead of hundreds of terabytes.  Regardless of support contracts, you have to ask yourself how often do I want to deal with replacing a drive and how frequently do I want a drive failure to be placing my data at risk while handling the rebuild.

Good luck filtering through all of the noise and making your storage decision.  I hope you become a Tegile customer, but understand you have to make the choice that works best for you.  If you have any other questions regarding Tegile or even Compellent, feel free to let me know.

-Aaron

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codypetry
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I understand you're paying for the proprietary software, not the hardware.  That doesn't mean I agree with the cost.  Calling it "goodness" would be like saying you're paying for the "sorcery".  If they are going to charge some insane amount of money then they should use all enterprise grade hardware vs cheaping out the customer and slapping $500/consumer grade disks in there.  Basically with Pure they charge a ton for their operating system and they further increase profits by using consumer grade hardware.

I will likely go with Tegile.  They offer nearly as good dedupe/compression as Pure and don't cost anywhere near $160K for 11 TB of RAW eMLC.  Tegile has my respect right now.  They use all enterprise grade hardware including SAS grade mechanical disks.  They are also going to let me evaluate a system identical to the one I would buy.  They also seem honest.  They told me a realistic IOPS number (15k IOPS per controller, 30K total between two active/active to be conservative), not "yes we do 1,000,000 IOPS! (and in fine print "but with 1K blocks which is never used", etc).

I've heard nothing but had things about Nimble from a lot of people.  I know a few vendors I work with refuse to quote Nimble to me because of botched implementations.

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jivor50
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Have you looked at Skyera? If you want the cheapest all flash array then there are none cheaper than skyera nor as dense. Their price will blow away the competition, easily. If you are looking for certain features than it may be a deal breaker but I just responded solely on price.

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codypetry
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The skyEagle product sounds interesting.  I'm having a call with them this afternoon.  If they can actually deliver an all-flash array for the cost of disk they are already ahead of Pure.  Pure says they can offer flash for the price of disk but 11TB for $160K isn't so.  From what I've googled a 44TB Skyera system goes for $131K list.

"Skyera offers the arrays in three capacity points of 12TB, 22TB and 44TB with pricing of $48,000, $77,000 and $131,000 respectively. The early access program begins in Q3 of this year, with general availability scheduled for Q1 2013."

Thanks for the tip, if they offer a good price and have basic features which it seems to do, they'd be a good match.

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jivor50
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Codypetry

I sent you a PM as well if you dont mind responding to. Thanks.

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codypetry
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Jvor50, I looked into Skyera.  They are actually way too costly.  The skyEagle product is over $180K.  They are doing the same thing Pure is.  They claim $1.99/GB but that's ONLY for a maxed out system.  If you want 10-20TB then it's far more costly.  They could only offer a non-redundant system (skyHawk) for under $100K (barely under).

Tegile is just going to wipe the floor with all of those vendors in the next few years IMO.  Out of all the systems I've quoted they offer the most.

PS - I sent a response to your PM.

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jivor50
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Skyera is 12TB for $48k, granted its 10GB and 1GB ethernet with one controller/switch but to my knowledge NO ONE offers 12TB useable FLASH before dedupe for $48k, then with skyera you can add on Dedupe license for another $$$ amount. If you can find 12TB RAW useable storage before dedupe from Tegile or any other major SAN vendor then I am all ears but to my knowledge NO ONE is close for that RAW useable flash.

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codypetry
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That's the pricing for the skyHawk (no redundant controllers or redundant power supply) not the skyEagle (fully redundant).  So that $48K is with single points of failure and that also doesn't include the dedupe/compression license (22-33% of the cost of the unit for the license).  However, yes, Pure charges $160K for 11TB raw.  Granted that includes redundant hardware.

In my opinion both overcharge considering they both use consumer grade MLC.

Tegile costs less and they use all enterprise grade MLC and enterprise grade SAS (not SATA).

I know those Pure/Skyera systems cost NO WHERE near that kind of money to produce.  They literally feel their "dedupe/compression" software is worth that much.  The sad thing is their compression/dedupe ratios are no better than anyone elses.

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hillapp
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I don't work for a storage vendor and never have but have helped sell, install and manage Tegile, Tintri, Compellent and Nimble storage, thus, most of my work revolves around storage. Word to the wise, stay away from any newcomer all flash solution.  The number of all flash solutions to tank in the last few years keeps growing. I would guess most of the ones that have been bought out have sold most likely out of necessity.  The cost of entry into becoming an all flash vendor is too small which is why so many are trying.

IMO there are really two types of SAN vendors. Vendors that focus on hardware and those that focus on software. The hybrid (flash and spinning disk) vendors are usually focused on the software while the all flash arrays are typically about the hardware. Compellent, although not built with flash in mind is a software focused solution.

Every storage vendor has botched installations and issues so don't get caught up in that, the support that comes with a botched install is what is critical.

Tegile, is ok but wouldn't be my first choice...its another ZFS storage solution with too many options IMO. Their support needs maturation too.  Compression is good but dedupe is overrated. Typical volume based SAN with NFS, iscsi and FC (most ZFS based solutions have all three). ZFS based solutions are nothing new and have a history.  All inclusive pricing is pretty awesome. Upgrades are pricey.

Nimble Storage is solid, they have excellent support but they are pricey for what you get if you are looking at the hardware.  Compression is good. It's pretty obvious Tegile is trying to beat Nimble on price whenever they can.  Typical volume based SAN with iscsi only but heard FC and dedupe is coming if that matters. Also, has all inclusive pricing which is great. Upgrades are pricey.

Tintri is my favorite storage solution for fully virtualized environments (mainly Vmware but Hyper-v and KVM are supposed to be supported soon if not already) because you don't have or be a storage guy. NFS based storage which may not sound too great but it is simple, smart and keeps you out of trouble as there is no volume carving. Support is decent but pricey. Upgrades are horizontal so you are basically buying another unit when its time for more space which keeps it simple but expensive as they all are.

Compellent is a very good storage solution and probably the only one out of any you have looked at that is close to being Enterprise storage (for very large environments). They have a unique flash offering, forklift upgrades are not necessary (unless you have a very old compellent), very good upgrade options, and there support is considered by many to be one of the best in the business (even after Dell bought them). It's still volume based storage so you will need your storage admin hat still.

Most of the new storage vendors don't give you much of a break on any upgrades these days. Most make you buy a full shelf regardless of the necessity so make sure you ask how the upgrades work.

Hope this helps. I have worked with quite a few more but these seem to be the contenders in this posting.

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NaomiGoldberg
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You can see user reviews for all three solutions here (without vendor interference)

Tegile Reviews | IT Central Station

http://www.itcentralstation.com/products/tintri-vmstore

http://www.itcentralstation.com/products/compellent

You also might want to check out HP's 3PAR. It is currently top rated by users in this category and is VMware compatible, http://www.itcentralstation.com/products/hpe-3par-flash-storage

http://www.vmware.com/files/pdf/partners/hp/vmware-vsphere-hp-3par-storeserv-so.pdf

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