Tegile deepens all-flash emphasis with high-end Tegile IntelliFlash HD

Tegile’s IntelliFlash HD storage array uses Tegile’s hybrid architecture, but with two types of flash, one layer being very dense and the other very fast. Tegile also announced a new entry level all-flash array, the T3550.


The Tegile IntelliFlash HD

Tegile Systems, which makes both hybrid and all-flash storage arrays, has enhanced focus on the all-flash side of the house with the IntelliFlash HD storage array, which is now available. The high end system is designed to bring hyperscale performance and economics to enterprise data centres. At the other end of the spectrum. The company has also released its T3500, a new entry-level all-flash array aimed at the low end of the market, the sub-10 TB space.

While Tegile started as a hybrid flash player, all-flash arrays have become an increasingly important part of the business.

“We started in hybrid storage, and did well there,” said Rob Commins, Tegile’s VP of Marketing. “We entered all-flash in 2014 and it is now between 25 and 30 per cent of our revenue.”

The IntelliFlash HD storage array uses Tegile’s hybrid design, but adapts it.

“We are using the hybrid architecture here, but for two tiers of flash, Commins said. “Instead of a tier of flash and a tier of disks, we have a very dense flash layer, and a very fast flash layer.”

The result is very high density and very high performance. It puts 512TB in a 3RU space with a SanDisk InfiniFlash dense flash enclosure, offering a maximum of 10PB effective capacity in a single 42U rack. It can also deliver up to 5 million IOPS at under 50 cents per effective GB.

“All-flash has still been too expensive to use in all applications, but at a street price of 50 cents a GB if you allow for a 3-1 deduplication rate, this makes it possible to expand its use,” Commins stated. “It means that you don’t have to look at all-flash application by application, but can look at doing the entire data centre, consolidating all of it onto a single all-flash platform.”

While most of Tegile’s revenue is still hybrid flash, Commins suggested that the declining cost of all-flash makes it the primary solution of the future.

“We went through some changes in our own selling motion,” he said. “We increasingly found that when you lead with hybrid, you wind up spelling the need for all-flash. If you lead with hybrid, saying you can get an experience that is 95 per cent close to all-flash for half the cost, when flash was expensive, that’s compelling. But if the cost comes down, we find the customer is willing to pay the all-flash cost. So we have turned our selling motion upside down. We now lead with all-flash, and move to hybrid when it’s too expensive for a particular customer.”

The increased focus on all-flash had led to Tegile having more success upmarket from the mid-market and smaller enterprises which were their historical sweet spot.

“We saw the appetite for all-flash from larger companies, so we’ve been growing the size of our target customer over the last year and a half,” Commins said. “We find our very large customers love it, but they haven’t been putting everything on it, using us for specific use cases and projects. We are starting to see some nice pickup from warehousing and data analytics now, and we are in some discussions about Data Lakes. Data Lakes will be a real nice sweet spot for the IntelliFlash HD.”

Commins indicated that the partners needed to sell the IntelliFlash HD to larger customers are about 75 per cent already in place.

“We picked up some larger resellers in larger metropolitan areas when all-flash sharpened up, and are now picking up some on the analytics side, like Splunk resellers,” he said.

Future versions of IntelliFlash HD will have both scale up and scale out controllers for sustained low-latency and performance at high scale.

The other new solution, the T3500, is an entry-level all-flash array intended to help smaller customers begin their transformation to an all-flash data centre.

“This will typically be for customers with under 10 TB of storage, who are usually in the 300-1000 employee range,” Commins said. “We are expanding the low end of our all-flash lineup to get a more aggressive entry point.”

Commins said that all these solutions being on the Tegile IntelliFlash OS platform gives their partners much more flexibility.

“We can offer hybrid solutions and all-flash solutions from 5 TB up, which can address the whole market, all on the exact same storage OS,” he said. “They have all the same feature functionality. The replication is exactly the same. Having such a wide platform allows resellers to get into more creative economic discussions, like using hybrid for less expensive replication backup.”