Tegile Systems announces massively scalable IntelliFlash Cloud Platform

Tegile says its new scale-out platform, with flash prices starting at about 50 cents/GB, will make on-prem flash cheaper than the public cloud and thus give channel partners a powerful weapon.

TegileSystemsLAS VEGAS – Today, at VMWorld, Tegile Systems is announcing its IntelliFlash Cloud Platform, a rack scale all-flash platform with a scale-out architecture that will let customers build massively scalable private clouds with up to tens of petabytes of flash storage.

“We use VMWorld as our anchor event to demonstrate our wares, and this is a huge announcement for us,” said Rob Commins, Tegile’s VP of Marketing. “This is a follow-on to our IntelliFlash HD storage array, which came out early this year.”

Tegile originally began doing hybrid storage, and moved into the all-flash business in 2014. That business has grown to the point where it is now half of their revenue. IntelliFlash HD leverages their hybrid design, except that instead of a tier of flash and a tier of disks, it has two different flash layers — a very dense flash layer, and a very fast flash layer.

“Feedback from customers on this said that while it provided a lot of capacity, they wanted more pipes for high bandwidth applications, such as in media and entertainment, and security where they use a lot of cameras. Having that extra performance would also make it easier for them to run analytics. So we are responding to those requests with our new Cloud Platform.”

The IntelliFlash Cloud Platform adds a scale-out architecture with eight controllers, shared across a global namespace.

“The densities and performance are fantastic,” Commons said. “These multi-controller clusters will scale up and out to many petabytes of flash and have shared access to multiple grades of media that data is intelligently placed upon. It will also be less expensive than the public cloud.”

The other interesting thing about IntelliFlash Cloud Platform is really a futures play, using nascent Non-Volatile Memory Express (NVMe) interconnect technology. The platform will use NVMe to connect SSDs to the control plane, significantly reducing network latency.

“NVMe interconnect technology will bring storage latencies down another 80 per cent,” Commins said. “In the last 4-5 years, we have got latency down from the 10-14 ms on disk drives to 1 ms on SSDs on SAS interfaces. Now with NVME, we get latency way down again, to .2 ms. We expect to see a lot of momentum towards this. We couldn’t have a conversation at Flash Summit two weeks ago without the topic coming up.”

Tegile will expand the use of NVMe over time, as the major networking vendors open it up to host applications and hypervisors.

“Out of the gate, we will use the NVMe between the controllers and high performance flash,” Commins said. “Over the next 5-6 quarters, we will build a fabric inside of our system.”

Commins said that the new platform is really a game-changer for Tegile.

“This allows us to move ahead on both performance and capacity sides,” he said. “At this scale, it will change the way people will buy flash. Today, the average capacity point of an all-flash deployment is about 10-20 TB. That’s relatively small. It’s being used to accelerate portions of databases. The IntelliFlash Cloud Platform will move the entire data centre over to flash, as opposed to buying application by application.”

Commins said that the platform’s inversion of cloud cost dynamics is an especially big deal for the channel.

“This becomes a really interesting channel play,” he said. “It brings the economics to the point where on-prem is more cost effective than cloud. The channel has been running scared about losing business to the public cloud guys, and this gives them a powerful weapon against that.”

The Tegile IntelliFlash Cloud Platform will be generally available in Q1 2017 with configurations priced as low as 50¢ per GB. Tegile will be displaying the platform at VMWorld this week at Booth 2057.