Backing up its claim that 99% of corporate IT users will be overpaying for storage performance in 2013, Tegile Systems has launched a promotion for colleges and universities that buy its hybrid storage arrays. The Don’t Overpay for Storage promotion will pay out $2,500 to a college’s scholarship fund for every Zebi hybrid array purchased by a college or university through June 30.
“Tegile is obsessive about universities busting their budgets for storage capacity they don’t need to optimize application performance, so we’re putting our money where our mouth is,” said Rob Commins, VP of Marketing, in a prepared statement. According to the company, the performance benefits of all-flash arrays are often oversold with customers paying exorbitant prices for unnecessary IOPS.
Other than very complex environments and specialized applications such as real-time financial transactions, HPC and scientific research environments, corporate business applications do not require the luxury – or the cost – of 1 million IOPS storage systems, said Commins. However, while Tegile is reaching out a helping hand to higher ed, the rest of the corporate world will have to optimize their storage budgets by making smarter choices, preferably involving its hybrid disk/flash arrays with MASS technology that accelerates performance and enables on-the-fly de-duplication and compression of data.
Referencing a variety of independent sources, Tegile explained where the enterprise storage market is, and why it’s on the wrong course. It started with Objective Analysis data that said the market for enterprise SSDs is projected by to hit 3.9 million units by 2016, up from just 382,000 units two years ago. Then it threw in a user survey conducted by Coughlin Associates and Objective Analysis that reported the dominant IT applications driving demand for high performance systems are database and OLTP.
Virtually every existing storage vendor and start-up is trying to capture a slice of the enterprise SSD/flash storage pie, whether as all-flash, hybrid, server-based, or some combination. The undisputed enterprise storage leader has been playing in the flash space for some time, and rolled out its XtremSF (server flash) family of PCIe-based cards in March. That’s a segment Fusion-io has been focusing on for years. A month ago Sanbolic unveiled a software-based approach to enable server-side flash, with up to 10x performance of traditional storage, at a fraction of the cost. On the hybrid side – which was EMC’s initial flash focus – NAS optimization vendor Avere Systems launched a hybrid edge filer in April.
So enterprise SSD sales are soaring, and demand is driven largely by database and OLTP apps. Here’s the first major disconnect, according to Tegile, one of the new kids on the storage block, launched in February 2012, with approximately 250 customers. More than 60% of the users surveyed reported that these applications need only between 1,000 and 100,000 IOPS, so paying for an array built to deliver 1,000,000 IOPS makes no sense when a hybrid array can service the same workload for a fraction of the cost.
Hybrid is the way to go, said Tegile, quoting Wikibon and IDC sources. According to Wikibon, the hybrid approach is clearly superior both in cost and performance, compared with traditional architectures, and that a traditional array retrofitted with SSD would be twice as expensive. It suggested that buyers skip hybrid arrays from legacy big iron disk array vendors as these systems typically simply employ a tier of SSD bolted on as an afterthought to an architecture designed for hard disk technology.
IDC’s Dan Iacono, Research Director, Storage, added that hybrid arrays should provide enterprise-class data protection with feature sets that include snapshots, site replication and data efficiency such as de-duplication and thin provisioning, as well as performance, at an attractive price to the end user.
That’s where Tegile comes in, said Commins. “If in addition to lower cost, users could get a 7x performance boost, have the flexibility of NAS and SAN from the same array, a ‘no-brainer installation, a data reduction of compression and dedupe of 75%, and the ability to deploy hundreds of VDIs in minutes, why would they overpay for all-flash or bolted together legacy arrays? Tegile users aren’t.”