Zero Management Storage for theSoftware-Defined Infrastructure The future of storage is here today. Tintri Zero Management Storage redefines storage simplicity, efficiency and performance for virtual environments.        VMWorkload
[tab:Tintri Vision]

Every few decades, a game-changing technology comes along in the data center. Virtualization, for example, took the datacenter by storm. Computing will never be the same again.

The spectacular success of server virtualization begs the big question: What comes next? Can the same practice on servers be applied to the rest of the data center? This is what gives rise to the concept of software-defined data center (SDDC) — a data center with infrastructure fundamentally more flexible, automated and cost-effective; infrastructures that understand application workloads and can automatically and efficiently allocate pooled resources to match application demands. Rather than construct data centers full of over-provisioned and siloed resources, a SDDC would more efficiently utilize and share all aspects of the infrastructure.

While servers, and to a lesser extent networking, started down the SDDC path a few years ago, storage lags significantly behind and continues to be the primary pain point in the data center today. Fortunately, some of the key technologies that brought the sweeping changes to servers and networks are taking shape for storage. The time is right for a new generation of storage that will boldly go where legacy storage has never been or will ever go – storage that’s simple to manage, agile like cloud, responsive to the needs of applications, and delivers performance that puts plain old disks to shame.

No more cost overruns from having to over-provision storage. Put an end to storage sprawl, save space, power and cooling costs.

No more being held back by storage — virtualize as much as you want.

Leave complexity behind and automate repetitive and tedious tasks. Why manage LUNs, volumes, tiers and other complicated storage constructs when you could be managing VMs?

Troubleshooting? Nothing will be lost in translation any more. Your storage, which understands virtualization, knows exactly where the performance bottlenecks are.

Your company wants to support BYOD? No problem. Laptops, tablets, other thin devices or good old desktops, bring them on. Storage is ready.

This is what Tintri set out to do. Founded by Dr. Kieran Harty who led development at VMware, we aim to complete the virtualization story by bringing the same kind of efficiencies and simplicity to storage that VMware brought to computing. Designed from the ground up for virtualization, Tintri is turning the vision of VM-aware storage for the software-defined data center into reality.

This is an exciting time for storage. You don’t need words like “transformative,” “groundbreaking,” or ”game changing” to appreciate the impact, nor do you need to be convinced just how big the opportunity is. You saw this mega blockbuster starring servers before, and now it’s storage’s turn. To find out how you can become part of it, read on.

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[tab:The Need for a Better Way]

Businesses are under perennial pressure to be more efficient by keeping operating costs low. For IT organizations, this means supporting an ever growing list of business demands such as new applications, explosive data growth, a mobile workforce and other requirements, with fewer resources. Tools abound to provide incremental productivity gain, but for something more fundamental that can change the economics of the data center and to improve CAPEX and OPEX by an order of magnitude, we need something that goes to the root of the problem.

A quick look at some of the most successful disruptive technologies reveals that many of them crossed the chasm with the help of a few common key ingredients, namely: standardization, hardware innovation and abstraction. In the case of server virtualization, the standardization of the x86 platform and proliferation of Linux massively disrupted the server market. Armed with a new generation of multicore processors and most importantly VMware’s hypervisor technology, server virtualization took off.

Networks followed a similar path starting with TCP/IP standardizing the network protocol. Gigabit Ethernet increased transmission speed by an order of magnitude. OpenFlow, which set the foundation of an open and standards-based software-defined networking, paved the way for the most significant changes in networks in several decades.

Server Network
Standardization x86, Linux TCP/IP
Hardware innovation Multicore processors Gigabit Ethernet
Abstraction Hypervisor OpenFlow

What’s Wrong with Traditional Storage

As the concept of Software-Defined Infrastructure gains traction, it has become increasingly apparent how much storage needs to catch up with servers and networks. For 20 years, little has changed in the world of legacy storage which was designed for physical environments. As data centers become more virtualized, there is a growing gap due to the complete mismatch between how storage systems were designed and the demands of virtual environments. It’s a bit like a human language barrier — storage speaks LUNs and volumes; servers speak VMs. As a result, they don’t understand each other very well. Storage allocation, management and performance troubleshooting for virtualized infrastructure are difficult – if not impossible – with legacy storage, which is fundamentally ill equipped to deal with the random IO demands of virtualized applications. Companies have tried to work around this obstacle by overprovisioning storage, which is very expensive and increases complexity.

Virtualized environments require storage designed for virtualization. Enterprises expecting to get the full benefit out of virtualization need storage that’s simple, flexible and scalable to manage while delivering the performance required by today’s applications. They will need storage that understands the IO patterns of a virtual environment and automatically manages quality of service (QoS) for each VM, not LUN or volume.

While some industry players are attempting to make virtualization products adapt to traditional storage through APIs or retrofit legacy storage to become virtualization-aware, neither goes far enough to bridge the “grand canyon” between these mismatched technologies. What is needed to solve this problem is storage that has been completely redefined to operate in the virtual environment and uses the constructs of virtualization. In short, storage that is aligned for virtualization.

Time for change

The time is ripe for storage to change. The advent of VMs introduces a new type of standardization that makes it possible for storage to interface with the servers more efficiently. The rapid growth and declining cost of flash technology provided the much needed change in hardware. Flash enables very dense storage systems that can host thousands of VMs in just a few rack units of space. Flash by itself without the intelligence, however, gets us only so far. This leaves us with the one last essential missing piece — the right level of abstraction between storage and VMs, an abstraction that understands VMs while being able to abstract and pool the underlying storage resources and deliver the benefits of simple, high performing and cost-effective storage.

Server Network Storage
Standardization x86, Linux TCP/IP VMs
Hardware innovation Multicore processors Gigabit Ethernet Flash+10GbE
Abstraction Hypervisor OpenFlow VM-Aware Storage

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[tab:Zero Management Storage]

Zero Management Storage for Modern Datacenter

Bridging the gap between storage and virtualization brings us to Tintri. Tintri was founded by Dr. Kieran Harty, who formerly led development at VMware as executive vice president of Engineering. The company’s leadership team includes senior leaders and industry experts from category creators such as Citrix, Data Domain, Google, NetApp, Riverbed and VMware.

Tintri Zero Management Storage is specifically designed from the ground up for virtualization and cloud using the industry’s first and leading VM-Aware Storage architecture. If the software-defined infrastructure depends on virtualization, shouldn’t storage understand virtualization, too?  That was the vision behind Tintri VMstore.  Starting from a clean sheet of paper and unencumbered by legacy storage concepts, Tintri developed Zero Management Storage that natively understands and integrates with the virtual infrastructure.  The primary objects of management within a Tintri system are VMs and virtual disks, the same objects that the hypervisor is managing.  This direct relationship eliminates the need to manage the day-to-day tasks with storage and improves storage efficiency:

  • Easily deploy in any production environment
  • Predictable performance for different types of virtual machines
  • Require a fraction of the typical physical footprint
  • Control and visibility at the VM level
  • Scale using a modular approach–without complexity or overhead.

With Tintri, there is now a scalable storage platform that fits into the software-defined infrastructure, providing storage resources automatically as VMs needs it.  This is a modern approach to modern problem, and one that’s tailored to meet the complex demands of the software-defined infrastructure and take the pain out of the data management process for virtualized environments.

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[tab:The Tintri Advantage]

Unparalleled Performance and Efficiency

  • Support as many as thousand VMs on a single VMstore system with excellent cost per workload
  • Only storage platform to support both virtual desktops and servers simultaneously
  • Flash First Design delivers optimal performance for virtual applications
  • Dedupe and compression for both flash storage and WAN utilization
  • Scale storage for virtualization using a modular, building block approach

Make Virtualization Predictable

  • Pinpoint performance issues at VM level in real time – eliminate performance bottlenecks
  • Per-vDisk QoS and auto-alignment eliminate need for tuning
  • VM-level data management with advanced snapshots, cloning and replication
  • Plug and play scalability — ability to add Tintri VMstore systems when needed
  • Know exact utilization and avoid planning pitfalls with deep insight

Enable Hyper Productivity

  • Up and running in minutes with no complicated network or SAN configuration
  • Protect and restore VMs with just a few mouse clicks and set VM-level data protection policies for snapshot and replication
  • Instantaneous clone from VMware vSphere Client, VMware vCloud Director and VMware View simplifying deployments
  • Eliminate the need for any manual tuning or configuration for performance
  • Control and administer multiple VMstore systems and their resident VMs to function as one using Tintri Global Center

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last modified: October 10th, 2013 by Bharzog