Startup Tegile Separates Metadata From Data in New Hybrid System

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2012-08-14 Print this article Print

Tegile's home-developed Metadata Accelerated Storage System separates metadata from the primary data path, thus optimizing deduplication, compression, RAID and snapshot pointers.

Storage virtualization startup Tegile, which got its name from a combination of "technology" and "agile" but pronounces it "TAY-jile," is making statements other than its name in the high-end enterprise market.

The six-month-old Newark, Calif.-based company, whose software deduplicates and compresses data before it enters a storage stack, on Aug. 14 announced the first upgrade to its high-availability architecture and the extension of its product line with two new storage arrays.

Tegile's home-developed Metadata Accelerated Storage System (MASS) separates metadata from the primary data path, thus optimizing deduplication, compression, RAID and snapshot pointers, Vice President of Marketing Rob Commins told eWEEK. It is versatile, handling block or file storage and NFS or iSCSI connectivity.

FlashVols a Key New Ingredient

The key new feature in MASS is something called FlashVols, which are volumes that are anchored in solid-state drives so applications run at maximum performance without the potential for delay due to caching algorithms or tiering polices. No indecision here.

Several other storage companies use sub-volume tiering to counter performance spikes found in high-transaction use cases. These policies usually are set to analyze usage patterns every three hours or migrate data across tiers in off-hours. However, in between those scans, a boot storm may have completed or a spike in sales at an online retailer may have passed.

Pinning business-critical volumes inside an SSD ensures IT managers that these problems do not occur, Commins, a former executive at 3PAR and Hewlett-Packard, said.

Tegile's two new arrays, Zebi HA2400 and Zebi HA2800, organize and store metadata independently to the data on high-speed devices with optimized retrieval paths, Commins said. Using the MASS, Tegile's top-end disk-drive performance requires less additional storage, he said.

Competing Directly Against All-Flash Players

The combination of Tegile's software and arrays are aimed at competing directly with NAND flash-dominated new-generation systems, such as Violin Memory, Nimble and others, which are trending up in sales as the economy improves.

"This is an improvement over conventional storage systems which store data and metadata together, with metadata being interspersed with data on disks," Commins said. "Over time, as data is modified, deleted and rewritten, metadata becomes very fragmented. Additionally, certain storage system features, such as deduplication, can cause metadata to multiply and grow rapidly. Inordinate growth of metadata causes significant deterioration in a system's behavior over time."

The major flaw Tegile sees in all-flash arrays is the performance and data reduction claims that are dependent on 100 percent NAND flash designs, Commins said. "Their cost per GB claims compare with 15,000 RPM-based systems in a RAID 1 or mirrored configuration," Commins said.

Details on the Hardware

Zebi HA2400 is a hybrid NAND flash/SATA drive array designed to manage large-scale projects, such as corporate virtual desktop implementations. Featuring a multiprotocol architecture with deduplication and compression that delivers up to 125,000 IOPS, the HA2400 has enabled enterprises to double the number of applications under management, Commins said.

Zebi HA2800 is a multiprotocol, all-flash array that can be placed in front of a large pool of hard disk drives to deliver high performance. It can be augmented with an expansion chassis to expand capacity up from to 146 raw TB of capacity.

At raw capacity, before deduplication and compression, the HA2800 has been documented to reach 200,000 IOPS and sells for $2 per GB, Commins said.

Pricing for entry-level Tegile Zebi arrays start at $60,000. Both the Zebi HA2400 and HA2800 are currently shipping and are priced at $168,389 and $235,152, respectively.

Chris Preimesberger Chris Preimesberger was named Editor-in-Chief of Features & Analysis at eWEEK in November 2011. Previously he served eWEEK as Senior Writer, covering a range of IT sectors that include data center systems, cloud computing, storage, virtualization, green IT, e-discovery and IT governance. His blog, Storage Station, is considered a go-to information source. Chris won a national Folio Award for magazine writing in November 2011 for a cover story on and CEO-founder Marc Benioff, and he has served as a judge for the SIIA Codie Awards since 2005. In previous IT journalism, Chris was a founding editor of both IT Manager's Journal and and was managing editor of Software Development magazine. His diverse resume also includes: sportswriter for the Los Angeles Daily News, covering NCAA and NBA basketball, television critic for the Palo Alto Times Tribune, and Sports Information Director at Stanford University. He has served as a correspondent for The Associated Press, covering Stanford and NCAA tournament basketball, since 1983. He has covered a number of major events, including the 1984 Democratic National Convention, a Presidential press conference at the White House in 1993, the Emmy Awards (three times), two Rose Bowls, the Fiesta Bowl, several NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments, a Formula One Grand Prix auto race, a heavyweight boxing championship bout (Ali vs. Spinks, 1978), and the 1985 Super Bowl. A 1975 graduate of Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., Chris has won more than a dozen regional and national awards for his work. He and his wife, Rebecca, have four children and reside in Redwood City, Calif.Follow on Twitter: editingwhiz

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