Vendorwag with Tintri – Ed Lee

Click the Tintri logo to visit their site; Click Ed’s photo to subscribe to his twitter.

This week’s “Vendorwag” is with Ed Lee of Tintri. I’ve kept on bumping into the Tintri guys over the last year, as I did my tour around various VMUGs in the US. I was lucky enough to get a breakfast meeting with Kieran Hearty the CEO and Founder of the company back at VMworld. This represent a bit of theme now – of new storage vendors. I had Nimble on recently, and now Tintri… I’ve been trying to get in contact with Astute but not heard back from them….

Anyway, I’ve done the usual research before jumping in with the QA with them. I must say I’ve been quite impressed with their fresh approach, and its certainly offers food for thought about whether the last decade of handling storage is up for a major review.

In the “hot seat” is Ed who is one of the main architects – here’s a bit of bio on Ed:

Most recently, Ed was Principal Systems Architect at Data Domain, and a key contributor to the first and subsequent releases of Data Domain’s file system. He was responsible for innovations like the BOOST deduplication protocol and replication. Prior to Data Domain, Ed was at Zambeel and Compaq Systems Research Center. He has a Ph.D. from UC Berkeley in Computer Science, where he was an original member of the Berkeley RAID team.

These are the questions I posed to Ed:

Q. Tintri claims to have “unique per-VM insights”. Can you say what those are – how you achieve that?

Q. One of your “hidden features” is “auto-alignment” of VMs virtual disks – can you explain the problem, and how you resolve it…

Q. Tintri does away with management like LUNs, volumes, RAID groups and so on – a present a single “datastore” per-array. That’s a big change especially to storage admins – how do they react to that? Are we going to see the end of the “storage admin”, are Vmware Admins becoming storage admins – or is that something that “just happens” in the SMB/SME space anyway – people have to wear many hats…?

Q. Because Tintri is so different – do you see that best practices need to change? Does VMware need to update its recommendation based on the changes technology like Tintri introduces?

Q. Mature storage technologies – support snapshots, replication and APIs from Vmware like VAAI, VASA, VM Cloning for VDI, SRM SRA’s… Where is Tintri on the journey to supporting these – do you think you will support some but not all?

Q. Management. Let say we buy into this new simplified model. Do I buy Tintri and fill it – then order another one…? How would I manage multiple Tintri arrays – Is this end of “storage teiring” or auto-teiring – do I just put each Tintri into a jumbo datastore cluster, and have Vmware SDRS deal with that?

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