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Start-up Fields VM-Specific Storage

Tintri figures enterprises on average have less than 30% of their infrastructure virtualized

Tintri Inc, a three-year-old start-up put together by VMware's erstwhile head of R&D Kieran Harty, has come out of stealth mode sporting what it says is the first purpose-built storage appliance for virtual machines.

It calls the VM-aware widgetry VMstore and claims the stuff resolves the "costly problems associated with the scale or performance of virtual infrastructure."

Seeming to bite the hand that owns most of VMware - there must be a backstory in there somewhere - it said the "key bottleneck slowing virtualization adoption is the legacy storage system that were architected before virtualization was even a consideration. Our products are designed to help enterprises virtualize 80% or more of their IT infrastructure."

It says that mission-critical applications like Oracle Financials and Exchange that run only on standalone systems with legacy direct-attached or SAN storage can now be virtualized.

TIBCO CIO Don St. Onge testifies that he couldn't get Oracle Financials virtualized without an unacceptable drop in performance. With VMstore, he got a 2x performance boost and can run a 1TB database in 177GB of flash because of Tintri's approach to deduplication and compression.

Tintri, which means lightning in the Irish, figures enterprises on average have less than 30% of their infrastructure virtualized, with storage absorbing up to 60% of virtualization budgets, which explains why EMC is so fond of virtualization. It wants to take over from here.

Tintri's technology boils down to a scalable, reportedly easy-to-use, $65,000 8.5TB hybrid flash/disk appliance fitted with 1TB of commercial flash and 15 1TB SATA drives. It includes a file system, per-VM monitoring, control and reporting and RAID 6 redundancy. It replaces conventional storage abstractions like volumes, LUNs and files with VM abstractions like virtual machines and virtual disks.

The 4U Intel-based device connects to a vCenter server and can handle hundreds of VMware virtual machines, with other hypervisors to come.

The start-up's gotten two rounds worth nearly $17 million led by NEA and Lightspeed Venture Partners.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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