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Tintri IntelliFlash – Product Brief


IntelliFlash (formerly Tegile) storage systems provide multi-protocol storage with either hybrid storage using spinning media and NAND flash solid-state or all flash storage.  Offerings include SAS attached flash storage devices or PCIe attached flash with NVMe protocol. IntelliFlash was acquired from Western Digital by DDN in September 2019 and placed under its Tintri brand of enterprise storage products.

The system design leverages common hardware platforms with the most recent models utilizing standard bridge-bay controllers and storage in a single 2U enclosure.  Storage controller features are delivered through a combination of open source ZFS, combined with additional developed features, CLI, and GUI.

Flash is used to enhance the performance of the log-structured filesystem at the core of IntelliFlash systems.  Use of Flash accelerates write performance by allowing the system to acknowledge a write and then coalesce data before storing it across solid-state drive modules.  Recently accessed data is stored in a separate Flash read cache, enhancing read performance.

IntelliFlash systems are multi-protocol storage designed for use in general purpose environments with high performance requirements, or multiple workloads running on the same storage system.  The multi-protocol file and block access provides both application and host connectivity options, which are particularly well suited to deployments where flexibility is an advantage.

All current IntelliFlash models are dual controller systems for high availability and include data protection features.  The IntelliFlash architecture includes multiple RAID levels, including dual (RAID 6) and triple parity RAID, along with two-way mirroring (RAID 1) and three way mirrors.  Space efficient snapshots are included with the system, which supports a nearly unlimited number of both read only and read-write snapshots.  Additionally, remote asynchronous replication over iSCSI is available.

Incoming data is written to flash acting as NVRAM and mirrored to the partner controller in HA configurations.  Next, a write acknowledgement is sent to the client.  In-line data deduplication and compression are available, using unique hashes as a first check and then a byte-wise comparison for final validation of data duplication.  The tracking of duplicate blocks of data is handled by the MASS storage controller, which also performs compression.  Data may be pinned to SSD for high performance volumes dedicated to specific applications.

In 2017 new IntelliFlash models that supported dual-ported PCIe attached SSDs that utilize NVMe protocol were announced. Different endurance level SSDs are available for different usages at different price points. In 2019 Western Digital expanded their line of NVMe capable products with the more affordable N5100 model.  IntelliFlash also uses the internal tiering software to support different classes of flash devices.

The IntelliFlash OS 3.10 announcement added new software features such as Live Dataset Migration to migrate data pools to other IntelliFlash systems and Hybrid Cloud Connector to send snapshots to S3 supported clouds.

Tintri IntelliFlash Product Brief Includes:

EvaluScale Product Review Methodology
Evaluator Group Commentary

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Related to this document:
Tintri VMstore – Product Brief, , SAN Storage Evaluation Guide

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December 20, 2021


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