Re: Oh Rob....
What is really interesting here is the overstatement and understatement of a few points on both sides of this interesting debate. I have researched both companies and many more so as to have a better understanding of storage and how to optimize its' use in any environment.
From what I have been able to discern, the Tegile array is using a heavily modified version of ZFS. They do not rely on the open source community for product development and have features that are estimated to be well beyond those companies that do. Making such comparisons as "Tegile basically uses ZFS", would be like saying all Linux is the same - Red Hat, Suse, BSD etc...of course we know there are similarities and we know there have been specific development efforts to overcome a number of things (not a linux differentiation post).
There have been enough modifications to the underlying kernel, to include Tegile patented technology that it is no longer compatible with other ZFS distributions. We have seen this before with other storage companies, in that you cannot expect two systems with dissimilar capability to easily share resources or treat themselves as peers when they are not. I think Tegile ZFS is better than the versions out there from Oracle or the Illumos open source community.
Yes, Nimble has spent a fair amount of time trying to develop a new OS/FS for this Hybrid approach. The Netapp and DD folks are trying to “Do it Again”. I agree with Rob, this is hard to do and get right and typically takes a lot of time. It would appear they have a foundation to build upon, but it also appears that the offering is severely limited. Block services only and Active/Passive architectures. Not sure the point here is well understood or why this is potentially important. More on that later... Also, with respect to both former companies of the founders..what a great statement made by Nick, paraphrase“…dedup is hard to do so they decided not to do it”, or on other words they have recognized what they brought to market before really didn’t work that well and certainly could not use that technology in primary application environments such as VDI and Exchange and others. Interesting how the honesty in that statement was cloaked in a dig at a company that seems to have figured out how to do it.
Nimble is doing what most startups do, come out with an idea, bring to market too soon and with limited capability and try to gain traction until engineering can fill in the gaps. Build out a large Sales organization and attack the market - and they have done a pretty good job of that. On the other hand, If you are not careful, those product functionality gaps widen and the company becomes moot as newer, younger companies(Tegile) bring systems rich in functionality and capability and typically with less organization weight (overhead). This ends up forcing you to spend time scanning blog post and attempt to derail their progress because they have more than perceived value, but are delivering real value.
The other comment about separating mete data from data – a complete lack of appreciation and understanding of the implications here. From deduplication to Read/Write to RAID rebuilds, but if you don’t care about data optimization along with speed and performance, then I guess there is no need to understand or appreciate this.
What customers want…..
Most customers are dealing with the economy and spending restrictions like everyone else. Budgets are tight, staff reduction take place and yet more IT services are needed to gain a competitive advantage to stay in business and grow further. They want full feature rich tools to enable IT and the business and not islands of technology that ends up costing them more in the end. Tegile’s multi-protocol approach with Hybrid SSD technology moves the bar significantly higher for those organization looking to do more with less.
Is Nimble a better Dell EQ box, on that point I would agree. But they still lack the capability to transform the datacenter by providing a storage platform that can be specifically targeted for many different application use-cases – doing more with less. If storage is done right, then it’s not about the physical equipment being used, but how IT organizations are enabled by having the right tool in their tool-bag.
Having versatility, flexibility and tool that allows you to get many jobs done at once, in essence allowing you to provide storage services for the application consumers in a way that is dictated by the business and not your storage vendor, is what customers want. Tegile makes a significant step forward in being able to provide that.
Yes, I am more a fan of Tegile than Nimble!