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Startup Tegile Offers Hybrid SSD, Hard Disk Array

Cisco and Perfigo vets unveil Zebi array, which combines solid state and hard drives for faster deduplication and compression.

Tegile Systems came out of stealth mode Tuesday with a hybrid solid state and hard disk drive array that is aimed at making the deduplication and compression of databases, file sharing, and virtualization environments faster.

The company was co-founded in 2009 by Rohit Kshetrapal and Rajesh Nair, both formerly of Perfigo, and Justin Cheen and Alok Agrawal, both from Cisco. It is funded by August Capital for $2.5 million.

The Tegile Systems Zebi box performs inline deduplication, compression, and thin provisioning of primary data when inserted into the Fibre Channel or iSCSI storage area network (SAN). It features storage provisioning based on application requirements and supports virtual servers and desktop virtualization, databases, and file services. Based on Tegile's claims, the Tegile Zebi array accelerates performance as much as five times over traditional midrange arrays and saves 75% on storage capacity.

In addition, the appliance comes with backup and data protection for these environments and supports snapshots of changed data and asynchronous remote replication.

[ Learn more about deduplication. See Practical Analysis: In Data Deduplication, Dell Surprises, EMC Lags. ]

The Zebi appliance is meant for deduplicating primary data whether structured or unstructured. It supports network file system (NFS) and common internet file system (CIFS) and can be deployed in an active/active cluster for high availability.

Each Zebi box is available in 10-, 20-, 40-, or 90-TB configurations and features single- and dual-controllers, solid state drives (SSDs), RAM, and 7,200-RPM serial attached SCSI (SAS) drives. The appliance has 16 drive slots for 2-TB SAS drives and is available in four models, which use the Oracle ZFS file system to build metadata tables and manage unstructured data.

The SS1100 and SS2100 have both single and dual Intel Xeon processors. The SS1100 supports 14 TB of SAS drives, 600 TB of SSD, and 24 GB of DRAM, while the dual-processor SS2100 has 22 TB of SAS drives, 1 TB of SSDs, and 48 GB of DRAM. It uses the DRAM as Level 1 read cache, while SSDs are used as a second level of non-volatile read and write cache.

Tegile also has two dual-controller systems, the HA2100 and HA2100EP. The HA2100 has two processors; the HA2100EP has four. The HA2100 supports 22 TB of SAS drives, 1.2 TB of SSDs , and 48 GB of DRAM, while the HA2100EP has the same amount of SSDs, 96 GB of DRAM, and 16 TB of SAS drives. In addition, Tegile is shipping two expansion arrays, which support as much as 28 TB of SAS drives and 800 GB of SSDs.

Its Metadata Accelerated Storage System (MASS) is responsible for the speed improvements. MASS improves random reads and writes to the hard disk and stores the metadata separately from the data on SSDs, thus accelerating the retrieval of data and increasing the performance of the near-line SAS drives.

Deduplication of primary storage is a getting to be an increasingly crowded market for storage vendors. Dell recently announced the DR4000 Disk Backup Appliance, which deduplicates backup data. Dell said the intent of its acquisition of Ocarina Networks is to also deduplicate and compress other primary data with their storage systems as well. StorSimple and Greenbytes have also introduced storage appliances for reducing the amount of data stored. Greenbytes HA-3000 and the StorSimple 5020 and 7020, however, are limited to iSCSI connectivity and do not support Fibre Channel. IBM also deduplicates primary data with its IBM STN6500 and STN6800 Realtime Compression Appliances.

The Zebi SS1100 system starts at $16,000.

Deni Connor is founding analyst for Storage Strategies NOW, an industry analyst firm that focuses on storage, virtualization, and servers.

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