The intricate and fascinating Tolkien mythology centers on a belief that unification is a better path than having disparate systems (or rulers). One can even imagine a liberal rewording of the classic rings of power epigraph:

Three operating systems for the company trying now to use all flash,
Seven for the company in their old blue halls
Nine for ones in the northeast,
One for Tegile
In the Land of Storage where use cases vary
One Stack to rule them all, One Stack to help them,
One Stack to unify them all and with its innovations lead them
In the Land of Storage where all the data lies.

—J.R.R. Tolkien’s epigraph to The Lord of The Rings (with Major Shameless Editing)

Let us journey back to the land of the 2014 storage world and explore in depth the value of a single operating system across the spectrum of different media types. We can replace the one ring with the diagram above, which depicts the layers of the IntelliFlashTM operating system. Tegile has just launched v3.0 of this robust storage stack. New features include support for encryption of data at rest, GUI enhancements to simplify the initial configuration and support for new lower density all flash arrays with upgraded controllers.

We have discussed in past posts the value of having a single operating system for hybrid and all flash use cases and not being forced into making unnecessary choices:

IntelliFlash™ 3.0 is Tegile’s flash-optimized software architecture. It seamlessly integrates performance (using flash) and capacity (through hard drives) to deliver optimal performance (throughput and latency) with the best storage economics for a wide range of enterprise applications.

Tegile believes that the application use cases and requirements should determine the right amount of flash to deploy. The diagram below will be recognized from some of our marketing literature but it does an excellent job of capturing the core message of “dialing up or down” the right amount of flash for a given set of workloads

Many vendors in the space make what they feel is a simpler argument. They propose a false assumption as the premise to the answer. “Why wouldn’t you want all Flash all the time, if the price is the same as other options?” The false premise here centers on the economics. Regardless of the highly variable space savings ratio that is applied, what really matters in the end is the Usable $/GB with the right performance characteristics. Obtaining <1ms latency for applications that do not need this and paying 2-3x more than necessary for that useable capacity might make great sense if all you offer as a vendor is an all flash system, but from a customer perspective it is simply wasteful spending.

Let us summarize some of the individual layers from the “ring diagram”. A more in-depth discussion of the technology layers is located here:

IntelliFlash Media Optimization

The Media Optimization Layer provides the foundation for reliably storing data on different types of storage media, and optimizing the use of media within the storage system. Data is deduplicated and compressed before being written to media (flash and disk), minimizing writes to the media and extending the life of the media. To ensure flash endurance and consistent performance, Tegile arrays are built with enterprise quality eMLC flash which has 10 X the write endurance of consumer grade flash and maintain their performance as function of time thanks to superior controller technology on the enterprise grade drives.

IntelliFlash Metadata Acceleration

Intelligent metadata handling is a patented, core innovation in IntelliFlash and is the key to delivering advanced data services at the speed and scale of I/O that flash offers. By separating metadata from user data and aggregating metadata on the fastest medium in the array, IntelliFlash provides several key benefits. Chief among them are high performance data management regardless of whether data is stored on flash or disk, inline data reduction at various block sizes across flash and hard disks, and the easy scaling of system capacity and performance.

IntelliFlash Data Services

The IntelliFlash data services reduce the effective cost of owning and operating storage through data footprint reduction, and enable continuous data availability through a comprehensive set of local and remote data protection and recovery features that are all included in the price of the system.

Protocol Choice

IntelliFlash is architected to natively provide block and file protocol access to the Tegile arrays. Supported block protocols include iSCSI and Fibre Channel. File protocols include NFS, CIFS and SMB 3.0.The IntelliFlash architecture is extensible, enabling other protocols to be added seamlessly.

One Storage Operating System for All Use Cases

The Lord of the Rings story ends with the one ring being destroyed, thus a fan of the novels, movies and our storage may be mildly concerned about this choice of analogy. Rest assured Tegile is growing rapidly and adding many new customers every month. IntelliFlash 3.0 opens even more markets for Tegile.