Tegile Unveils Option To Refresh Storage Controller Independent Of Storage Media

All-flash and hybrid-flash storage vendor Tegile Systems on Wednesday unveiled a new program under which customers can upgrade their storage controllers every three to five years without replacing the storage media. This will help customers reduce capital spending on their storage arrays, Tegile said.

Under Tegile's new Lifetime Storage Controller Refresh program, customers now have a choice of refreshing just the controller or refreshing both the controller and media, said Rohit Kshetrapal, CEO of the Newark, Calif.-based company.

Both the existing Lifetime Storage program, which provides a new full-array refresh, and the new Lifetime Storage Controller Refresh program can be ordered as part of Tegile's maintenance contract, turning those refreshes into an operating expense, the company said.

[Related: Tegile Closes New $33M Funding With Lead Investor Western Digital, Looks To Grab Nimble Storage Business From HPE]

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While the full array refresh is the best choice for customers who expect they will need the latest storage technology, such as higher-performance flash storage or NVMe-based capacity, a controller-only refresh is a more economical option for those looking to increase performance while leveraging existing storage capacity, Kshetrapal told CRN.

"If customers require increased compute power and lower latency, a controller upgrade works well," he said. "But if customers want the latest media, they should buy Lifetime Storage for the entire appliance."

Tegile is planning to unveil its NVMe-based arrays in the next three to four months, with actual product to follow shortly thereafter, Kshetrapal said.

However, he said, a lot of customers still find their existing SAS-based storage meets the performance requirements of their workloads.

"Our architecture has always been open to adopting new storage media," he said. "When we introduce new media, the old storage capacity doesn't go away. Customers can introduce NVMe into their arrays while still maintaining their SAS layer. For us, NVMe is just the next performance layer."

Tegile is liked by customers for its ability to work in NAS and SAN environments with a variety of storage media and protocols, and the Lifetime Storage Controller Refresh program will be well-received, said Bill Cassidy, CTO at IT Partners, a Tempe, Ariz.-based solution provider and Tegile channel partner.

The idea of refreshing the storage controller independent of the storage media is fairly uncommon, Cassidy told CRN. Pure Storage's Evergreen Storage program is another example, he said.

"There is a group of customers with challenges in terms of operations and funding that makes it difficult to go to the well for more funding, especially in the government sector," Cassidy said. "With a controller refresh, it's easier for them to go to the well and make the case that they will be covered if the technology changes over the next three, four, or five years. It's hard for anyone to know what will happen in that time."

Kshetrapal said that Tegile is not yet cash-flow positive, but said the company is doing well after closing a $33 million round of funding last month.

"Remember, Pure Storage is not cash-flow positive, and Nimble Storage wasn't cash-flow positive before it was acquired by HPE," he said. "We've been more cash-efficient than our competitors, and will reach cash-flow positive the fastest."