Tintri Makes Storage for Generalists

Tintri Makes Storage for Generalists

January 25, 2018 0

Tintri VMstore storage arrays are purpose-built for virtualization and the cloud. IT administrators with working knowledge of virtualization can easily deploy Tintri storage without specialized storage knowledge. When deploying Tintri storage, there are no prerequisite operations such as LUN provisioning, HBA compatibility checks, or FC LUN zoning operations. From a VMware administrator’s point of view, the entire Tintri VMstore is presented as a single datastore.

Virtualization and consolidation onto shared infrastructure has its challenges. In addition to performance issues and management complexity, virtualizing multiple workloads makes it harder for admins to identify bottlenecks, understand the impact of new workloads, and troubleshoot problems such as misconfiguration of VMs and shared infrastructure, including storage.

Traditional storage architectures make these issues cumbersome for administrators to troubleshoot. They can provide a performance view from the LUN, volume or file system standpoint. But that architecture cannot isolate VM performance or provide insight into VM-level performance characteristics. It’s difficult for administrators to understand situations such as the impact of a new VM workload without access to relevant VM performance metrics.

Identifying the cause of performance bottlenecks is a time-consuming, frustrating and sometimes inconclusive process that requires iteratively gathering data, analyzing the data to form a hypothesis, then testing the hypothesis. In large enterprises, this process often involves coordination between several individuals or departments, typically spanning many days or even weeks.

To gain deep insight into virtualization environments using traditional storage architectures requires IT to deploy separate, complex software solutions. Even then, IT can spend days troubleshooting performance issues due to complexity and lack of skills. This can cause IT to steer clear of mixing workloads on the same storage, resulting in silos of virtualization. 

In rare cases, administrators may even resort to allocating a single LUN or volume for a single VM. Unfortunately, this is not practical with traditional storage architectures due to scaling limitations and management overhead. Over time, the LUN sprawl from a method like this can also become overwhelming to manage.

Tintri VMstore provides a complete, comprehensive view of VMs, including end-to-end tracking and visualization of performance across the entire data center infrastructure. This ensures administrators can easily procure the critical statistics they need for individual VMs.

By monitoring IO requests at the vDisk and VM level and integrating with vCenter APIs, Tintri VMstore identifies the corresponding VM for each individual IO request and can determine if latency occurs at the hypervisor, network, or storage levels. For each VM and vDisk stored on the system, administrators can use Tintri VMstore to instantly visualize where potential performance issues may exist across the stack. Latency statistics are displayed in an intuitive and clear format so that administrators can immediately see the bottleneck, rather than trying to deduce the location from indirect measurements and time-consuming detective work.

Administrators can also detect data trends from VMstore and individual VMs, without the added complexity of installing and maintaining separate software. This built-in insight can reduce costs and simplify planning activities, especially around virtualizing IO-intensive critical applications and end-user desktops.

To handle monitoring and reporting across multiple VMstore systems, Tintri created Tintri Global Center. Built on a solid architectural foundation capable of supporting more than one million VMs, Tintri Global Center is an intuitive, centralized control platform that lets administrators monitor and administer multiple geographically distributed VMstore systems from a single interface. IT administrators can view and create summary reports across all or a subset of VMstore systems with in-depth information on storage performance (IOPS, latency, throughput), capacity, vCenter clusters, host status, protection status, and more.

In addition to summary information presented at a glance, Tintri Global Center also provides the ability to filter and display metrics for individual VMstore systems and specific VMs, allowing for easy troubleshooting. Tintri Global Center is designed to enable a rich ecosystem built around REST APIs. In future versions, the APIs will be available for Tintri partners and customers to develop custom solutions combining various VM-granular tasks, such as performance monitoring across multiple VMstore systems and their VMs.

Focus on What’s Most Important

The cloud model has had a profound effect on the enterprise IT landscape. Organizations are creating private cloud infrastructures to deliver a similar user experience as the public cloud, delivering the benefits of greater business agility and lower IT costs.

Many enterprises are combining both private cloud and public cloud resources in a hybrid cloud model that allows them to take advantage of the predictable performance and costs of on-premises infrastructure, while utilizing the public cloud for special projects, bursts of activity that exceed on-premises capacity, and other special needs.

Creating a private cloud requires some fundamental changes to IT:

  • Simplify the underlying infrastructure
  • Develop a simple methodology to provide IT-as-a-Service
  • Improve quality via repeatable, standardized deployments that reduce human error
  • Improve speed of service delivery via automation
  • Adapt and change with evolving business needs

Because Tintri VMstore systems let you focus at the VM level, making these fundamental changes is much simpler. For example, when automating storage policies for a VM, the operations are executed natively on the storage system. The operational overhead of these tasks is minimal, as is the effort required to automate them. Speed of delivery and standardization increase as a result.

Also, thanks to the scale-out storage architecture, you don’t need to buy more storage (or see more capital expenditure) than you initially need. Instead, as your capacity or performance requirements grow, you can buy additional, simple-to-add appliances to scale both capacity and performance on demand. By scaling out at an appropriate pace instead of buying everything up front, the private cloud can adapt and change with evolving business needs.