back to article Hybrid upstart Tintri: Legacy vendors? We're eating their lunch

Hybrid flash/disk array startup Tintri claims its business is growing and eating into the sales of traditional array vendors. Tintri’s VMstore provides storage resources for VMware virtual machines (VMs) without the sysadmin needing to know about LUNs and other traditional storage array abstractions. The arrays are VM-centric …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    One dimensional

    Unfortunately for Tintri this is just around the corner

    At which point their do everything in one big NFS share value prop goes out the window.

  2. bdj

    Tintri already offers pretty much all options of v vol, per vm replication etc... inside that single NFS mount so this isn't really any concern for them.

    The authors calculations are also a tad unfair, given the original intended function of the device its a very much a specific use case device than an all purpose array where big numbers seemingly mean something to someone.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Whilst what you're saying is true, the fact that VVOL is on it's way means that it will erode all value and Unique Selling Points away from Tintri in a VMware-only environment... hence why they are so actively trying to pursue RHEV & Hyper-V avenues to try and make sure they don't get killed off completely.

  3. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

    Maybe VVOLs will kill off the Unique Selling Point of Tintri for a handful of EMC or NetApp die-hards who - quite frankly - never would have bought Tintri anyways. But there's a hell of a lot more to Tintri than just VVOL-like capability.

    Tintri Global Center, for one, is bloody grand. Their array management software is better than anything I've seen from competitors and I do rather like the ease with which replication between devices can be set up. Tintri also make good hardware that handles hot/cold block migration between storage tiers very well.

    Tintri aren't just a "one trick pony". They're a collection of features and functionality married in one of the most user-friendly ways I've ever had the pleasure of working with, and the storage they provide is damned fast, while being cheaper than other enterprise alternatives.

    Diversification into Hyper-V/KVM? Good. I don't know if you've looked at those ecosystems lately, but they're crying out for some of the storage goodness that overwhelms the VMware ecosystem.

    You also would have to be a battered-and-fried fool to think that Tintri simply developed their array and then fired all their engineers, thinking they'll just ride their one product off into the sunset forever. Tintri are a software company, and a damned good one at that. They are working on new products and they will sink or swim on their ability to continue cranking out new device, features and so forth at the quality we've come to expect.

    Yes, VMware is in the process of trying to do them in. Name just one partner VMware isn't actively trying to put out of business by viciously cloning their product! That's what VMware does, and anyone who chooses to enter the VMware ecosystem should bloody well know that by now.

    But VMware's ecosystem is enormous. VMware - for all it's size - just doesn't have the engineering resources to compete with all of them. Not the least of which because VMware is constantly pissing away it's top talent through combinations of vicious internal backbiting politics and simply refusing to listen to some of the great ideas that it's staff generate. Those staff, fed up, leave. And they go on to form startups that VMware then attempts to kill.

    Tintri doesn't live in a vacuum. None of these companies do. Tintri has some of the better engineers in the valley and is constantly attracting new talent. VMware's VVOLs are a threat, but one Tintri's known about for bloody ages. They long ago set about diversifying and they'll continue to do so faster than VMware can clone them.

    That's how the game is played. No company is an island, and your ability to obtain and retain talent determines your ability to crank out great product. And it's the "great product" bit here that has garnered Tintri (and others) absolutely cult-like loyalty from their customers.

    VVOLs will not kill Tintri any more than VSAN will kill Nutanix, or Hyper-V "killed" VMware.

    Tintri's staff enjoy working there. They feel that the company has a fighting chance and that they have a real shot at upwards mobility. So long as that remains true, Tintri will keep hold of the best and brightest...and continue to crank out winners.

    Silicon Valley is an employee's market. Until that changes, the red tape encumbered, bureaucratic megaliths don't have a chance of wiping out everyone and trundling forward - Redmond-like - unopposed for decades.

    Vive la revolution, I say! It's this climate that ensures ideas get listened to...that innovation continues, and doesn't get reassigned to the mailroom, third-class, night shift.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Trevor -- good insight on the engineering front. You are correct about TinTri not being a 1-trick pony. But you are missing one big thing with TinTri. While they do have excellent engineering talent, they lack the sales muscle that other infrastructure vendors have in spades. Nimble's success isn't only because they delivered what Dell, EMC, and NetApp struggled to do. It is because they have a strong sales culture -- teams putting their company first and working with the channel to build market momentum.

      I am a sales engineer with a VAR and have multiple vendors call up on me. I can tell you my meetings with the local TinTri team are comical -- an experience only matched by the arrogant incumbent vendors I have the misfortune of dealing with. TinTri reps aren't interested in building a business. They are only planning on retiring their quota -- even if they need to screw over their channel partners.

      Even though my customers and I are big fans of their products, my rep and I have decided we won't lead with them. I hope their management is paying close attention to this behavior.

      1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

        I agree. They have been light on sales for some time. That said, they have gone on a big sales hiring spree and have recruited some very good names into the pool. They are capable of recognizing their weaknesses and adapting. Something that - quite frankly - seems to be beyond the big egos of a lot of silicon valley startups.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          I understand the sales hiring spree and commend them for the effort, but their sales management needs to changed their attitude first. Even though business discussions at our company happen above my pay-grade, I can still pick up on TinTri's reluctance to trust us. When my rep and I have options like Nimble available to us, it's not a tough decision to make.

          1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

            Can't say I disagree, but I do believe they have recognized some of this and are working towards making those changes. That's part of what the hiring is about. A lot of it is wrapped up in making sure they have SEs available to train clients, partners, etc. They're not perfect - oh, not by a long shot - but they're a lot easier to deal with than most startups. Or, for that matter, most of the majors.

            They'll work it out. Of all the companies out there, I think they have the tech and the talent to do so. Even when it requires introspection and change. Would that I could cast that capability upon Microsoft or VMware...

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Majors I give Trevor. But there is a list of interesting companies ahead of them -- Tegile, Nutanix and my favorites Nimble and Pure. I hope for their employees and VC sakes they work it out. VVOLs makes this interesting in the longer term.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Is this article is mocking Tintri's claims of growth because they don't show revenue numbers? Fair enough but hardly surprising; but most companies don't expose this before they go public. What are Nutanix's numbers, or Tegile's?

    Is it mocking the claim that Tintri mostly sells against big vendors, not against startups? This seems logical just based on statistical distribution. Assume Nimble is bigger because it's public; it was almost a $200M run rate recently. That's not even 1% of the array market.

    I'll watch for future articles on vVol support and differentiation when there's something real to compare.

  5. This post has been deleted by its author

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