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Tegile set to compete with big six with cheaper arrays, says CEO

Tegile’s takeover by Western Digital will propel it to competition with the big six storage array makers, as well as bring economies of scale and see NVMf and 3D Xpoint products

Tegile is looking forward to NVMe-over-fabrics, storage-class memory and cheaper storage arrays, according to Tegile CEO Rohit Kshetrapal.

He believes the purchase of Tegile by Western Digital will bring investment for the all-flash/hybrid flash storage makers next stage of development, as well as put Western Digital on the same terrain as the big six storage makers.

“When Tegile becomes a Western Digital brand it will no longer be a smaller entity and will have access to global markets,” he said.

“It currently isn’t one of the bix six [storage suppliers], but has a definite strategy to go up into the software stack, becoming a vertically integrated company from memory chips to software platforms.”

Western Digital has primarily been a supplier of storage media, such as spinning disk and solid state, but already has its Active Archive object storage. “Tegile will be its performance array product,” said Kshetrapal.

He added that Tegile – which has around 1,750 customers and 3,200 arrays deployed – needs more capital for its next stage of expansion, and that its purchase by Western Digital will provide this.

Roadmap items include NVMe-over-fabrics – it has recently launched NVMe-equipped arrays – and so-called storage-class memory such as 3D Xpoint.

But what of the NVMe-controller bottleneck? While access to storage is potentially orders of magnitude quicker using NVMe, it currently cannot realise that potential in array format because the storage controller is a bottleneck.

Systems mooted centre on the aggregation of CPU resources from clustered or disaggregated controller functionality. “There are many paths in that development process, but we will see products on a six- to nine-month horizon,” said Kshetrapal.

He believes being part of Western Digital would help bring array prices down for Tegile customers. “We will be able to make economies of scale as a result of being part of Western Digital, which will give us advantages over competitors. Arrays will not be as expensive to customers any more,” he added.

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