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PRESS RELEASE
By 30 September 2015 | Categories: Press Release

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Tintri, a leading producer of smart storage for virtualisation and cloud environments, and networking partner of South Africa's leading value-added distributor, Networks Unlimited has been chosen to eliminate storage performance issues for F5 Networks and reduce over provisioning in its Product Development Lab environment. Tintri has enabled F5 to reduce both the storage footprint of its VMs (virtual machines), and lab-operating costs from space, power and cooling.

F5 Networks is a global leader in application delivery networking and provides solutions that make applications secure, fast and available, helping organisations get the most out of their investment. The F5 BIG-IP platform optimises applications and allows them to work faster and consume fewer resources. F5 solutions are deployed by some of the biggest enterprises and service providers worldwide.

F5 approached Tintri as its VM storage performance issues were hindering effective scaling of F5’s Product Development VM environment for the company’s flagship BIG-IP platform. Expanding the existing storage systems to support the growing number of VMs was neither cost effective, both for initial purchase and ongoing maintenance, nor efficient. F5 wanted to deploy a VM storage solution that would not only satisfy its performance needs, but also allow it to effectively scale to support thousands of VMs while simplifying management.

Key customer challenges
F5 was using traditional storage systems to support its test and development VM environment, running a combination of Windows and Linux VMs, as well as its own BIG-IP Virtual Edition. “Performance bottlenecks in our existing storage were hindering us from deploying large numbers of VMs, affecting developer productivity. Further, we could only operate safely at less than 50 percent performance utilisation given the active-active configuration,” says Yens Jimenez Steller, manager of the F5 Product Development Lab in Seattle. “We needed VM-aware storage to help meet our growing needs in deploying thousands of VMs.”

Storage controller performance bottlenecks also led to wasted capacity. “We maxed out performance on our existing storage, using only about 50 percent of the capacity of the system,” adds Jimenez Steller. “Overprovisioning storage capacity for performance was expensive. We looked for cost-effective, high-performance storage that we could use up to its capacity. We also wanted to decrease the footprint to minimise operating costs.”

Additionally, F5 needed to simplify VM storage management in order to scale efficiently. “We wanted a storage solution that is simple to manage and troubleshoot as we scaled our environment to host thousands of VMs,” points out Jimenez Steller.

Tintri eliminates scale and performance problems
“Setting up Tintri VMstore was simple and required no up-front administrator training,” highlights Jimenez Steller. “We conducted an extensive Proof of Concept subjecting Tintri to various performance tests on large scale, deploying hundreds of VMs. We found Tintri could easily meet our performance needs with consistent low latency.”

Business benefits
Tintri VMstore helped F5 unblock storage performance issues in its virtual lab, which supports the development of its flagship BIG-IP product. “Tintri VM-aware storage provides the performance we need to support the growing number of virtual machines at F5’s Seattle Product Development Lab.

“We run over 1,500 VMs on two Tintri T540 VMstore systems, and engineers experience consistent performance even at this scale. Most of the VMs in the product development lab now run on Tintri.”

Tintri also helped F5 eliminate wasted capacity. Tintri’s flash-based architecture delivers high performance in a small footprint, so there is no need to provision unusable capacity for performance. “Thanks to Tintri, we finally have a VM storage solution that provides the performance we need with a small footprint – saving space, power and cooling in our lab and allowing us to scale efficiently,” says Jimenez Steller. “Compared to our previous storage, Tintri VMstore can accommodate twice the IOPS at less than a third of the latency in one fourth the footprint.”

Tintri’s ease of use helped reduce operational costs for F5. “Unlike our previous storage, we don’t need to spend on dedicated administrator training for managing Tintri systems. Out of all the systems in our F5’s Seattle Product Development Lab, the Tintri storage solution is the easiest to set up and maintain. Tintri support is easy to work with and provides remote monitoring for simplified maintenance. We are confident that Tintri will enable us to scale our Seattle Product Development Lab efficiently and cost effectively.”

Tintri and Networks Unlimited hosted a launch in Kenya at the end of July 2015 highlighting its offering. Anton Jacobsz, managing director at Networks Unlimited, says that as the leading distributor of Tintri products in Southern and East Africa, the company is looking forward to seeing the contribution that Tintri can make in enhancing storage performance whilst saving costs for companies operating in the region. “Tintri VMstore has earned the distinction of winning Infoworld’s 2015 Technology of the Year, because it challenges the storage status quo. It is this kind of innovative product that is needed to boost business productivity and grow the future of the IT landscape in Africa,” he says.

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