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Tegile launches NVMe IntelliFlash N Series and gets bought by WD

Hybrid flash pioneer turned all-flash supplier Tegile has launched its first exclusively NVMe-equipped arrays, the Intelliflash N Series. Hot on the heels of that announcement came the news that the company had been bought by Western Digital.

The Intelliflash N series comes in two models, the N5200 and N5800. The former can take between 23TB and 184TB of NVMe flash capacity, while the higher-numbered product ranges from 19TB to 154TB.

The difference is due to use of higher capacity NVMe drive options in the N5200. All capacities are claimed to be between 3x and 4x higher than raw as a result of data reduction.

The N series arrays come in a 2U base form factor and provide SAN (Fibre Channel and iSCSI) and NAS connectivity to hosts.

Last month Tegile launched two new products in its Intelliflash HD line, with added NVMe slots. At the time, it promised all-NVMe capability later in the year, and N series seem to be it.

However, it is unlikely the N series will let customers take full advantage of NVMe’s potential because its drives sit behind dual controllers – a bottleneck to NVMe performance – and connectivity to hosts is based on SCSI-dependent protocols.

Tegile doesn’t give performance figures on its website for the N series, but it’s likely there’s a performance gain of a few x over SAS-connected flash drives, similarly to Pure Storage’s FlashArray//X product.

Tegile plans to provide NVMe-over-fabrics access to hosts, and that could help speed things up – although controller functionality will still keep the brakes on to some extent.

Businesses can use the N series to consolidate transactional processing, analytics, databases, virtualisation and file services on a single platform.

Meanwhile, Western Digital has announced it is to buy Tegile, with the deal set to close on 4 September. The terms of the potential purchase have not been disclosed. Western Digital has been an investor in Tegile.

“The Tegile acquisition will fit perfectly in Western Digital’s long-term strategy to deliver high-value solutions that address customers’ rapidly evolving storage needs,” said Western Digital president and chief operating officer Mike Cordano. 

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