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Carving turkey, not LUNs

This guest blog post is authored by Scott Zemke, Senior Systems Engineer at University of Arkansas

This Thanksgiving I’m carving turkey, not LUNs, and I couldn’t be more excited.

You see, in the past, any time that the University was closed (including holidays), was an opportunity for infrastructure maintenance. Over the last few years everything has become intelligent, almost Skynet-like in its ability to adapt and respond to changing conditions within our infrastructure.

That is, everything but our storage.

Our legacy storage was good. It was the best we could get… ten years ago.

In those ten years amazing things have happened. Storage is faster and cheaper than anyone could imagine, but it hasn’t really changed all that much. LUNs, targets, addresses, zoning, and volumes—all of the things that we hated about our old storage were still present in much of the new storage we were seeing. That was until I got a call from a long time buddy of mine.

“Have you ever heard of Tintri?” my buddy asked me. I hadn’t, and I wasn’t really interested at first. I was looking at quotes from big name storage vendors, watching demos titled ‘easy to use’, and feeling like *nothing* had changed. My friend kept on about Tintri, how it was ‘smart’ storage that was truly easy to use. Tintri! Tintri! Tintri! I finally agreed to a demo. Little did I know it would be the best decision I ever made.

Our box arrived and my boss and I looked at each other rolling our eyes. We figured this was going to be like every other storage install we’ve done. It takes one, maybe two days to get up and running; then we’d have to tweak it to get the most out of it. We dove in, opened the box and started to install it. Fifteen minutes later we were done. Seriously, it took us fifteen minutes to unbox, rack, and hook up our Tintri VMstore. Another fifteen minutes and we had it connected to ALL of our VMhosts. We were moving data to it as fast as our old SAN could move.

No LUNs, no zoning, no addressing, nothing. Everything we hated about our old storage… was gone. We were floored at how easy it really was to get working. No tweaking, no complicated setup, and the coolest part was it knew things about our VMs and network that we didn’t. Our smart storage found where our latency problem had been hiding for months. It found issues with some VMs that vCenter said were fine. Tintri told us more about our problems in a few hours than we had learned in months of tracking down these intermittent issues.

Our Tintris (that’s plural right?) have saved us literally hundreds of man hours we used to spend on maintenance of legacy storage. Countless missed holidays, family events, and angry significant others are a thing of the past. If you’re thinking there’s no way this storage does all of these things, talk to someone that has a Tintri. Just don’t talk to me over Thanksgiving—I’ll be busy carving a turkey.

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