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The "Tintriboot”

Rob Girard / Dec 14, 2018

A self-proclaimed Geek, Rob Girard (@robgirard) was one of Tintri’s early customers and fell in love with our product, running several VMstores in p...more

I’m very pleased to announce a recent milestone… a new Tintri release! Version 4.4.3.3 (now available to customers via our support portal) may appear like a minor rev to most… a simple increment of a 4th decimal point… moving from 4.3.3.2 to 4.4.3.3. But to me, and many of my hard-working and passionate colleagues, this release stands for so much more. This is our first release after the bankruptcy and post-DDN acquisition. This proud moment has caused me to reflect on the crazy journey to get here, and thus is the inspiration for this and the next blog post to follow.

Some of you know me, some of you don’t. Some of you might only recognize me from annual meetings at VMworld… I’m “that crazy guy with the Mohawk”, a tradition I’ve been carrying on with since VMworld 2011. I’ve been working for Tintri for nearly 5 years (Jan 2014), and before that I was an early-adopting Tintri-loving customer, purchasing my first VMstore in March of 2012. Sadly, I left Tintri in May of 2018, but I’ve since come back… a story for my next post

I’m back for the Reboot! Or the “Tintriboot”, as I like to call it. When did the Tintriboot begin? The DDN acquisition took place Aug 29th and completed on September 4th. It’s been 13-14 weeks since the inception of the new “Tintri by DDN” entity. And for me personally, I’ve been back for approx. 12 of those. And these past few months have been some of the wildest and most challenging times of my career… in the good way!

Before leaving Tintri, my role had been Technical Marketing Engineer, a role I’d been enjoying for ~4.5 years. I wrote white papers, presented at events, interacted with many customers, partners & SEs. I’d performed countless crazy experiments in the lab, and analyzed thousands of customer systems in the wild. And while that’s still my role as a TME, my normal duties have been put on hold, so I could contribute to lab migrations. Leveraging many years of past datacenter experience I’d accumulated over the past the 20+ years I’d been working in technology, it was time to roll up my sleeves and get busy. With a fraction of the staff we used to have, and no one left from the Datacenter Ops team, things were about to get crazy!

We had 2 very large labs that we needed to vacate in an incredibly short time period…. One lab was around 40 racks and had to be vacated by end of Sept, and the other about 45 racks which needed to be vacated by the end of October. I [re]joined Tintri on Sept 17th… you can do the math… It was time to hit the ground running! That is NOT much time for a task so huge!!! It was an awesome opportunity to get back to my roots and put myself in the shoes of our customers who routinely take on tasks like these.

Spoiler Alert: The migrations were successful! And if the storage wasn’t Tintri, there’s NO WAY it could have been pulled off!

Stay tuned for a more detailed and technical account of our lab migrations in a later post… I can’t wait to share more videos, pictures & stories of the migration!

Back to the topic at hand… what do these migrations have to do with this week’s TXOS 4.4.3.3 release. Let’s first ask “What goes into a release?” In addition to all the engineering effort of writing & implementing the code, there’s a massive Quality Assurance component that can’t be taken lightly or cut short. Our customers trust us with their single most precious asset: Their Data. That trust means everything to us, and we don’t want to let any of you down. Delivering a quality release takes a high-quality and dedicated team to pull it off. And it also takes a lab full of systems… systems that were in the two labs that needed to be relocated that I mentioned previously. Oh, did I also mention that all of our engineers also had to pick up and move? Ya… throw an office move into the mix as well!

With fewer resources than we’ve been used to in the past, shipping this release is a signal of great things to come. A sign that regardless of what you may read online, Tintri is NOT dead! We are alive and well! And not only is engineering and QA back up and running, but I’m also pleased to report that we’ve re-staffed our support teams globally in order to provide 24x7 support once again.

I know the summer of 2018 was a tough time for our support team and customers alike; a bankruptcy sucks for everyone involved! Prior to this, Tintri’s topnotch support experience has been a valued benefit that customers have come to love and expect, and I am pleased to publicly declare these days are behind us. If you’ve had a bad support experience in the July-October timeframe, please don’t let that be a reflection of Tintri today. While very difficult, we’ve managed to persist and push through it and return to providing the excellent experiences that have made so many of you repeat customers. Thank you for the patience while we had to take a bit of downtime for a reboot… we’re back online!

THANK YOU to all our dedicated customers whom have stuck with us! And to those of you whom are new to Tintri, or may be familiar with our name but haven’t discovered first-hand why Tintri is so special, you’re missing out! And now that I’m back, my mission here is to convince of this so you’ll simply give our technology a try. This post, and many more to follow are part of new efforts to be much more public this time around about what makes Tintri so special and different than all the rest of the storage tech out there. Again, all I’m asking is that you’ll give us a try… you’ll thank me later!

Stay tuned for my next post where I’ll give a very personal account of what it’s been like at Tintri, from an insider employee perspective.

Cheers!
Rob

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