Testing Tintri’s Lightning Lab and Pizza

Disclaimer: I was offered a pizza to write this post.  I haven’t taken up the offer yet, but I will be.


I had the opportunity to test drive Tintri’s “Lightning Lab” about six months ago and the nice folks at Tintri thought I might like to post about my experiences. They’ve offered me a pizza for my troubles which, coincidentally, ties in nicely with their current promotion “The Tintri Pizza Challenge“. If you’re in the US or Canada it’s worth checking it out.

In any case, the Lightning Lab is Tintri’s internet accessible lab that showcases a number of its arrays and provides you with an opportunity to take their gear for a spin. From a hardware perspective it’s pretty well provisioned, with T5060, T880, T620 & T540 arrays, along with a Dell R720 host with 128GB of RAM and 2 Dell R610 servers with 48GB of RAM. From a software perspective, the version of the lab I used had VMware vSphere 5.5U2b installed, but I believe this has been since updated. There’s also a functional version of Tintri Global Center, and both the Web Client Plug-in and the vROps plugin configured. Networking wise, management runs overs a 1GbE Dell switch, with Data travelling via a 10GbE Arista switch.


Global Center has a pretty neat login screen. Like all good admins, I use many dots in my password too.


There’s a bunch of stuff I could show from the interface, but one of my favourite bits is the ability to see an aggregated view of your deployed VMstores.


The interface is simple to operate and painfully colourful too. It’s also simple to navigate and makes it really easy to get a quick view of what’s going on in your environment without having to do a lot of digging.



There’s a lot more I could write about Tintri. If you’re aligned with their use case (NFS-only), they have a compelling offering that’s worth checking out. The Lightning Lab is an excellent tool to take their platform for a spin and gain a good understanding of just what you can do with the VMstore and Global Center. I think these kind of offerings are great, and not just because there’s pizza involved. If more storage vendors read this and think that they should be doing something like this, then that’s a great thing. I’ve barely scratched the surface, so you should head over to Andrea Mauro’s blog and check out his thorough write-up of his Lightning Lab experience.

EMC – I heart EFD performance

We got some EFDs on our CX4-960s recently, and we had the chance to do some basic PassMark testing on them before we loaded them up with production configurations. We’re running 30 * 200GB EFDs in a Storage Pool on the CX4-960. FAST and FAST Cache haven’t been turned on. The VM was sitting on an HP BL460p G6 blade with 96GB RAM, 12 Nehalem cores and vSphere 4.1. The blades connect to the arrays via Cisco 9124e FC switches with 8Gbps port-channels to the Cisco MDS 9513. We’re only using 2 fe ports per SP on the CX4-960 at the moment. We used Pass Mark on a Windows 2008 R2 VM sitting on a 100GB vmdk. There wasn’t a lot of other LUNs bound in the Storage Pool, so the results are skewed. Nonetheless, they look pretty, and that’s what I’m going with.

100% Sequential Write:



100% Sequential Read:


File Server Simulation (80% Read, 20% Write):