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Practical Enterprise Virtualization Applications Help Boost Validity Of Tegile’s Zebi Hybrid Storage Arrays

Charlotte, NC-based Hedrick Gardner Kincheloe & Garofalo LLP, one of the region’s premier law firms, has installed two of Tegile Systems’ Zebi hybrid storage arrays to meet its expanding capacity and virtualization needs.

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As Hedrick Gardner increasingly moved to a virtual infrastructure, it reached the capacity limits with its existing HP iSCSI SAN arrays, encompassing 4TB of capacity across two arrays in a RAID 10 configuration, requiring 50 percent capacity overhead for the RAID redundancy on expensive Tier 1 storage. HP storage offered no option to increase capacity via data compression or deduplication.

With an eye toward further virtualizing Hedrick Gardner’s IT operations with virtualized desktops, Jeremy DeHart, Information Technology Manager, embarked on a project to evaluate solid state storage systems from Network Appliance as well as hybrid SAN arrays from Tintri, Nimble Storage and the Zebi arrays from Tegile Systems. The Tintri was quickly eliminated from consideration as it only supported the NFS protocol, didn’t provide any remote replication and was too expensive, while Nimble was pure iSCSI with no support for NFS or CIFS file storage protocols. NetApp met all of DeHart’s requirements for protocol support but the licensing complexity issues made it cost prohibitive.

Ultimately, DeHart decided on the Zebi HA2100 array from Tegile, a total solution that includes compression, deduplication and remote replication as standard features along with the most comprehensive unified storage protocol support – including Fibre Channel SANs – of any hybrid storage array.

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“With Tegile, I saw it as sort of a Swiss Army knife for the technology,” said DeHart. “The technology portfolio that the Tegile devices have was paramount to our decision in this process. Tegile’s approach to the technology is ‘here’s the device and you can pretty much do anything you want.”

Hedrick Gardner has installed two Zebi HA2100 arrays. The main Zebi array in Charlotte is replicated to an identical array for DR protection at the Raleigh office. DeHart said that the built-in replication was another factor that weighed heavily in the decision to go with Tegile. “That was a huge consideration in the purchase decision because Tegile was able to come in at the dollar mark we needed with a replication technology that was bundled into the price.”

A soon as the Tegile storage was installed, it instantly proved to be the right choice, according to DeHart. “We immediately saw improved response times and we were able to consolidate all of our data on the Zebi appliance, instead of having to cross multiple appliances as we were doing in the previous environment,” he said. “The backup capabilities with the snapshotting has affected our entire backup strategy,” he said. “We have leveraged the CIFS protocol filesystem revisioning capabilities to provide a near realtime recovery process for the users.

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Despite the superior performance, comprehensive product offering and cost advantages, Hedrick Gardner still had a concern about trusting its production storage environment to relatively new hybrid technology before committing to purchase the Zebi arrays. DeHart’s boss at Hedrick Gardner got on the phone to speak directly with Tegile Chief Executive Officer Rohit Kshetrapal. That conversation about Kshetrapal’s vision for Tegile and the company’s fanatical commitment to customer support convinced Hedrick Gardner and sealed the deal for Tegile.

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