Tegile IntelliFlash: Product Overview and Insight

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Bottom Line:

Flash customers know the Tegile name well: it was one of the fastest out of the blocks when the flash revolution began. Potential buyers should be aware that its purchase by Western Digital opens the door to a still wider ecosystem of systems and platforms. In addition, it puts the company in the driver’s seat in terms of access to SSDs, HDDs and NVMe drives as that is a core WD strength.

For now, Tegile is an attractive option for those seeking high performance and for companies not married to a specific storage vendor solution. It is also a strong contender for those needing unified block and file access across FC, iSCSI, NFS and CIFS/SMB3, and for those still wishing to utilize both SSDs and HDDs in hybrid arrays. On the downside, it doesn’t offer synchronous replication.

Jump to: Tegile IntelliFlash Features Table

Company Description:

Tegile was acquired by Western Digital. Western Digital data-centric solutions are marketed under the G-Technology, HGST, SanDisk, Tegile, Upthere, and WD brands. Its Data Center Systems portfolio includes the ActiveScale, Ultrastar, and Tegile IntelliFlash family of systems and platforms.

Gartner classifies Tegile as a Visionary. It earned that label due to the fact that competitors struggle to match many of the guarantees, purchase options, features and programs that Tegile offers. Customers include United Center, Haas, Egan, and Broadcast Interactive Media.

Product Description:

The IntelliFlash N Series flash array is a unified, NVMe storage system that accelerates applications. By incorporating non-volatile, solid state memory and NVMe interconnect components into its IntelliFlash storage systems, it delivers enterprise storage at near memory speeds. The IntelliFlash N-Series is a dual-controller system with 24 NVMe SSDs in a 2U footprint. It is capable of delivering multi-million IOPS with micro-second latency.

“With a suite of data management features offered in the platform, customers can accelerate enterprise applications 10x -20x, consolidate data and achieve 2x better ROI than legacy storage,” said Narayan Venkat, Vice President, Data Center Systems Business Unit at Western Digital.

“The interoperability, flexibility of options and features of the Tegile arrays are probably the most extensive in the market,” said Gartner analyst Valdis Filks. “The arrays offer unified protocol support, very detailed instrumentation and configuration flexibility.”

However, he noted that Tegile has limited customer awareness in Asia/Pacific, and its arrays lack synchronous replication.

Key Features:


Good. Implementation is typically a half-day effort. Once the hardware is racked up and powered, installation & configuration take approximately 45 mins. The system is ready and functional at that point. Sales engineers and professional services staff typically work with the customer to ensure that their server applications (e.g., VMware, databases) are configured to extract maximum performance and best data reduction ratios.   

“Make sure to take training before the product is installed, plan after training and have the installer of the SAN listen to needs rather than insist off-the-shelf standards are the only way to set up,” said the Director of Technical Services at an IT services firm.

Technical support:

Good, based on level of contract. End users are entitled to Proactive Support when they order and pay for support as provided in the sales order. They also have the choice of choosing between Standard and Premier Proactive Support. When choosing the Premier Proactive Support option, end users can opt in to the Lifetime Storage Refresh Program that enables them to refresh their entire system (including media) or only the controllers after the initial support term.

Every IntelliFlash array and expansion shelf comes with a 90-day limited warranty.

“Tegile is a very customer-centric company. When problems have arisen with our deployments over the last 5+ years, they always make things right,” said a Storage Architect of an education organization. 

Raw Capacity:

Starts at approximately 23 TB and scales to 184 TB in 2U footprint or 1290 TB of raw flash capacity in 10 RU. Effective usable capacity: ~5PB per system



61 GB/s

Latency is 200 micro-seconds

RAID/Data Protection:

  • IntelliFlash arrays separate metadata from the primary data path, storing the metadata on high-performance memory devices
  • Snapshots
  • Clones
  • Remote replication

Storage Saving Features: 

In-line data services: deduplication and compression, thin provisioning

Data Management:

  • Offers one flash memory platform for any enterprise workload
  • Unified block and file storage architecture with across FC, iSCSI, NFS and CIFS/SMB3


IntelliFlash N-series (as well as T-series) all-flash arrays deliver good price-performance for a variety of applications. The write-performance of N-series NVMe all-flash arrays is said to be between 20% – 30% better than Pure Storage all flash arrays under high load.


Appliance: the IntelliFlash N Series flash array is deployed in a storage network as an integrated SAN/NAS configuration. The flash arrays connect to enterprise applications over standard storage protocols (FC, iSCSI, NFS and SMB-3). 


Pricing varies by configuration. List price starts $190,000 for 23 TB of raw capacity.

Tegile IntelliFlash

Scale-up Yes
Scale-out Yes
Raw capacity (no deduplication) 1.1 PB
Effective capacity 5 PB
Networking (Max speed in Gbps)
Fibre Channel No
Ethernet/iSCSI 10 Gbs
Infiniband No
IOPs 1.5M
Throughput 61 GB/s
Latency 200 microsecs
Storage Saving Features
Deduplication Yes
Compression Yes
Thin provisioning Yes
Data encryption Yes
Snapshots Yes
Replication (synch or asynch?) Asynchronous
Percentage uptime (ex.: 99.999) 5 x 9
Non-disruptive software upgrades Yes
Non-disruptive hardware upgrades Yes
Base warranty: array Yes
Base warranty: flash Yes
Flash replacement if drive/module wears out before warranty expires? Yes
Gartner Magic Quadrant Rating Visionary
Price Starts at $190,000
Drew Robb
Drew Robb
Drew Robb is a contributing writer for Datamation, Enterprise Storage Forum, eSecurity Planet, Channel Insider, and eWeek. He has been reporting on all areas of IT for more than 25 years. He has a degree from the University of Strathclyde UK (USUK), and lives in the Tampa Bay area of Florida.

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