After having digested all the awesome things that I gathered during the last Storage Field Day I’m ready to start talking about some of the interesting things we saw last week in beautiful north California.
Kaminario was our first host, Kaminario is a relatively new play in the flash array market, being founded in 2008, Dani Golan, Founder and CEO of the company, presented the company and their product to #SFD1 audience in an engaging and technical manner, he initially laid out what, I believe, everybody knows already: flash needs a completely new architecture at the storage array side, otherwise regular legacy arrays are simply not able to leverage the speeds and low latencies of flash.
I especially loved a point that Dani made during the presentation “what is high end storage anymore?”, we could debate months (years even) on this question, but in my mind everything reliable enough and fast enough can be considered “high end”, this is not something that has to do with big name brands anymore.
The system is completely software-based and completely distributed, the hardware that is currently qualified to run Kaminario’s K2 is Dell M1000e blade chassis, where each blade carry flash storage capacity and I/O connections and can scale across chassis and racks but Dani stressed out that there are no ties to the underlying hardware.
Their software storage architecture is called “SPEAR”, that encompass (as they say) a granular scale-out architecture, best of breed x86 hardware and solid-state media choice, which means that at the storage array level they’re free to use every kind of x86 hardware mixed with every kind of solid state media: from PCIe flash to SAS SSDs, on top of that lies their “DataProtect” layer that describe what the storage array gives back in terms of features and reliability: N+1 HA, Thin Provisioning, Non-disruptive operation, Redirect-on-write Snapshots and High speed replication (not synchronous though).
Dani showed us a pre-recorded demo of how the system can cope with a node failure by pulling an entire blade from the enclosure, the system dropped down from 500K to zero IOPS and then went back to a steady 400000 IOPS (80% of the original capacity) after less than 10 seconds, and then recovered immediately after a brand new blade got pulled, going back to a steady 500000 IOPS. Definitely an impressive stunt even if the drop down to zero concerned a few #SFD1 delegates.
Kaminario showed some interesting muscles during their presentation, they’re definitely addressing a specific pain point for companies: accelerate I/O intensive applications by going all-flash in a next-generation storage that can deliver high amounts of IOPS while keeping operational costs down with next-generation features that enable operations to run smooth. Kaminario is surely a company to put in your shortlist if you’re looking for a high performance storage system to accelerate your IO-driven workloads.
DISCLAIMER: Kaminario was a sponsor of Storage Field Day 1, and as such was partly responsible for my airfare and hotel accommodations. Kaminario did not ask for, nor did they receive any consideration for this article.