Kaminario K2 Review

Knowing it can scale up and out, that would mean that it could hold around 154 TB of Flash.


Originally posted at https://www.vdicloud.nl/2015/09/09/kaminario-7-months-after-storage-field-day-7/ 

All Flash Arrays (AFA) are hot for a couple of years now, and for a good reason! During Storage Field Day 1 we had 3 AFA vendors presenting with Kaminario, NimbusData and PureStorage. Although they have a different go-to-market strategies, as well as a different technology strategies, all three are still standing (allthough 1 of them seems to be struggling…)

At Storage Field Day 7 we had the privilege to get another Kaminario presentation and in this post I would like to take some time to see what Kaminario offers, and what new features they presented the last couple of months.

The K2 All-Flash Array

There are couple of features provided by Kaminario that I find interesting (based on what was included 6 months ago):

  • Choice of FC or ISCSI
  • VMware integration (VAAI, vvols (not yet))
  • Non-disruptive upgrades
  • Great GUI
  • Inline deduplication and compression
  • Scale Up and Out
  • K-Raid protection
  • Industry standard SSD warranty (7 years now)

But there are/were still a couple of things missing, but it might be even better and go back a couple of years and see what the Kaminario solution looked like back then. A great post to look at the Kaminario solution back 2012 is the one of Hans De Leenheer:

Kaminario – a Solid State startup worth following

As you can see, there is so much innovation done by Kaminario, and in the last 6 months a lot more has been done.

What’s new in Kaminario K2 v5.5?

In the last couple of weeks Kaminario released the 5.5 version of their K2 product. In this release a couple of new (awesome) features were introduced that we’ll investigate a little deeper:

  • Use of 3D TLC NAND
  • Replication (asynchronous)
  • Perpetual Array (Mix and match SSD/Controller)

Let’s start with the use of 3D TLC NAND. In earlier versions of their products Kaminario always used MLC NAND and a customer could choose between 400 and 800 GB MLC SSD’s. Knowing Kaminario can scale up and out that would mean that it could hold around 154 TB of Flash (with dedupe and compression this would go up to around 720+ TB according to kaminario documents). With the new 3D flash technology the size of the drives changed to 480, 960 GB MLC and a 1,92 TB TLC SSD which doubles the capacity:

The next new feature is Replication, although the documentation found on the Kaminario site on replication goes back to 2014, but it still mentioned in the what’s new in v5.5 documents. Something that is new with replication is the fact that Kaminario now integrates with VMware SRM to meet customer needs. This is great news for customers already using SRM or thinking about using. The way Kaminario does replication is based on their snapshot (application consistent).

Last but not least is Perpetual Array, which gives a customer the possibilty to mix and match SSD’s as well as Controller’s. This feature gives the customer the freedom to start building their storage system and continue growing even if Kaminario will change controller hardware or SSD technology.

Final thoughts

Looking at what changed at Kaminario the last couple of months (and the last couple of years, for that matter) I’m certain we’ll see a lot of great innovation from Kaminario in their upcoming releases. 3D NAND will get Kaminario to much bigger scale (ever heard of Samsung showing a 16 TB 3D TLC SSD), and with their Scale Up and Scale out technology Kaminario has the right solution for each and every business. What I think would be a great idea for Kaminario is more visibilty outside the US, when my customers start talking about AFA I notice they almost never talk about Kaminario, mainly because they jut don’t know about them, and there are no local sales team to tell them about the Kaminario offering. That’s just to bad, as I still think Kaminario is a very cool AFA vendor. It was also great to see them as a sponsor at TechUnplugged Amsterdam, which is a start :D.

Disclaimer: I was invited to this meeting by TechFieldDay to attend SFD7 and they paid for travel and accommodation, I have not been compensated for my time and am not obliged to blog. Furthermore, the content is not reviewed, approved or edited by any other person than the me.


Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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