Kaminario K2 all-flash array adds enterprise storage features

Carol Sliwa

Early versions of Kaminario Inc.'s K2 all-flash arrays stood out with their performance claims but lacked many of the capacity-saving and data management features typically found in traditional enterprise storage arrays.

That changed with Kaminario K2 version 5 (v5) released in May.

Ritu Jyoti, chief product officer at the Newton, Massachusetts-headquartered company, said Kaminario K2 version 5 (v5) enhanced the product's enterprise readiness with the addition of features such as thin provisioning, inline deduplication and inline compression in May and replication and data encryption planned for later in the year.

"V5 is a huge, huge leap forward for us," Jyoti said.

She said interest was building early this year for the new v5 product, and some customers purchased K2 v5 even before its release. Kaminario-supplied numbers claim the price per GB for the least expensive configuration dropped from $8.69 for v4 to $2.55 for v5 with deduplication and compression factored in. Also with v5, the Kaminario K2 product shifted from more expensive 1.6 TB enterprise multilevel cell (eMLC) SSDs to less expensive 800 GB MLC drives, according to the company.

Kaminario's K2 offers a seven-year endurance guarantee on its flash drives -- a guarantee that is written into the warranty contract, according to Jyoti.

Last year, Kaminario announced a performance consistency guarantee promising no more than 25% performance degradation during a system failure. The company claimed that if the degradation failed to meet the guarantee, it would give customers the new hardware necessary to allow the product to do so.

Kaminario's all-flash arrays stand out for their performance claims, with maximum read and write IOPS in excess of 1 million and double-digit read throughput. Kaminario-supplied figures for K2 v4 (maximum read IOPS of 4 million and maximum read throughput of 64 GB/s) were actually greater than the numbers provided for K2 v5 (maximum read IOPS of 2 million and maximum read throughput of 25.6 GB/s) because the company qualified v4 for higher performance than it has done so far for v5, Jyoti said.

Jyoti said Kaminario's K2 can scale capacity and performance to a greater degree than it does now, and the company can undertake further qualifications if it chooses. But, she said Kaminario has not seen customer demand for higher capacity and performance.

"We [have] a scale-out architecture, so we can add more nodes and scale both performance and capacity," Jyoti wrote in an email. "With v5, we are adding scale-up as well -- meaning we can scale capacity without adding performance. In other words, the customers can dynamically scale capacity and performance, all fully automated. In theory, these numbers can scale infinitely, but we do thorough qualification and state the numbers that we have qualified."

Kaminario's scale-out K2 v4 had a raw maximum capacity of 240 TB and a usable maximum of 120 TB. The new K2 v5 boosted the maximum raw capacity to 307.2 TB and the maximum usable to 236.8 TB, with the option to scale further, according to the company.

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