What else has Kaminario got under its kimono?

Sometimes, just looking good is not enough to survive


Comment Last week I attended Storage Field Day 7. One of the companies I met at the event was Kaminario, producer of an all-flash array (AFA).

This start-up has a potentially good product, with its own pros and cons, but the question here is: Is “good” still enough to have a serious chance of success in this market segment?

A few words about Kaminario

Kaminario was founded in 2010 in Boston, with offices in Israel, New York and Silicon Valley.

Its objective is to produce next-generation storage systems based on flash memory.

The start-up raised a total of $143m in funding – with the last $68m round just a few months ago – and it is targeting the general-purpose array market with a product that has an average declared price below the threshold of $2/GB.

We are talking about a scale-out design architecture, starting with a minimum of 1 K-Block (a controller pair with 1 or 2 disk trays) and stretching up to a total of 8 K-blocks at the moment. Back end is Infiniband and front end is FC or iSCSI.

The list of features is on a par with most of its competitors:

  • In-line compression/dedupe
  • Non disruptive upgrades
  • Advanced data services (but no remote replica yet)
  • Integration with VMware (VVOL will be added soon)
  • Easy to use GUI, APIs
  • A smart double parity RAID mechanism (which allows a high utilisation rate of flash)
  • Cloud-based analytics and support (which I haven’t actually seen in action)
  • Long term warranty for flash memory

On paper, this product definitely has all the characteristics needed to cover most enterprise use cases regarding performance and availability. The lack of remote replication is a pity, but I’m sure this flaw is only temporary. The K-2 array also has some good benchmarks, which Kaminario can tell you about.

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