Kaminario gets cash for K2 biz flash dash

F-round funding is vote of confidence in its prospects

All-flash array supplier Kaminario has gained an additional $75 million funding in an F-round, taking total funding to $218 million.

Private equity firm Waterwood led the round; its strategy is to invest in growth-stage technology companies. Cash also came from new and existing investors, including Sequoia, Pitango, Lazarus, Silicon Valley Bank and Globespan Capital Partners.

Kaminario CEO Dani Golan said: "This new funding will allow us to continue our global expansion and accelerate our innovation agenda to better serve our customers," meaning Kaminario will expand its go-to-market initiatives, strengthen its global presence across Eastern and Western Europe, Asia Pacific, and the Middle East using its channel program, and develop its product technology.

The go-to-market initiative involves expanding its technology ecosystem partnerships with tighter integrations with database platforms, virtualisation solutions, hypervisors and development paradigms.

The engineering developments will encompass non-disruptive, forklift-free upgrades, NVMe drives and access using NVMe over Fabric.

A focus will be on supporting DevOps and containerisation, and getting the storage closer to compute. It will become possible to configure virtual arrays, as it were, for applications, reconfiguring them dynamically and swiftly, adding more compute for example.

Kaminario is also anticipating a multi-tiered future and is able to take advantage of architectural features it has not yet productised. We might envisage different classes of NVMe-access storage shelves in the array. One could be a mission-critical type, using high-performance (read and write) and high-endurance flash drives, suitable for OLTP and analytics.

A second could be a read-optimised shelf using drives with a lower endurance rating. It may be conceivable that a third type of shelf could be used with even lower write endurance drives for applications with low write needs but normal or even high read needs. This multi-tier development depends upon the flash hardware vendors developing appropriate drive products for these tiers.

Kaminario points to IDC research showing the all-flash array market will have a 21.4 per cent CAGR from 2015 to 2020, making it the fastest-growing segment of the $40bn enterprise storage systems market. Kaminario thinks that the rise of the Internet of Things, cloud-style computing and smart end-point connected devices are contributing to this surge of growth.

Golan says Kaminario typically sells to SaaS-focussed customers and projects, and their data storage needs grow fast, even as the traditional storage array application market, served by, as he put it, "the old six," declines.

He emphasises that the funding round was over-subscribed, Kaminario originally only looking for around $40 million. The investors, he says, were confident that Kaminario's current and developing technology would both maintain and extend the firm's competitive advantage over the next few years.

ESG founder and senior analyst Steve Duplessie provided a bullish supporting quote: "Slow input-output (I/O) can mean the death of your business – as can the cost of over-provisioning. Kaminario is in a perfect position to handle outrageous I/O demands without forcing providers to buy more than they need in advance."

Wikibon cofounder and CTO David Floyer gave a hint of a multi-tiered future for the K2 array in his supporting quote: "Kaminario is well positioned to address the enterprise requirements for both performance and capacity flash storage." ®

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