Kaminario offloads compression to Intel's QAT engine

30% smaller data is QAT's meow

Kaminario is getting better data compression by using Intel’s C6268 chipset in its K2 all-flash array's gen 6 storage controllers.

The C6268 features QuickAssist Technology (QAT) and Kaminario uses this in offloading inline compression from its Xeon SP processors to a dedicated compression engine. The array’s VisionOS also supports selectable deduplication; this is global dedupe with distributed metadata.

It says the benefits are:

  • 30 per cent better data reduction ratio using the DEFLATE compression algorithm, with its combination of the LZ77 algorithm and Huffman coding, with no impact on latency,
  • Re-captured CPU cycles can handle more data and customer-facing work, meaning better overall system performance.

Intel QAT is implemented as a PCIe/NVMe module stuffed in one of the controller’s front-loading PCIe/NVMe slots. Such slots could also be used for NVMe-connected Intel Optane 3D XPOint drives in the future.

Kaminario briefed the press at a TechLive event in June, saying that the gen 6 controllers are XPoint-ready, NVDIMM-ready, and built for coming NVMe over Fabric technology.

In the future Kaminario could provide software-defined virtual private arrays (VPA) composed from physical K2 arrays. Admin staff could drag and drop components from one VPA to another, such as a controller to add compute resource – ie, reallocate a physical controller from one VPA to another, or add a flash shelf (JBOF) to increase VPA capacity.

Such changes could be scheduled for repetitive busy work periods. Deduplication could be global across VPAs or constrained to take place within a VPA.

We could envisage the adding of different JBOF tiers – QLC (4 bits/cell) for example – and so extend the K2 array’s applicability out to secondary storage use cases.

Our understanding is that Kaminario doesn’t see itself extending VisionOS to support file and block access protocols and storage.

The K2 gen 6 controllers are manufactured by Supermicro, which has a full roster of Xeon SP server products. ®

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