In Howard Marks’ Network Computing column yesterday, he makes the point that there are different performance tiers among SSD storage arrays. He uses a car metaphor to differentiate vendor offerings by speed. It is fun, creative and definitely flattering to be compared to a Lamborghini. However, as we usually do, we would like to make a few comments.
Speed is not enough to distinguish among SSD storage arrays
We started 2012 off by proclaiming it was the Year of the SSD. Since then, we have discussed frequently that while IOPs and latency are important to convince organizations to adopt SSD, speed is not enough. Data protection and high availability are particularly important to enterprise customers. Many customers we speak with say data protection is equally important to them as speed in determining whether to adopt SSD arrays in their data center. So it would be nice to extend Marks’ car metaphor to include data protection. In fact, if a Lamborghini could cross-breed with a Volvo, the offspring would be a lot closer metaphor for the Kaminario K2.
The K2-F scales to 100TB
Marks: “If you want enough space for your girlfriend, or more than about 1 TB of data, you should look at flash or hybrid DRAM and flash systems from the likes of Violin Memory or Kaminario. They’ll deliver millions of IOPS and latencies on the order of 100-300 microseconds but are still limited in terms of capacity and management flexibility, topping out at well under 50 TB.”
Kaminario: In fact, the Kaminario K2-F (all Flash) easily scales up to 100TB. And, unlike Violin, Kaminario is the only vendor that allows you to mix DRAM and flash in a single array.
The K2-D is our drag racer
Marks: “DRAM SSDs are the drag racers of the data center: Like a dragster they’re really fast but only good at one thing, and generally lack redundancy, capacity and comfort, i.e., management functionality.”
Kaminario: We’d like to add our K2-D (all DRAM) into this category. It screams with up to 1.5 million IOPS. Plus, you get the same data protection features as the K2-F like snaps, high availability, non-disruptive operations and the SPEAR scale-out architecture.
We have customers in the financial services industry that use the K2-D to gain competitive advantage in trading applications where fractions of a second make a big difference.
Kaminario is aiming for the enterprise market
Dani Golan pointed out at Stephen Foskett’s Tech Field Day recently that Kaminario is striving to help customers replace HDDs to get better performance from business critical applications such as Oracle, SAP and Microsoft. As databases get bigger and more complex, (and as prices continue to come down) we think performance requirements are only going to increase. This puts Kaminario in a great position to help enterprise customers because we have the speed and we have the data protection.
This makes me wonder what we would call the Lamborghini–Volvo child. Kami? And maybe it looks it a little more like the Volvo. If it looked like the Volvo below, it would be apt.