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Kaminario pulls ahead in the race toward an all flash data center…

Earlier this month, at the Flash Memory Summit, the buzz was about 3D TLC NAND technology which could soon produce a 16TB 2.5 inch SSD.  This would greatly exceed current capacity projections for a comparably-sized HDD.  Then, August 20th, Kaminario announced breakthrough pricing which promotes the concept of an all flash data center by incorporating one of the first implementations of a 3D TLC NAND SSD into its flagship product line.  The K2 v5.5 array is priced at less than $1 per usable GB (calculation based on a reasonable 4:1 compaction ratio). By reducing storage costs by half of their previous offerings, this implementation is priced substantially lower than the 1.5$/GB that other flash array vendors are currently touting. The race toward an all flash data center is on and it’s going to make it hard for traditional hybrid array vendors to justify their value propositions in head-to-head competition.  Soon, many businesses will be questioning the use of any mechanical spinning media for Tier-1 data center workloads.

Initially, flash technology was thought to be very expensive and the expected wear-out sooner than alternative spinning media.  Recently, wear-out factors have been mitigated by smart sparing and usage algorithms that greatly increase the life of flash.  I believe a vendor should substantiate reliability claims with a firm commitment to the customer.  Kaminario has set the bar very high by granting a seven-year warranty on these new 3D TLC SSDs. They attribute this warranty increase to their advanced writing algorithm for flash media.  Again, this greatly exceeds current industry practices which grant three-year warranties for spinning media.   Many flash array vendors can now offer five-year warranties for SSDs which demonstrates increasing reliability for flash technology.

With its K2 v5.5 release of native array-based replication, Kaminario has also closed a key data-services feature gap.  The Perpetual Array Program was also introduced. This novel concept allows a customer to purchase the latest generation of hardware and transfer the software license from an active Kaminario support agreement from the retiring hardware. A long overdue concept, this makes integrated arrays similar to many SDS products offering this upgrade path.  I expect this option to be very popular and may induce other integrated array vendors to follow suite.

In summary, the Kaminario K2 v5.5 announcement is compelling and is paving the way for the all flash data center to become a reality.  While the transition will take time, mainly due to flash technology manufacturing capacity constraints, it may be closer than anyone thinks. I’m looking forward to the competitive responses to the 1$/GB all flash arrays and then soon after that the dialogue may shift to a shortage of capacity in the SSD industry.

  • Premiered: 08/24/15
  • Author: Jeff Kato
Topic(s): Kaminario Flash Memory Summit All Flash Flash SSD 3D TLC NAND all flash array


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