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Kaminario

Founded in 2008 and headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts, with an Israel-based R&D division, Kaminario boasts world class professionals, with an experienced management team.
.... Kaminario logo - clock for more info

Combined, they pool their knowledge and expertise in storage systems, networking, operating systems, BI and data processing to provide cutting edge products and solutions. The company serves customers in a wide range of diverse markets, including financial, telecommunications, web service providers, and government bureaus and agencies.

See also:- Kaminario - editor mentions on StorageSearch.com and Kaminario's storage acceleration blog
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Editor's comments:- December 1, 2014 - Kaminario was ranked #16 (up 3 places) in the Q3 2014 edition of the Top SSD Companies List - researched and published by StorageSearch.com.


Who's who in SSD? - by Zsolt Kerekes, editor - February 2014

Kaminario is a leading company in the high availability segment of the enterprise SSD market, with rackmount SSDs which operate in FC and iSCSI SAN environments.

Kaminario made its first appearance in the Top SSD Companies List in the 2nd quarter of 2012.

Kaminario's original systems were RAM SSDs. That seemed a brave choice at the time - given that the enterprise market had been moving towards flash since 2004. In a conversation I had with company's CEO in March 2011 - I said there was a lot of synergy in the user base between their ideal customers and those of Fusion-io - and as they weren't competitors (at that time) - I suggested that Kaminario should talk to Fusion-io about some kind of collaborative business development.

So later that year - in September 2011 - when Kaminario introduced flash into its product mix using PCIe SSDs sourced from Fusion-io - I wasn't greatly surprised.

Less than a quarter after that - in February 2012 Kaminario told me that nearly half the systems it was shipping included flash.

Nowadays - in 2014 - like over 99% of the enterprise SSD market - Kaminario is primarily a flash systems supplier.

In its 4th generation product - the K2 v4 - launched in April 2013 - the company changed its internal flash strategy to use SAS SSDs supplied by SanDisk.

Among the many competitors for Kaminario in the fast performance end of the HA SSD market spectrum are:- Violin, IBM (based on the product line acquired from Texas Memory Systems), Nimbus Data Systems, WhipTail and Fusion-io.

In the 4th quarter of 2013 - Kaminario reaffirmed the legitimacy of its claims to be faster - by announcing its results in 2 audited benchmarkes:-
  • SPC-2 price performance - in which the same Kaminario system (above) beat a bunch of named competitors in a cost effectiveness comparison for high end transaction processing
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Kaminario mentions in SSD market history

In June 2010 - Kaminario launched its 1st product - an FC SAN connected acceleration appliance in which a grid of blade servers access upto terabytes of shared memory. Pricing starts at $200,000.

In May 2011 - Kaminario announced it had secured $15 million in Series C funding bringing its total investor funding to $34 million.

In September 2011 - Kaminario announced it has integrated Fusion-io's PCIe SSDs as a new option in its K2 FC SAN compatible SSD product line (which was hitherto RAM SSD only) to provide flash and hybrid storage options. Using the new options the K2 can provide from 3 to 30TB of non-stop, protected and self healing, blade server based flash storage in 4U to 12U of rack space with R/W latency of 260 / 150 microsends at a list price of $30K / TB.

In June 2012 - Kaminario announced it has secured a $25 million series D round of funding, bringing its total funding to $65 million.

In April 2013 - Kaminario launched its 4th generation HA SSD system - the K2 v4 - using SAS SSDs as the internal flash components - with 120 / 280 microsends R/W latency, 369K IOPS and 6GB/s theroughput per K block. The capacity density is 6TB usable per U at a cost of $10K to $15K per TB.

In May 2014 Kaminario launched its 5th generation K2 enterprise rackmount SSD system priced at $2 per usable GB. In this context - "usable GB" is the effective virtual capacity seen by the customer's apps when Kaminario's compression and dedupe are in operation. (See also:- Exiting the Astrological Age of Enterprise SSD Pricing.)
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Kaminario recommends you read SSD Symmetries article
Editor:- June 15, 2012 - I accidentally discovered today that Gareth Taube, VP of Marketing at Kaminario published a new blog in which he recommends my article about SSD Symmetries.

Gareth says "Flexibility, such as being able to integrate multiple memory technologies into a single box (like Kaminario's K2-H), is going to be increasingly important to customers who want efficiency and customization options. This is especially true because there are many memory innovations coming on the near horizon." ...read Gareth's blog

Editor's comments:- when I was writing the symmetry article one of the things I had in mind to do was to put more examples in it. Then I realized that having lots of examples would simply make the article unreadable.

One of the examples I was going to use for good roadmap symmetry (but then forgot to put anywhere) was in fact Kaminario - because they can leverage off whatever Fusion-io does with flash (or other nv memory) and furthermore Kaminario can also leverage off whatever server makers do with CPUs and RAM. Roadmap symmetry is a long term consideration - important for big users who don't like supplier churn and important for VCs and investors too.

...Later:- I'm glad I wrote that bit about "roadmap symmetry" - because by a spooky coincidence - 3 days later we got the news that Kaminario's investors still love what they do.

June 18, 2012 - Kaminario today announced it has secured a $25 million series D round of funding, bringing its total funding to $65 million.
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Kaminario speeds pet pill processing
Editor:- May 21, 2012 - Kaminario today published a case study (pdf) which describes how PetMed Express (a leading online pet pharmacy) saw a 4x performance improvement in its report processing and operational processes.

Editor's comments:- OK - I admit it. SSD makes something run faster isn't really a news story.

"SSD makes system run slower - but customer is very satisfied and says they would be happy to pay even more" - would be a better SSD news story instead.

It seems I will use any excuse to link the themes of SSDs, animals and medecine. Have I no shame? Guess not.

See also:- Animal brands in the SSD market, MLC flash lives longer in my SSD care program
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85% of Kaminario's capacity today is flash
Editor:- February 7, 2012 - Here's an update on the long running RAM versus flash transition in enterprise SSD accelerators.

It's about 20 months since Kaminario entered the SSD market as a new name in the RAM SSD market - and just 6 months since the company also started offering flash - as a hybrid or pure alternative - based on PCIe SSDs from Fusion-io.

Yesterday I asked Kaminario's VP of marketing - Gareth Taube how's the flash thing going? And can you tell me and my readers what proportion of recent system shipments are flash rather than RAM.
click to read the article He told me - "I would say we are running about 45% all flash arrays, 45% Hybrids (but the hybrids are mostly Flash with 10% DRAM) and about 10% all DRAM. At least that is the way it has been running in the last 2 quarters."
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finally SANward bound... Fusion-io inside Kaminario's K2
Editor:- September 13, 2011 - Kaminario announced it has integrated Fusion-io's PCIe SSDs as a new option in its K2 FC SAN compatible SSD product line (which was until now RAM SSD only) to provide flash and hybrid storage options.

Using the new options the K2 can provide from 3 to 30TB of non-stop, protected and self healing, blade server based flash storage in 4U to 12U of rack space with R/W latency of 260 / 150 microseconds at a list price of $30K / TB.

Editor's comments:- Kaminario was already thinking about how to do a flash option when I spoke to them in March - but at that time they hadn't made a definite decision about how they were going to proceed. I've said to several RAM SSD makers in the past year or so - that working with Fusion-io can make business sense - because when a user has an installed base of flash acclerated servers that opens up opportunities for upstream SAN SSDs.

Anyway Kaminario's VP of marketing - Gareth Taube - told me yesterday he remembered that earlier conversation and said it was funny how when they were going around visiting potential customers for their RAM based K2 - how many times the sales people from Fusion-io were just going out the same doors. Anyway - they met up with Fusion-io's CEO David Flynn and did a deal.

I almost forgot... You may be wondering - what do I mean by my headline? - the "finally SANward bound" part?

Well - when Fusion-io came to market - 4 years ago (September 25, 2007) - a lot of the publicity following their launch talked about their product being a SAN SSD.

Of course it wasn't - but it was just their way of communicating with simple editors and analysts who didn't know any better - that they were in the enterprise SSD market space. Because at that time (in 2007) the SAN market was already 13 years old and well understood - whereas the PCIe SSD market wasn't.
read more about this SAN SSD story in the news page Nowdays many other companies also sell Fusion-io inside - for example 3 server companies whose names are composed of 2, 3 and 4 letter words / acronyms - but the K2 is the first time that Fusion-io's ioMemory modules have appeared in a collaboratively designed and marketed - unashamedly FC SAN storage product.
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Kaminario carves new market niche for RAM SSDs
Editor:- March 28, 2011 - Kaminario announced immediate availability of its K2 DRAM storage appliance a family of enterprise FC SAN rackmount RAM SSDs which scales up to 12TB and delivers 1.5 million IOPS with 16 GB/s throughput.

K2's entry level configuration provides 500GB of storage and delivers 150,000 IOPS with 1.6 GB/s throughput for $50,000. Kaminario's K2 has true N+1 high availability, including mirrored storage with automatic data recovery, redundant fibre channel connectivity and a UPS, to reduce the risk of losing data access.

Editor's comments:- I spoke to Gareth Taube, VP of Marketing and Dani Golan CEO about the new product and how they see Kaminario in the SSD market. We had a wide ranging discussion about the challenges in the enterprise SSD market, the growing new role of RAM SSDs, and how they solve the competing demands of reliability and speed. You can see those details in a new article published later today.

Overall I got the impression this is a company which really understands its market niche well and fills an important gap in the enterprise acceleration space which is not catered for economically by other vendors.

Re customers:- Kaminario said "Everyone has an application where performance limits the business."

Kaminario said most of their customers already had experience with 2 or 3 previous SSD projects. Like all new SSD companies they like to talk about the successes they've had with accelerating enterprise apps performance in what I call the "usual suspects" - banks and other financial institutions - 10x speedup here, 25x speedup there. We've heard all that stuff before.

But Kaminario's products also match the budgets and performance needs of smaller companies in new markets. One of their customers in this category is Digital Trowel which extracts data from web sites and uses analysis and inference techniques to provide real-time alerts and predictions about stocks, prices, news and other significant market developments. That's a good example of the "only with an SSD" can you do this - data factory model killer app which I had in mind when I wrote my petabyte SSD roadmap article last year.

Digital Trowel 's CTO, Anton Bar said - "Other SSD storage had the same price, but much lower speed than the Kaminario K2 - a clear no-brainer. The bottom line is, the K2 shortened our identity resolution process by about 50%, and that's very important in our line of business."

Kaminario said its sweet spot in the hot data capacity range upto 12TB which is on the SAN and which has very high IOPS demand. Because Kaminario is unashamedly a RAM SSD company. Their "IOPS performance" doesn't need to be qualified by small print and hedging statements like those of flash SSDs. And I'll be saying more about the internal technology elsewhere.

Kaminario said that many of their customers - having experienced the K2 - were now acting as internal evangelists to other parts of their organizations to advise them how to solve performance problems which had previously proved intractable to solutions by flash SSDs (due to latency) and traditional RAM SSDs (due to the complexities and side effects of failover architectures).
click for RAM SSDs page Rackmount RAM SSDs connected by fibre-channel have been available from multiple vendors for over 10 years. Kaminario has shown that a new company can still shake up and surprise the enterprise SSD market.
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2014 will be seen as the start of a new phase of creativity in the enterprise SSD market on the subject of pricing and affordability.

Kaminario is 1 of 3 companies leading this trend.
Exiting the Astrological Age of Enterprise SSD Pricing
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Kaminario guarantees amplified usable capacity
Editor:- May 20, 2014 - When I saw that Kaminario would be talking about a cost of around $2,000 per usable terabyte of SSD storage in its new 5th generation K2 enterprise rackmount launched today - my gut feel was - this price metric must be based on some kind of SSD utilization amplified capacity figure - rather than the conventionally discounted raw storage capacity - because I know that Kaminario isn't in the deep flash IP controller business - and unless I've been asleep and missed something - this kind of headline figure isn't coming from arrays of COTS flash drives.

So I asked the company about it - and was told that the "average $2/GB usable cost includes data reduction with Kaminario's guaranteed effective capacity offering (meaning they will provide customers with incremental free hardware if their original capacity needs aren't met)."

And when I probed again - does it apply to channel sales and well as direct sales? - I got confirmation that indeed it does.

I think this is very significant.

Because guarantees are the way to add weight to an SSD vendor's convictions that they are confident about what they're claiming.

9 years ago in the enterprise SSD market - we saw the world's first performance guarantees being given - about raw speed claims.

And similar to that in historic significance - I think that Kaminario's K2 v5 product launch will be remembered - not for the product specifications - but for ushering in a new era in enterprise SSD marketing - in which the increased utilization from software - stops being a wishy washy averaged (sometimes you might get it, but other times you won't) concept which sounds good in a news headline - of the type we've seen from a lot of other vendors in recent years - and instead becomes a guaranteed figure - like endurance - which users can learn to trust.

If Kaminario can stand behind its usable capacity amplification claims - then other vendors should do the same - or stop talking about promises they're not confident enough to stand behind.

And if some vendors say - we don't know the workload - so how can we provide a guarantee?

I'd say - get to know your customers better - or risk losing a lot of business because the alternatives are offering over specified, over priced systems - which work - or under-specified, under-priced systems which might fail early.

...Later:- June 24, 2014 - on the theme of interesting new pricing models for rackmounts SSDs - see this article - an SSD conversation with Tegile

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If you've seen or read - The Hobbit - then you'll be familiar with the concept of the riddle game. Something similar is playing out now in the enterprise flash array market.
playing the enterprise SSD box riddle game

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enterprise aristocrats in SSD
Editor:- March 14, 2014 - 7 years is the standard expected service life for a good industrial SSD - but in the enterprise SSD market 4 years may be long enough to earn a company its place for elevation into the elite ranks of the aristocracy - for class-act companies which have been seen regularly in all the right places - such as the Top SSD Companies Lists.

I didn't realize I was already unconsciously thinking this way - but the thought sprang into my frontal lobes in response to a short email from Bill Bodei - who is Senior Director of North American Channels at Kaminario.

Bill said - Big fan of your writings.... (on StorageSearch.com)

I said - Kaminario sure gave me some interesting things to write about for a while. Now everyones a born again SSD server genius just because they can write the cloud version of hello SSD world. But the more you engage with customers the more you learn. So there are still some advantages for the enterprise SSD aristocrats like Kaminario - of having been engaged in the market for more than a few quarters.

Bill replied - Yes it sure has become a crowded market quickly. We're busy here, heads down, working towards a milestone that promises to give you more to write about, while doing our part to disrupt and leapfrog this nascent market of ours as we evolve into adolescence. :)
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"Scale-out, like anything that is truly worth doing,
is really, hard to do well!"
Ritu Jyoti, VP Product Management - Kaminario
in her recent blog EMC fails to make a splash with flash
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Kaminario reduces costs in new HA rackmount
Editor:- April 18, 2013 - "You don't have to be an investment bank like JP Morgan to afford our style of fast, scalable high availability SSD systems any more" - was the key message I got talking to Phil Williams, VP Business Development at Kaminario earlier this week when discussing with me aspects of the company's newest series of FC SAN compatible SSD arrays - the K2 v4 (6TB usable per U at a cost of $10K to $15K per TB) which was launched yesterday.

Phil was referring to the expectation that their products - which in the first generation were entirely RAM based SSDs - and then moved onto RAM / flash hybrids and then mostly pure flash (the flash components being implemented in the previous generation of K2's by Fusion-io's PCIe SSDs - a relationship direction which I suggested in a much earlier briefing conversation with Kaminario's CEO few years ago BTW ) - had acquired a reputation of being out of reach pricewise - and not just in a class of their own for resilience and scalability.

One of the ways that Kaminario has pulled off the affordability trick is to drop PCIe SSDs as the internal flash components and use instead SAS SSDs.

I've said before that in the enterprise arrays space - "SAS is the new SATA" - because there are so many companies which have moved into this segment that there's stiff competition.

Unlike the PCIe SSD market -which is mostly sold on high performance - the SAS market includes a number of vendors who have been using adaptive R/W ECC to enable them to use cheap flash to build reliable fast-enough SSDs

Because Kaminario still has a lot of RAM cache in its server based architecture - it doesn't need the raw endurance and performance of FIO's ioMemory to deliver multi-gigabyte throughput at the rack level. And another factor is that Fusion-io itself is on course to become a significant supplier of rackmount SSDs (although not aimed at the same kind of customers.)

Kaminario didn't want to say which SAS product they're using. They might say later. But it doesn't really matter.

The K2 v4 also demonstrates that the key IP component in Kaminario's box is SSD software. When I suggested that future boxes could equally well discard SAS SSDs if 2.5" PCIe SSDs offered a better set of characteristics - Phil agreed that the company wasn't tied to any particular internal SSD drive form factor or interface.

Kaminario has paid Taneja Group to do some new testing on the performance aspects of simulated hard faults. These will be very useful for customers - and take the uncertainty out of the picture - giving hard numbers for various scenarios.

For example - when running at just under 200K IOPS and 5GB/s throughput - an entire node (controller) was removed to simulate a fault. I/O resumed after 23 seconds and performance dropped by less than 15% for 2 minutes before recovering fully.
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Efficiency - making the same SSD - while using less flash
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when it comes to SSD speedup - Oracle users are evenly split between server and SAN
Editor:- October 11, 2012 - Among other findings in a survey of 400 attendees (pdf) which was run by Kaminario at the recent Oracle OpenWorld event - it was found that among the 30% of those who had already used flash SSD acceleration - the use of internal (server based) and external (SAN rack based) SSDs was divided nearly evenly - 48% and 52% respectively.
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Kaminario does that 20GB/s SPC thing
Editor:- October 1, 2012 - Kaminario today announced a new industry-leading SPC 1 benchmark performance of greater than 2 million IOPS and 20GB/s throughput in a single cabinet 60TB usable MLC-based fault tolerant K2 storage system - which costs just under $0.5 million (including 3 years maintenance).

Editor's comments:- funding these public benchmarks is expensive. Kaminario - which last week announced additional investments by Mitsui - has received almost $70 million in funding.
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