Kaminario's Latest All-Flash Arrays Put 3D TLC NAND to Work

Posted on August 20, 2015 By Pedro Hernandez


Kaminario today unveiled its K2 v5.5 systems, making the company the first vendor to offer all-flash primary storage arrays that use solid-state drives (SSDs) based on 3D TLC (triple-level cell) NAND chip technology.

By combining the cost-efficient capacity provided by Samsung's 3D TLC SSDs with new replication capabilities, also announced today, the Newton, Mass. storage systems provider is helping IT organizations skip hybrid arrays (HDD and SSD) entirely, according to chief technology officer, Shachar Fienblit. "We're the first vendor that's making a resolution for all-flash arrays, making the all-flash data center a reality," he told InfoStor.

"There's no need to buy hybrid systems anymore," Fienblit added. K2 v5.5 arrays slashes the cost of usable storage to under a gigabyte (GB) per dollar, a figure he called "more economical than any hybrid array."

Generally available this quarter, Kaminario's K2 v5.5 storage systems offer usable capacity of up to 360 terabytes (TB) per K-block, the dual-controller systems that make up a K2 array. All told, a fully populated K2 v5.5 array can provide up to 1.92 TB of 3D TLC storage.

Although the initial K2 v5.5 systems will ship with Samsung SSDs, Fienblit said his company will continually evaluate the market, keeping an eye out for flash technologies that can keep up with high-performance enterprise workloads while delivering the best bang for the buck. "We will find the best SSDs that bring the best value to customers," he said.

To ensure the arrays stand the test of time, Kaminario offers a seven-year flash endurance guarantee, even on its new 3D TLC SSD-based systems. Fienblit is confident K2 v.5.5 can go the distance, and even surpass it, courtesy of features like inline compression and deduplication, load-balanced writes, RAID optimizations and a flash-friendly data layout technology for large blocks called Log Structure Array (LSA).

Taken altogether, these enhancements "improve flash endurance by five to ten times and, in practice, convert a drive that supports a single write per day to support five to ten writes per day," wrote Fienblit in an Aug. 20 post on his company's blog. Considering 97 percent of the company's customers don't even complete a full write per day, "a typical customer will have enough endurance for dozens of years on a Kaminario deployment with 3D TLC SSDs."

In addition, the company announced an integrated, array-based asynchronous replication capability, which is "all-inclusive so you don't have to buy a separate license," Fienblit said. The disaster recovery (DR) enabling tech supports VMware Site Recovery Manager.

Finally, the company is looking to eliminate forklift upgrades with the new Perpetual Array upgrade and support program.

By enabling customers to mix and match different generations of the company's storage systems, Perpetual Array helps businesses stretch their storage investments for longer, Fienblit said. Kaminario will only suggest that customers decommission their aging gear "only when it makes sense for the business," he assured.

Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at InfoStor. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

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