Kaminario is rolling out an upgraded version of its K2 all-solid-state storage systems. But rather than tinker with the hardware, the company is “changing the software stack,” said Gareth Taube, Kaminario’s vice president of marketing.

That change comes in the form of DataProtect, new software that will enable “the next generation of enterprise high availability and data protection,” according to the company.

Makings Of Solid-State Pure Play

The Newton, Mass.-based company believes in a disk-less future for primary storage systems. “SSD media will completely replace HDD in the next 10 years,” says Taube. He explained that the storage startup specializes purely on SSD and DRAM for its SAN hardware. Hard disk drives come into play only as a backup option.

Kaminario was also founded around the philosophy that “if you stick fast media into current storage architectures, it won’t work,” said Taube. At least not to the extent of realizing the full performance-enhancing potential of SSD and DRAM. Adding fast solid-state storage to systems that were designed for “waiting for platters to spin and arms to move” will inherently fail to keep up with modern data processing workloads like OLTP.

Hence, the company offers its K2 SAN systems in three flavors, all-SSD, all-DRAM or a hybrid of the two. The K2 line, said Taube, is based on a “hardware foundation of blade servers loaded with lots and lots of flash or DRAM.” It’s an architecture that achieves cost-savings by using off-the-shelf hardware, by and large.

Now, by bundling DataProtect, Kaminario is betting that its architecture’s performance edge will translate into enhanced data integrity and availability.

DataProtect Built-in

First is the company’s RAID 10HD — ‘HD’ stands for hybrid distributed — striping and mirroring, which distributes and maintains copies of data across primary DRAM and flash and flash backups. RAID 10HD comes into play with K2’s non-disruptive, automatic failover and restore.

In the event of a hardware failure, the company’s redundant, self-healing K2 N+1 setup automatically plucks data from both primary and backup storage within a node, rebuilds volumes quickly and repopulates a spare node, which “is always hot,” said Taube. This reduces data inaccessibility from the SAN to mere seconds, while IOPS steadily climb back up to their pre-failure levels several seconds later.

DataProtect also blends thin provisioning and redirect-on-write snapshot creation for fast, space-saving snapshots. According to the company, this results in snapshots that are taken in milliseconds and support for more than 8,000 snapshots systemwide. Lastly, it provides asynchronous replication for remote backups and disaster recovery.

K2 with DataProtect is available now, except for the array-based replication capabilities, which will be available in the second half of 2012. Prices start at $20 per GB for a K2-F flash-based array.

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