Modern Flash Storage for Modern Computing

Here’s why you should consider a modern all-flash storage array for your virtualized server and desktop environment.

EMC and HP are the biggest companies in all-flash storage, according to the latest Gartner or IDC figures.  That’s a testament to the breadth and depth of the reach of their go-to-market machine. By the simple arithmetic of the human wave approach to direct sales, EMC and HP can get into more deals than other all-flash vendors, and even if they lose 80% of the time they’ll still generate more revenue than the closest competitor just based on feet on the street.

But the best sales forces in the world still can’t offer a better product.

EMC: 20 years after EMC challenged and beat ‘nobody ever got fired for buying IBM’, it finds itself in a similarly unenviable position – at the top of the market with revenue shrinking, with well-reported controversy around its flagship all-flash array, here and here.

EMC’s all-flash array portfolio looks like a night on the home improvement channel.  You’ve got your VMAX fixer-upper and your VNX/Unity love it or leave it that were created in the 1980’s with designs that are hard to change.  XtremIO is fine as far as it goes, but like a tiny house it has some serious scale problems. Isilon is gorgeous, but HPC is a bit out of the way, like a house at the beach.  DSSD is a dream-house that does not exist in real life. It’s too expensive, and it hasn’t been tested in the real world of thunderstorms, rain, wind, etc.

HP: HP came to all-flash a bit by the side door.  3PAR was originally envisioned to give EMC a run for its money in the early 2000’s.  The 3PAR team put its intellectual property into its ASIC hardware, as was industry-standard practice.  As a result, the 3PAR family is a fine hard-drive-based array, with its own innovations like clustering, that made 3PAR an attractive acquisition for HP.  HP then added flash drives to the 3PAR and is slowly trying to adapt the 3PAR software. HP does have other offerings that incorporate flash drives, but 3PAR is the only one HP promotes as all-flash.

Back on the home improvement channel, the 3PAR array is like a ‘flipped’ house – modern and pretty on the outside, but with a proprietary hardware foundation that’s difficult and expensive to change.

It’s All About Architecture

HDD, Hybrid and Gen 2 All-flash Arrays
HDD, Hybrid and Gen 2 All-flash Arrays
Kaminario K2
Kaminario K2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once the house is built, you can’t turn a frame center-entrance colonial into a 21st century modern house, without a lot of work.

House Beautiful: In contrast, the Kaminario K2 is like the house on the cover of an architecture magazine.  K2 is an elegant solution utilizing modern materials with a modern design to solve modern problems.

First, the K2 is built from readily available, commodity, off-the-shelf hardware components.  This makes industry innovation available to Kaminario to take advantage of quick time to market and speed and declining cost curves.  It’s also a testament to the software-defined approach, below.

Second, the modern design, aka architecture, of Kaminario’s SPEARtm (Scalable PErformance And Resiliency) Operating Environment software incorporates a set of features that, in total, are almost impossible to graft onto an existing product.  Examples include:

  • Log structured writes to minimize flash wear;
  • A single, capacity optimized data protection mechanism for low cost and easy management;
  • Inline data reduction – both compression and deduplication – for low cost;
  • Scale up for high capacity and low cost;
  • Scale out for high performance and low cost;
  • Adaptive block size for high performance across workloads
  • AssuredScale for upgrades with no forklifts or data migrations
  • AssuredCapacity to make capacity planning predictable

Third, these modern techniques make the K2 array particularly well suited for the challenges of today’s on-demand world.  High performance and low latency match our appetite for instant gratification, while resiliency keeps businesses online 24×7.  And scale and capacity enable us to handle what’s next.

Like the IBM of old, EMC’s and HP’s success in all-flash arrays relies more on their market reach than suite of products, designed for a different time.  To deal with today’s dynamic world requires an all-flash storage product built to deliver scalability, performance, and economics, the Kaminario K2.

Check out the 2016 Magic Quadrant for Solid-State Arrays from Gartner to see for yourself.

 

 

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