Paving a Different Path to Leadership in the Datacenter Storage Industry

 

For the second year running, Kaminario has been named a Leader in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Solid State Arrays.  Gartner’s annual evaluation of storage companies includes an in depth review of a company’s technology strategy and vision and its ability to execute.  Kaminario has carved a unique path to Leadership in an industry dominated by diversified infrastructure solution providers with massive sales teams and massive advertising budgets.

Kaminario first moved into the Leaders’ quadrant in 2017 – being only the 3rd storage company in history to move from the Visionary Quadrant to Leader (the other 2 being Nimble and NetApp).  Kaminario has always pursued a unique technology strategy and a unique approach to building a datacenter infrastructure solution company.  Our evolution over the past year has exemplified this approach, with the launch of K2.N and shift toward delivering composable storage solutions; our unique partnership with Tech Data and move toward a software business model; and continued focus on cloud-scale application providers.

There are five key strategies that illustrate Kaminario’s differentiated approach to leading in the storage business:

Focus on Software-Defined Architecture.  100% of Kaminario’s intellectual property is in software.  Our K2 all flash array is based on industry standard hardware powered by Kaminario VisionOS.  This software-defined approach has allowed us to stay at the cutting edge of hardware development, always being among the first to introduce the latest advancements in compute, networking, and storage media technologies.  This software-defined approach comes with no compromise on enterprise class capability – see Kaminario’s top scores in Gartner’s 2017 Critical Capabilities Study for Solid State Arrays.

Embracing Composability as an Infrastructure Paradigm.  Composable infrastructure has been gaining momentum as a broader data center infrastructure strategy.  From a shared storage perspective, Kaminario was an early adopter of the principle with our scale-up-and-out architecture.  With storage compute resources completely disaggregated from storage media, customers have the flexibility to scale their storage up and out based on their specific performance-capacity-cost needs.  With the advent of NVMe/NVMeF technologies, Kaminario introduced K2.N and Flex: a highly differentiated paradigm for building, scaling, and managing storage infrastructures.

Innovating our Business Model.  Leveraging our software-defined architecture, Kaminario shifted its business model to a software company in early 2018.   Partnering with Tech Data, Kaminario is able to deliver the same industry-leading all-flash storage solutions while never owning or reselling any hardware.  With Tech Data’s scale and supply chain power, Kaminario customers get superior purchase economics compared to traditional integrated storage arrays.  Further, Kaminario’s Cloud Fabric offering allows large cloud datacenter providers to purchase a highly flexible usage based software-license to Kaminario’s platform and procure hardware direct from Tech Data as needed.  This results in enormous economic savings, better infrastructure utilization, and the flexibility to structure storage costs as CAPEX or OPEX.

Managing Cost of Customer Acquisition.  The traditional way of building a storage company has focused on massive sales and marketing spends, “buying” customer business to build footprint, and brute force sales tactics.  The economics of this approach is evident in storage company valuations and the many tales of high-flying, well financed start-ups crashing and burning.  Kaminario has pursued a focused strategy – emphasizing market segments with strong organic growth, channel partner relationships based on trust and mutual value, and customer success strategies that create highly “sticky” relationships with our customers.

Market Focus.  The overall storage market is on a slow decline (based on revenue) as $/TB declines outpace overall capacity growth.  This phenomenon is largely due to the “move to the cloud.”  As enterprise IT organizations embrace software-as-a-service solutions; as they move certain workloads to the public cloud; and as they more actively work with managed private cloud providers, the extreme efficiency of cloud-scale application providers drives a slow decline in the overall spend on storage infrastructure.  However, cloud scale application providers continue to build out infrastructure to support the continued migration of traditional enterprise IT to the cloud.  Kaminario has focused on building solutions that are optimized for SaaS, consumer internet, and cloud service providers.  By avoiding competing for point solutions in traditional enterprise IT organizations, Kaminario has been able to grow with very different economics.

We are honored to be included in Gartner’s roundup of storage industry leaders and recognize the other incredible companies that have defined this industry over the past few decades.  But we are extremely proud of the different path we have taken to get here and committed to continually innovating both our technology and our way of building a world-class company.