Research Library

Kaminario K2 – Product Brief

Last updated December 28th, 2018 for annual review and updates. Concise and unbiased 4-page overview of the features and functionality of Kaminario K2. Product Brief includes EvaluScale Reviewing Methodology. Download the free Product Brief now!

Overview

The Kaminario K2 all solid state technology storage systems are designed for solid state, having evolved from modules supporting DRAM to the current  K2.N system with NVMe and the still available K2 Gen6 with use of SAS SSDs.  Kaminario supplies the software and a specific hardware configuration prescription to TechData who sources the hardware and builds and delivers the systems to customers.

The K2 systems use a 1U x86 server with the 960GB, 1.92TB, 3.84TB, or 7.68TB SSDs.  The Kaminario system is designed as all solid state and uses a scale out architecture based on clustering of nodes.  The K2 model combines the functionality to distribute data, load balance, and perform parallel I/O with the ability to store information and protect data. Advanced features of snapshots and asynchronous periodic replication of snapshots are included in the base system.  The K2 is a high availability system with dual controllers per node (called a K-Block for Gen6 and c.Node for K2.N by Kaminario) and a clustered architecture with redundancy of elements and RAID protection across the data.

Usage

Solid-state storage systems are typically used in environments with high performance requirements or multiple workloads where high speed random I/Os are required.   High availability is a basic design element in the Kaminario K2 with use of two controllers in each K-Block in a clustering arrangement for the system.

Using the strength of the clustering design, additional nodes may be added non-disruptively to scale performance and capacity.  When a node is added, the system automatically redistributes data for load balancing.

The Kaminario K2 supports both inline compression and inline deduplication to increase the effective capacity of the systems.  The deduplication can be selectively turned on or off on a per volume basis by the administrator.

Advanced functionality of encryption, snapshots and asynchronous replication is included in the Kaminario system.  The embedded operating system is called VisionOS Storage Operating System.  Included also is thin provisioning, instant R/W clones using the snapshot mechanism, VMware VAAI support, and a VSS provider for Windows environments.

Evaluator Group Comment: Kaminario uses slightly different terminology than other vendors and the Evaluator Group.  What Evaluator Group and other vendors would call a node is a K-Block in Kaminario’s terminology and includes two controllers and one or more device shelves.  The K-Block is the unit of increase in scale-out (scale-out of nodes in our terminology).  The K-Block can scale up within limits by adding more device shelves.  The controllers used in a K-Block are called nodes by Kaminario, which will create confusion in many comparisons and discussions. There are always two controllers in a configuration and high availability is achieved with the failover between controllers. 

Evaluator Group EvaluScale™: Kaminario K2 – SAN Storage

Evaluator Group product review methodology “EvaluScale” assesses each product within a specific technology area.  The definitions of the criteria and explanations of how products are reviewed can be found in the  Evaluator Series Evaluation Guide. Download the product brief now to view the Evaluscale for this product.

Evaluator Group Opinion: Differentiating elements for Kaminario K2

The Kaminario systems are designed for general purpose usage where high performance is required with the options of type of solid-state technology provide cost vs. performance considerations based on the usage.  Databases and other applications where response time and high I/O rates are critical are the determining factor for the solid-state technology.  The scale out capability of the Kaminario system allows it to be deployed in environments where demand is growing and both capacity and performance can be addressed economically by adding additional nodes when needed.

Kaminario has spent some time in developing their own software where previously software had been sourced from another organization.  Another issue for customers is the different terminology Kaminario uses for nodes compared to other vendors.  This adds some confusing to the conversation and in evaluations.

As an Israeli company, Kaminario has made a commitment to the North American market with opening headquarters facilities in Boston.  As a cost reduction measure, Kaminario decided to use TechData to source the hardware components, manufacture the systems, and deliver to customers.  This will be interesting to see how the type of solution works over the long term.  Other vendors may follow suit.


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