Fusion-io and Kaminario have announced a joint marketing agreement to sell the K2 range of flash and DRAM storage arrays, including the newly announced K2-H Hybrid version of the family. In addition, Fusion-io will be supplying the PCIe cards within the K2 flash.
Kaminario Hybrid announcement
Kaminario has three models in the K2 line:
- K2-D, the High-speed, very low latency version using DRAM version
- Capacity 0.5-12TB
- IOPS 300K-1.5 million
- Throughput 1.6-16GB/second
- Approximate Price Range $100,000/TB
- Optimal workloads high-write and very low latency
- K2-F, the Flash-only high capacity version
- Capacity 3-30TB
- IOPS 100K-600K
- Throughput 1-8 Gigabytes/second
- Approximate Price Range $30,000/TB
- Optimal workloads high-read and consistent latency
- K2-H, the new Flash/DRAM Hybrid version
- Capacity 3-30TB
- IOPS 200K-800K
- Throughput 1-12 Gigabytes/second
- Approximate Price Range between $30,000/TB and $100,000/TB according to the mix
- Optimal workloads workloads with a mix of volumes requiring high-write and very low latency, or consistent high-read requirements
Figure 1 shows the K2 architecture. The data is spread across the four data-nodes, improving access times. Writes are written to two data nodes and then acknowledged. In the background the data is written out to SATA disk on each node, and them the data erased from one of the nodes. Data protection (especially important for the DRAM storage) is protected by two UPSs.
The flash storage is held on PCIe cards on the data nodes. Fusion-io is a supplier of these cards.
Kaminario K2 Analysis
The K2 addresses the high-end of the SAN-based solid state storage arrays. The backup system is sophisticated, and can provide a rapid restore of problems within the data-store and small volumes from the SATA disks, and not-so-rapid restore of larger volumes. The price point of $30/TB for flash-only storage arrays is on the high end, and the entry cost for this space is about $13/TB (see Table 2 within the "2011 Flash Memory Summit Enterprise Roundup" posting for additional information).
The architecture does not yet support compression or data de-duplication, or thin provisioning. This is appropriate for workloads where the very lowest latency is required, as in-path data reduction techniques will increase latency. There are tools for monitoring performance metrics such as IOPS, response time and throughput. At the moment their are no overall or volume-based throttling by performance metric.
The most interesting aspect of the K2 offerings are the hybrid devices, where key database tables and volumes can benefit greatly from the DRAM latency (e.g., logs, specific tables), and the flash storage can manage the more read-intensive volumes. Performance and the high-availability architecture are the most interesting aspects of this announcement.
Fusion-io has flash-based PCIe ioDrives which sit within the server, and offer the very highest levels of performance. If the ioDrive is being used as a disk drive, the SAN network traffic and latency is eliminated. If the IO systems uses VSL to support the use of atomic writes, all the SCSI and other IO complexity is eliminated, and the flash can work at native speed.
Fusion-io is a good partner for Kaminario, and the K2 product line is complementary to the Fusion-io products. The sales force at Fusion-io is used to dealing with high-performance low-latency environments, especially round databases. The K2 products will fill in a gap where data sharing is required between servers, and support required very write intense application storage elements.
Fusion-io will also benefit from the sale of additional ioDrives to Kaminario, and over time can integrate the VSL architecture into the K2.
Action Item: Kaminario and Fusion-io have combined to provide a strong team. CTOs and Senior Storage professionals should include them in both strategy discussions and RFPs for high performance, low latency and high availability environments.