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Storage array packs 3D NAND drives

Posted: 31 Aug 2015 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Kaminario? SSD? 3D NAND? storage array? all-flash array?

Kaminario, a flash-storage vendor, has gone ahead of the pack by announcing a 3D NAND device. Just recently, it released its K2 v5.5 all-flash primary storage array. According to the company CEO Dani Golan, the array introduces deployment of 3D three level cell (TLC) drives, while aiming to bring all-flash storage costs to less than a $1/GB, which is half the price for its previous array that was introduced in May last year.

By supporting 3D TLC solid state drives (SSDs), K2 customers will be able to double the effective capacity of the array to more than 360TB per K-block and scale one K2 array to multiple petabytes in a single rack unit. Kaminario will continue to provide its seven-year warranty on all drives, including 3D TLC SSDs. The longevity is made possible by features such as inline compression and deduplication, load-balanced writes, RAID optimisations and a flash-friendly data layout technology for large blocks. Kaminario's latest array also features native array-based asynchronous replication.

Dolan said customers are at the point where they are comfortable with flash in the storage arrays, and are more interested in how an all-flash array (AFA) meets their needs than the technical specifications or what kind of NAND. "What they care about is performance."

For example, Kaminario is using Samsung 3D TLC SSDs in its K2, although that could change down the road. The company also just announced its Perpetual Array upgrade and support programme, which allows customers to mix and match different generations of the company's storage systems. "The modern IT world needs an architecture that is very dynamic," Golan noted.

Kaminario's K2's architecture

Kaminario's K2's architecture distributes data and metadata across all of the nodes and all the SSDs in the system.

Kaminario's move to 3D NAND is significant given that outside of Dell, it's the only storage vendor that's made a major announcement with 3D NAND, said George Crump, Storage Switzerland's lead analyst.

Last month, Dell announced its first all-flash storage array to feature TLC 3D NAND technology, which the company said brings the cost of all-flash storage to as low as $1.66 per raw GB of capacity. Its multi-tier architecture provides for different tiers of flash, so end users don't write data to TLC 3D. Instead, data is written to MLC and Dell's architecture handles aggregate writes to TLC 3D.

Crump said it's the startups and the early pioneers of AFAs that will continue to push the edge sooner and faster on 3D NAND. Vendors such as Tegile, Pure Storage and Violin will likely follow suit soon. As they were with flash, he said, the incumbent storage vendors will be slower to adopt 3D NAND. "Dell was a surprise."

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