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Kaminario offers cut-price virtual SAN in the cloud

Flash storage pioneer turned software-defined storage specialist Kaminario has taken its SAN storage capability to the cloud.

Its VisionOS, which can build a server and its shelves of flash drives into a SAN pool, is now available as a virtual offering on the big three cloud providers: Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform (GCP).

And it is much cheaper than the native block storage offered by the big three, the company said.

“Our Flex orchestrator and Clarity predictive analytics take charge of the online storage pool as if they were on-site. It makes it trivial to upload data to the cloud and even to move it from one cloud to another,” said Kaminario CEO Dani Golan to ComputerWeekly.com’s French sister site LeMagIT during an event that formed part of the IT Press Tour.

According to Kaminario, having storage arrays function in hybrid mode allows for rapid scaling to the cloud when there’s a need to burst capacity beyond the datacentre.

It also makes it easy to rapidly put datacentre-developed applications on the internet. These include those with block-based storage needs such as databases and legacy applications in virtual machine format that haven’t been refactored to the cloud.

Cheaper cloud block storage

Kaminario’s big selling point is that, for upwards of 100TB (terabytes) of capacity, its virtual SANs in the cloud come in on average 30% cheaper than the block storage services offered by the cloud giants themselves.

“The benefit of our pricing comes from the thin provisioning in VisionOS – you only pay for what you use and not for what you reserve,” said Kaminario chief technology officer (CTO) Derek Swanson.

He was keen to point out that thin provisioning amounts to over-allocating storage. Users believe they have access to a certain capacity, but that’s actually only allocated to them gradually, as they write data to it.

In addition, Kaminario makes snapshots of these cloud holdings, but pointed out they are heavily compressed to occupy less space.

According to the vendor’s presentation, using Kaminario’s cloud SAN will cost less than one-third what it would from the big three cloud providers.

Using virtual disk in the cloud and reserving 256TB would cost $70,500 per month, plus $9,500 per month for associated snapshots, with those providers. To do the same with Kaminario, it said, would cost $20,000 per month all-in.

Cloud SAN arrays: Still under construction

Commercially speaking, Kaminario’s hybrid cloud will take the form of a new offering called Cloud Data Platform with automated cloud migration functionality.

But the catalogue is rather confusing. It is possible that what we are talking here about Data Pods in the Public Cloud function and that Cloud Data Platform is the new name of the global offering. This has been called Data Plane Virtualisation in recent weeks, Composable Storage last year and even Cloud Fabric the year before that.  

In the world of storage, other suppliers also offer their arrays as virtual instances in the cloud, but none follow quite the same model.

Pure Storage, with its Cloud Block Store (only on AWS) is the closest. Meanwhile, NetApp offers NAS functionality on AWS, Azure and GCP. Dell EMC is set to offer its new PowerStore arrays as virtual instances but may, as it has done with its Unity VSA arrays, confine them to private cloud use.

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