Re: Explain to me like I am 5
You are right on the spot – the storage market is awfully noisy and sales teams often beat their drums hard enough to drown out what matter. (And coincidently enough, when the product they are trying to sell lacks competence, the drums become louder.)
So let’s try and give you some real answers – some that even a five-year-old could understand:
First, the legacy HDD-based storage vendors that you mentioned – NetApp, EMC, HDS, etc. – have based their entire architectures on HDD media. In essence, that means that very few controllers (compute) handle a large number of HDDs. We have much better and consistent performance vs. the legacy and at an extremely better pricing on a $/GB basis.
Performance: The Kaminario K2 has the ability to scale out – which basically means it can linearly increase performance according to data center needs, and only buy what you need now – and grow later on. (We can also scale up.) Unlike other vendors (namely Pure Storage and Skyera, both of which can only scale up), you don’t need to pay upfront for performance you might need next year with Kaminario. (Don't believe them if they tell you otherwise. They're just trying to make noise to cover up their lack of scale-out ability.) And when it comes to XtremIO, they do have scale-out – but can't do so non-disruptively. They also have an issue with low density per controller.
Our price per capacity is ~$2/GB usable, with our price per performance running $0.28/IOPS.
Flash: Good question. Our inline deduplication and inline compression reduce the amount of actual data that is written to the SSDs; data that is written to our highly efficient and robust K-RAID is written using log-structured full stripes so that the number of updates per stripe is minimized. (OK - Not quite "child language" but this is enterprise storage after all!) Writes are fully distributed across the entire array and a scalable distributed write cache eliminates hotspots.
Features: Let’s talk about why having the entire software like Kaminario does is not trivial amongst other all-flash array vendors. Most vendors were quick to come out to the market with the essential read/write capabilities and nothing more. Sure, the legacy vendors have it all, but they also haven't really changed much in their architecture for the last 20 years, so you could argue they had time on their hands.
With Kaminario, features like global inline compression, global inline deduplication, snapshots, variable block size algorithm aligned to real workloads and the ability to scale-out and/or scale-up are inherent in K2’s architecture. These features are very hard – and we'd argue near impossible – to add in a later phase.
I hope this turns down the volume a bit and answers your questions. Check out http://kaminario.com/flash-array/ for more information.
Product Manager, Kaminario