Fusion-io + Kaminario: WHY IS THIS BLOG ENTRY CRITICAL??

September 13, 2011

…because now FIO owns both sides of the equation:  server-based and shared.  Here is the full text from the FIO BLOG:

Kaminario and Fusion-io: A Perfect Storm for Enterprise-class all Solid-state SAN Storage

Posted: 09/13/2011

According to Wikipedia, a perfect storm is “an expression that describes an event where a rare combination of circumstances will aggravate a situation drastically.” In the case of Kaminario andFusion-io, removing the barriers enterprises face in obtaining high performance and highly available SAN storage that they can afford, this is a perfect storm that is long overdue and will drastically revolutionize the way enterprise applications access critical data.

Commenting on the announcement, Jim Dawson, Fusion-io executive vice president worldwide sales, stated, “Kaminario and Fusion-io have combined Fusion’s solid-state technology with high availability and an all solid-state SAN storage architecture to deliver unsurpassed performance and enterprise-grade reliability, at a highly competitive price point.”

So what is so revolutionary about Kaminario’s approach? Aren’t there a number of SAN storage vendors that have incorporated Flash technology into their solutions and made these same claims? Part of the answer to this question lies in better understanding the problems that enterprises are facing in trying to improve the performance needs of a diverse set of applications with very different data access requirements for acceptable I/Os per second (IOPS), latency and throughput. For example, random write-intensive, latency sensitive data workloads such as high-end OLTP or RBMS applications require a higher level of solid-state storage performance than do predictable read-intensive workloads that are not so sensitive to high latency, such as some analytics and data warehousing applications.

For most enterprises, addressing the performance needs of diverse applications and their data workloads is daunting in its complexity and expense. They are often forced to put their data and databases on more expensive, and sometimes overly provisioned, SANs to meet their high performance needs. Or they use less expensive local storage to gain performance, but lose on maintaining enterprise-class scalability and availability. Neither of these situations is manageable from the point of view of application business managers or an IT organization, because in the end, neither side of the business really gets an all-inclusive high performance, highly available and scalable storage solution that it can afford. In addition, both organizations are likely using many more system resources to marginally serve their existing clients, and with no growth path.

By bringing to market Kaminario’s next generation K2 product family, Kaminario is provide enterprises with a solution that was architected from the ground up as an all solid-state, high performance, highly available shared SAN storage solution that offers both DRAM and Flash solid-state media for their unique application workloads and budgets. By incorporating the Fusion ioDrive Duo into the Kaminario K2 innovative Scale-out Performance Storage Architecture (SPEAR), the two companies have enabled their customers to significantly cut the cost and footprint of legacy SAN storage while providing substantially greater application performance – all without compromising on enterprise-class high availability or manageability.

Kaminario, working with Fusion-io, has created a positive, market-changing perfect storm for enterprises looking to dramatically improve the performance of high-value applications, at a price that enables them to grow their businesses.


Steve Sicola: SUPERSTAR!!

June 22, 2010


CRN unveiled its 2010 class of Storage Superstars spotlighting 10 “individuals and groups that made the modern storage industry what it is today.” And among the visionaries honored was Xiotech CTO Steve Sicola.

The “driving force on several generations of storage arrays and architectures,” Steve was recognized for his nearly 40 patents, tenure at Compaq and DEC, and as VP of Seagate’s Advanced Storage Architecture (ASA) Group. Informally known as the “Skunk Works” – an homage to Lockheed Martin’s legendary engineering team – the ASA Group was acquired by Xiotech in 2007 and architected ISE.

“Steve embodies the passion, commitment and innovative thinking – all hallmarks of Xiotech – that serve as the foundation of this company and have fueled the revolution that is ISE,” said Xiotech President and CEO Alan Atkinson. “With Steve overseeing our Storage Fellows Program, we look forward to his (and others’) continued contributions to the industry and Xiotech – including the next-generation of ISE.”

Congratulations Steve!

Fusion-io Update: IBM Moves Past “Server Proven” to Supported Device

December 9, 2009


Fusion-io announced today that the ioDrive would be released to IBM clients as the HIGH IOPS Adapter in the 160gb and 320gb versions.  To my eye these are identical to the ioDrives currently shipping as “Server Proven” but there may be some differences; I wasn’t able to download the datasheet so it’s hard to tell.


Fundamentally, Fusion-io is not a storage play — it’s all about performance.  IBM’s introduction of the ioDrive to the SYSTEM X family of servers is a mirror of the HP situation where the storage groups essentially compete with the server group when it comes to Fusion-io.  The good news is that all the left-rudder/right-rudder confusion is now over.  Fusion-io owns the SSD-based PCIe market at IBM and HP (for now).


It will be interesting to see  the uptake at the direct sales level for IBM and HP over the next few quarters.  In the world of zero-sum budgets, this could have an immediate and substantial negative consequence to SCHOONER INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY (another Lightspeed investment as is Fusion-io) and other storage appliance vendors touting NAND flash as a performance enhancement (Violin Memory and Avere come to mind).


I give Fusion-io credit for sticking with the program — it’s going to be a long, slow, crawl to get the server vendors moving substantial amounts of ioDrives but it looks like the engine is starting to rev.  I’m guessing the lone holdout, DELL, will opt in at some point with a supported device strategy for Fusion-io.



Violin Memory Pads Tech Advisory Panel (again)

November 23, 2009

Violin Memory just snagged Bill Pappas for their Technical Advisory Panel. Pappas is the CIO of Alliance One International — more about them here: http://www.aointl.com/

This is getting to be a bit of acrowded space but Violin CEO Don Basile has done a fantastic job getting Violin back on its feet along with COO Dixon Doll, Jr.  I am expecting major win updates as well as product announcements in 1Q10.


November 19, 2009

I was thinking about these firms and wondering which position were being funded — obviously there is a ton of activity for SSD engineering talent right now — take a look:

  • 3Par
  • Avere
  • Compellant
  • Data Direct Networks
  • DataRam
  • DolphinICS
  • Gear6
  • Schooner Information Technology
  • Texas Memory Systems
  • Violin Memory
  • Some of the firms had no openings or carrer links so I left them off.  The larger firm (SUN, IBM, DELL, HP, NetApp, EMC) require registration so I left them off, as well.
    Plus a few others of interest:

    Comparing Enterprise-Class SSD Storage Appliances

    November 19, 2009

    The market for SSD-based or at least SSD-inclusive storage appliances is broadening from purpose-built devices in support of specific applications to a more generic layer some call TierZero supporting basic compute operations that require low latency, fast throughput, higher bandwidth.  Below is a list of manufacturers; I’m pulling together some notes and will publish a brief chart in a future post.

    • 3Par
    • Avere
    • Compellant
    • Data Direct Networks
    • DataRam
    • DELL
    • DolphinICS
    • EMC
    • Gear6
    • HP
    • Hitachi Data Systems
    • IBM
    • NetApp
    • Nimbus
    • Schooner Information Technology
    • Solid Access
    • SUN
    • Teradata
    • Texas Memory Systems
    • Violin Memory
    • WhipTail

    I’m interested in published specifications, use-cases, and sales strategy.  Hopefully this will help you cut through some of the clutter.