Kaminario pilots single data plane across the clouds: Interview with CTO Eyal David

Kaminario is going full-tilt into hybrid, multi-clouds. The all-flash SAN array vendor wants to provide workload mobility between the on-premises and public cloud environments, Eyal David, Kaminario’s CTO, told us in an email interview.

Eyal David.

Blocks & Files: Should a Kaminario array have some kind of interaction with the public cloud and, if so, how might this be put in place?

Eyal David: The answer is a resounding YES. Kaminario is making its Vision software stack available on all three major public cloud providers. Kaminario delivers the combination of a mature software stack with robust data services as a uniform layer across any cloud with the endless flexibility of the cloud. Customers can enjoy performance scalability at a lower price point than native cloud resources.

Blocks & Files: Why should customers purchase external block arrays when hyperconverged systems can separately scale compute and storage?

Eyal David: Customers today require a level of agility and mobility in their data infrastructure that can only be achieved by decoupling the data services from the underlying infrastructure and from the compute resources. The ability to easily place your workloads where you need them (private or public cloud) is the key to enabling a real cloud implementation.

Blocks & Files: What are your views on block-level tiering in SAN arrays? Is this a useful idea or bad practise?

Eyal David: Modern workloads require consistent and scalable performance wherever they are placed. By pushing data to a lower performance tier to save costs, the ability for server real-time analytics is compromised. Deploying a uniform stack of data services on top of commodity components (on-premises or the public cloud) allows customers to achieve the needed performance, at scale, without incurring high costs or compromising on SLAs.

Blocks & Files: Do you consider a unified file and block array is a good idea? What are its advantages and disadvantages?

Eyal David: Data intensive workloads combining real-time analytics and transactional processing require the consistent low response time of a block layer.

Blocks & Files: How do you view QLC (4bits/cell) flash as potential NAND technology that Kaminario could use? How might it be adopted?

Eyal David: The Kaminario software stack has always leveraged commodity components while delivering a high performance, scalable solution. It will do so with QLC flash as well.

Blocks & Files: Do you see a role for storage-class memory such as Optane in Kaminario arrays? Should it be used as a faster SSD or as persistent memory in DIMM form, if it has usefulness in the arrays?

Eyal David: SCM will be used for both purposes within Kaminario. The Kaminario Vision software stack leverages SCM in on-premises private clouds and as they become available in the public cloud. The disaggregated nature of the Kaminario architecture combined with NVMeOF allows maximising the benefits of SCM.

Blocks & Files: Is there a need for a storage abstraction layering covering the on-premises and public cloud environments? 

Eyal David: Yes. That’s the way to achieve a multi-cloud strategy encompassing workload movement. There needs to be a data plane which delivers a common set of shared services that enable companies to decouple the management and movement of data from the infrastructure it runs on. We call it Data Plane Virtualization and it will enable companies to deploy and migrate workloads wherever it makes sense – whether from a private cloud to a public cloud, or from one public cloud provider to another. 

We think this data plane layer is a game-changer because it eliminates the risk of vendor lock-in, and provides a new level of business agility. This is in the form of an on-demand ability to increase application performance while making it far easier and more cost-effective to move data – without lengthy and risky refactoring of the application stack.