Kioxia adds sophisticated admin tools and wider support to KumoScale

Kioxia has made its KumoScale box-of-flash admin easier and supports the latest version of OpenStack in its latest software release as it plans to build out its virtualised disaggregated flash box software.

V3.19 of Kioxia’s KumoScale — software to virtualise and manage boxes of block-access, disaggregated NVMe SSDs — adds operator-driven device management to add/remove SSDs from the pool, migrate data non-disruptively between SSDs, indicate SSD is ready for removal by blinking its lights, and upgrade SSD firmware. 

The software uses so-called Operator functions said to be declarative in nature. Admin staff specify a desired end-state — such as an empty SSD — and the software carries out the necessary steps to achieve it. Kioxia says this mode of admin management contrasts with imperative commands and was pioneered in the Kubernetes container orchestration framework.

This latest KumoScale supports the latest OpenStack “Xena” release and Kioxia contributed a couple of functions:

  • The Xena release os-brick connector broadens support to include many commonly used Linux distributions; 
  • The Xena release connector has been enhanced to support volume snapshots. 

The v3.19 KumoScale software also supports the Ubuntu distribution of Linux, the latest Kubernetes CSI version, and adds CSI and Ansible support of snapshot and clone functionality. 

Kioxia describes KumoScale as offering flash-as-a-service in Kubernetes, software-defined storage or bare metal environments. Target customers for KumoScale, which is sold through system partners, are cloud service providers, Software-as-a-Service providers and enterprise private cloud suppliers. “Kumo” means cloud in Japanese, by the way.


We still have no idea how popular KumoScale is. Kioxia hasn’t revealed any customer or deployment numbers. The system competes with other NVMe-only SAN array products such as Excelero. Our feeling is that it is less enterprise-capable than the Excelero product but this is just an impression. KumoScale may well have picked up one or two CSPs or MSPs as customers. We just don’t know.

Kioxia keeps steadily plugging away at developing the software with twice-yearly updates since its launch in March 2018. That demonstrates persistence if nothing else.

Access KumoScale v3.19 documentation here.