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Kaminario storage goes for a run on Western Digital OpenFlex

Kaminario storage continues to push farther and farther away from its reliance on purpose-built hardware.

The all-flash vendor has qualified its consumption-based Cloud Fabric software for Western Digital OpenFlex composable infrastructure, which the two vendors demonstrated last week at Flash Memory Summit.

Cloud Fabric is hyper-scale virtualization software that allows data center operators to separate physical compute and storage on Kaminario storage arrays, and now also on Western Digital OpenFlex F3000 NVMe all-flash systems. The partnership with Western Digital underscores Kaminario’s effort to generate revenue from sales of software licenses, after outsourcing inventory of its branded K2 arrays earlier this year.

Cloud Fabric deploys the Kaminario VisionOS operating system and Clarity analytics in a pay-as-you-use license.

“With this Western Digital partnership, we are broadening the (types of) certified hardware for our K2.N software stack. It’s not just a selling partnership with Western Digital, but a technology partnership to deliver a software-defined composable infrastructure,” Kaminario CTO Eyal David said.

Composable infrastructure converts physical IT into modular pools of virtual resources. Hewlett Packard Enterprise popularized the composable concept with its Synergy product, and Dell EMC this year launched its Kinetic platform. Startups Attala Systems and Liqid also are trying to make inroads by selling software that allows large enterprises to buy hardware components by the rack as an application requires it.

Kaminario launched in 2010 amid a roaring white-hot market for all-flash arrays. And while demand for flash storage continues to grow, a corresponding trend line is the delivery  of storage services in software packaged on commodity servers. That market shift has forced Kaminario and other all-flash array startups to change course, be acquired or go bankrupt.

Although Gartner lists Kaminario as a leader in the solid-state array market, the vendor scrapped the hardware model this year to focus on selling VisionOS as a software-defined storage license. Customers are still able to buy Kaminario storage arrays as a reference design from resellers.

One thing missing so far from the Kaminario storage software stack is cloud tiering for file and object storage. David said Kaminario has it on the roadmap and expects to add the feature within the next calendar year.

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