One of my Kusnetzky Group clients, Kaminaro, spent some time helping me understand a new storage appliance that can accelerate storage or database intensive applications. Since that covers quite a broad range of applications, I was quite interested in what they were doing. Kaminaro has developed a device, the K2, that uses a combination of clever cache optimization, redundant storage components and dynamic random access memory (DRAM) components to offer near-system memory performance.
Here's what Kaminaro has to say about the K2
Kaminario K2 is leading enterprises to new frontiers in I/O speed and ease of use. Kaminario K2 is the first extreme performance data appliance to deliver millions of IOPS and boost crucial applications without compromising on high availability. By moving the data of most performance demanding applications or databases to Kaminario’s K2 DRAM storage appliance, you'll experience the "Kaminario effect" and enjoy 2 – 25 fold faster performance.
Designed to deliver extreme storage performance and ease of use, the Kaminario K2 storage appliance is based on Kaminario's Scale-out Performance Architecture™ (SPEAR) which is grid of modular, industry standard blade-based I/O Directors and Data Nodes, controlled by the Kaminario Storage System Management. The Kaminario K2 storage appliance is geared towards time sensitive and I/O intensive critical business applications that standard storage solutions cannot support. Kaminario K2 enables performance and capacity to scale independently. It ensures availability and data reliability and can be deployed within one day without any changes the application, system or storage environment.
Comparable SSD, in memory, or caching storage products, which rely on complex and highly expensive components, are difficult to implement, and require months to reach deployment. Further, these products are proprietary and many require significant environmental changes at the customer’s site. Kaminario K2 works seamlessly within the customer’s current environment, starting with a single application and providing a long-term scalable solution.
Snapshot AnalysisAs I published in a recent paper, Application Performance Requires Better Storage Performance, it is my view that application performance is not an academic issue. It is real and can mean the difference between a successful business and a failure. History has taught us that customers will not tolerate slow Websites or applications — they’ll simply go to another site offering a similar product or service. Regulatory agencies will not tolerate late reporting — they’ll issue fines and the publicity will hurt the organization’s reputation with customers and partners. Financial institutions need updated risk models or portfolio positions to make effective investment decisions.
Organizations’ IT groups are doing their best to understand the root cause when complex, multi-tier, distributed applications and workloads perform in unacceptable ways. This leads them to purchase unnecessary upgrades to processors, memory upgrades and new network servers and links. Often they embark on costly and time-consuming projects to analyze system, network, application and database performance parameters when it might simply be unacceptable storage system performance.
Suppliers, such as Kaminario, are offering easy to understand and use storage appliances that can accelerate database or storage intensive applications.
There are, of course, other ways to achieve better performance in these applications including, upgrading the systems, adding more memory to enhance database performance, tuning the database engine to better respond to the exact requirements of the specific application or re-architect the application itself.
It seems to me, however, that replacing heavily utilized storage components with a storage appliance is an easier and less costly approach.