Kaminario K2: Product Overview and Insight

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Bottom Line:

Kaminario lacks the breadth of complementary storage offerings of some of its rivals such as NetApp, HPE and Dell EMC. However, its all-out focus on flash arrays gives it a focus that may be lacking in some other companies. As such, it has carved out a niche in the online transactional processing (OLTP) and service provider markets. Any customer looking to simply plug in an all-flash array to get an immediate boost in performance would be advised to look closely at Kaminario K2.

Jump to: Kaminario K2 Features Table

Company Description:

Kaminario offers a composable data platform that includes real-time analytics, data center automation, and data access. Headquartered outside of Boston, Kaminario works with a network of resellers and distributors globally. It is privately held. Some of Kaminario’s customers include Emergency Communications Network (ECN), Memorial Hospital, Scentsy, Shark Ninja, Telefonica, ZeroChaos and Wargaming. 

Kaminario’s product announcements and positive analyst attention is helping it to grow into additional market segments. They recently made waves by adding a 6th generation K2 all-flash array to their SSA family. The new AFA offloads traffic onto a NVMe/PCIe-connected compression offload engine, and offers future investment protection for NVMe buyers as protocol adoption grows.

Product Description:

Kaminario’s software-defined storage platform aims to build high-performance storage infrastructure at cloud-scale. It can scale up or scale out based on application requirements, which is a competitive differentiator. It is available as an appliance or software. Kaminario won Storage Magazine’s 2017 Storage Innovators of the Year and Enterprise Flash/SSD Storage Product of the Year awards. It was recognized for best cloud solution at MSPWorld 2018.

“Kaminario K2 takes advantage of the commoditization of solid state media to deliver an enterprise-class AFA at an average price of under $1/GB at scale,” said Eyal David, CTO of Kaminario. “Enterprise and cloud-scale environments routinely see acquisition prices under $.50/GB.” 

Kaminario was smart to make K2 backwards compatible with 2 previous generations, allowing 4th and 5th gen owners to expand their environments with the new K2. Since the ability to scale-up and scale-out is a critical differentiator for the vendor, it’s good to see them protecting that ability in mixed Kaminario environments.

Kaminario was recognized as a Leader in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant (MQ) for Solid State Arrays. It was rated highest in 3 out of 5 use cases in Gartner’s Critical Capability Index. However, Gartner analyst Valdis Filks pointed out limited QoS features.



Very good. Typically, the array can be up and running within one to two hours.

“The K2s were installed and connected to our vSphere environment and running in less than 2 hours,” said a Vice President of Infrastructure and Operations in the retail industry.

Technical support:

Very good. The Kaminario support team provides both hardware and software support. Field hardware support is provided by STG, a Techdata company. Kaminario Clarity also provides predictive and prescriptive support based on machine learning.

“Technical support is absolutely great,” said the IT Manager at a software company.

Raw Capacity:  

4 PB (384 TB for a single array).


  • 1.5 million IOPS
  • 25 GB/s throughput
  • Latency

“Performance and latency have been superb,” said one retail VP.

RAID/Data Protection:

Optimized version of RAID6 protection known as K-RAID that protects each SSD shelf independently up to three SSD failures. Provides 5 x 9s availability, as well as native snapshot-based active-active replication and key-less AES256 data-at-rest encryption.  

Storage Saving Features:

Deduplication, compression and thin provisioning 

Data Management:

K2’s VisionOS software-defined architecture delivers data services such as

*  Workload agnostic performance

*  Runs Oracle, Citrix, VMware, SQL on a single storage array

* Mixed workload management via an adaptive block-sized algorithm

*  Real time analytics.


Kaminario recently released K2.N which is a scale-out storage array based on fully converged NVMe over fabric backend and NVMe drives.


The company offers two appliances – Kaminario K2 and Kaminario K2.N, as well as a software-defined, storage-as-a-service version known as the Kaminario Cloud Fabric.


Pricing depends on scale of implementation as well as the delivery/consumption model. Pricing includes all software licenses and support. No additional add-on pricing needed. Prices start at $30,000 with per GB rates cited of less than $1 per GB. One healthcare CTO cited costs at $1.25 per GB and said this was much cheaper than his previous HPE 3PAR flash array.

K2 Features Table

Scale-up Yes
Scale-out Yes
Raw capacity (no deduplication) 1 PB
Effective capacity 4 PB
Networking (Max speed in Gbps)
Fibre Channel 16 Gbps
Ethernet/iSCSI 25GbE
Infiniband Yes
FCoE Yes
IOPs 1.5M
Throughput 25 GB/s
Latency 350 microseconds
Storage Saving Features
Deduplication Yes
Compression Yes
Thin provisioning Yes
Data encryption Yes
Snapshots Yes
Replication (synch or asynch?) Both
Percentage uptime (ex.: 99.999) 5 X 9
Non-disruptive software upgrades Yes
Non-disruptive hardware upgrades Yes
Base warranty: array Yes
Base warranty: flash Yes
Flash replacement if drive/module wears out before warranty expires? Yes
Gartner Magic Quadrant Rating Leader
Price Starts at $80,000 with per GB rates less than $1 per GB.
Drew Robb
Drew Robb
Drew Robb is a contributing writer for Datamation, Enterprise Storage Forum, eSecurity Planet, Channel Insider, and eWeek. He has been reporting on all areas of IT for more than 25 years. He has a degree from the University of Strathclyde UK (USUK), and lives in the Tampa Bay area of Florida.

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