Kaminario recently decided to adopt a “software-centric” business model, rather than sell all-flash arrays as the company has done since its inception. The company says that this will allow it “to streamline operations, while focusing its resources on continued software innovation,” acknowledging that the change: “represents a strategic business model shift for Kaminario.”
Hardware support for existing and future Kaminario customers will be provided by Tech Data, which Kaminario’s release tells us is the world-leading end-to-end distributor of technology products, services, and solutions.
Jay Kramer of Network Storage Advisors, a friend of The SSD Guy recently provided me with some valuable insights on Kaminario’s restructuring and has allowed me to share them here. Jay is a recognized technology consultant specializing in the network storage industry.
Here’s what Jay has to say about Kaminario’s announcement:
Kaminario’s move reflects the market’s shift to Software Defined Storage. We have seen so many of the storage startups package storage hardware appliances as a way to make it easy for customer evaluation and adoption. The value proposition is changing as customers develop hybrid IT strategies leveraging greater value with cloud solutions. The hardware “Pay as you Go” model is hard to monetize. Look at Nutanix, Qumulo and so many others that have dropped the hardware burden and gone to a pure software play.
As for Kaminario, they have now developed a Go-to-Market model that can still deliver packaged solutions but at a lower cost based on leveraging a partnership with Tech Data. A company like Elastifile went the route of a technology partnership with Dell EMC integrating their software on PowerEdge servers sold through the Dell Solutions Program. I expect to see more emerging storage vendors taking this approach and forming relationships with hardware vendors (e.g., Server packaging vendors like Lenovo, HPE, Cisco and even storage packaging vendors like WD and Seagate).
Tech Data as a “Distributor” is no longer your father’s Oldsmobile. Go into Tech Data’s headquarters in Clearwater Florida and you will see Product Specialist Teams, Storage and Data Protection Consultants and Pre/Post Sales Support Resources that are incredibly deep in knowledge and expertise. Not to mention Tech Data Labs for customer demonstrations, testing, PoC evaluations, performance and interoperability testing. They are no longer a traditional distributor as they provide much greater value these days.
Kaminario & Competition:
Just follow the Kaminario product announcements (VisionOS, Clarity, Flex, K2.N) and you will see a significant focus on greater software stack functionality and capabilities. That said, I think there is still room for a lot of innovation with hardware design and innovation versus just commodity hardware and white box manufacturers. Just look at Pure Storage, IBM and emerging profitable companies like Infinidat where hardware plays a key role in their competitive differentiation in the marketplace.
It is an exciting time in the storage segment and the most successful companies will be those who can respond to the changing requirements of customers whether it is a pure software play, a reference architecture or a traditional packaged solution.
Jay can be contacted via http://www.NetworkStorageAdvisors.com/