Kaminario will exit the hardware business and shift to selling only software-defined storage (SD-storage). Tech Data, meanwhile, will distribute the all-flash integrated appliances that run the software.
“We’ve always taken a very software-defined approach — all of our intellectual property is in our software” said Josh Epstein, chief marketing officer at Kaminario. “The rate of hardware innovation is phenomenal: the storage technology, the server and chip technology. We can take this innovation, and because our special sauce is in the software, we can make a better, more agile offering.”
The 8-year-old company got its start selling all-flash arrays, and last year was named a leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for solid-state arrays. Its customers are largely cloud services and software-as-a-service (SaaS) providers. They include payment services company Payoneer, fintech SaaS platform Clearwater Analytics, and SSI, a SaaS healthcare billing firm.
Historically, enterprises bought storage products as hardware “so it’s made sense to sell it as an appliance,” Epstein said. But that mindset is changing as companies increasingly turn to SD-storage because of the flexibility it brings to their data centers. Separating the storage from the hardware often reduces costs, and it can more efficiently be deployed for data-intensive workloads.
IDC forecasts spending on software-defined storage will grow from about $7 billion in 2017 to $9.1 billion in 2019.
Enterprises increasingly want this same scalability and economies of scale in their data centers that the cloud giants have enjoyed for years with their home-grown software-defined networking (SDN) and storage technologies.
“We felt the time was right to unbundle our offering,” Epstein said. “Customers get direct access to the commodity economics by us getting out of that [hardware] business. Our goal is to bring that agility that hyperscalers have to every data center with no comprise on the technology capability.”
The company expects to complete this transition to a software-centric business model by the end of the first quarter. Tech Data will take over the supply chain, integration, and product support services for Kaminario’s composable data platform products, including its all-flash array.