The last time we did a piece on KumoScale, Kioxia was still part of Toshiba. In the latest KumoScale update, the NVMeoF storage software solution has undergone major changes. We now have Kioxia KumoScale that can not only serve NVMeoF to Kubernetes clusters, but it is controlled by a Kubernetes cluster as well.
Kioxia KumoScale Update Embraces Kubernetes
For those who missed our original KumoScale piece, here is a quick overview of what KumoScale is. Effectively it is a NVMeoF storage solution for not necessarily the larger hyper-scale clouds such as those run by Google, Facebook, Microsoft, AWS, Alibaba, Baidu, and Tencent. Instead, it is for organizations that have a larger number of nodes but do not necessarily want to develop their own storage solution.
One of the key features of KumoScale is that it can run on relatively off-the-shelf NVMe storage platforms instead of using custom hardware as we see in traditional large storage arrays. That allows capacity to scale out at a lower cost than with traditional enterprise storage.
Part of the new announcement is that the control plane for KumoScale now runs in containers and is orchestrated on its own smaller-scale Kubernetes cluster. Also in this release we have some new features such as the ability for the x86 storage nodes to appear as worker nodes in k8s clusters.
Modernizing the control plane here is very cool. Some other vendors have started to move in this direction, but Kioxia is putting it into practice which is great to see.
One of the other new features is that KumoScale can map local drives to the local worker nodes which makes performance better in that case while still providing a NVMeoF delivered solution for more capacity.
Kioxia’s target is larger clouds that are not the top hyper-scalers. As such, it is seeing telcos and large enterprise customers, along with smaller cloud players, look for an easy solution for storage. Kioxia has the ability to handle storage across multiple types of clusters so one can also have traditional servers, OpenStack virtualization clusters, and more all utilize the KumoScale storage while maintaining isolation.
Kioxia is taking on the challenge of selling to these larger customers which means a slower sales cycle but larger deployments for each win.
NVMeoF is a hot technology, especially as the back-end storage for Kubernetes clusters. Kioxia has a solution that we have seen demonstrated for years and that is becoming more mature with time. For those that want a supported NVMeoF implementation and solution without having to cobble together open source projects and hope they work (or hire a team to make them work) Kioxia has an easy answer. Of course, Kioxia is also happy to sell more than just the software as it is also one of the largest NAND SSD makers which gives it a unique position versus software-only competition.