Kaminario today released a new, lower-end version of its K2 DRAM Storage Appliance, dropping the multi-million dollar price tag to $50,000 for an entry level configuration.

While that price may be enticing, it only buys 500GB of capacity. The new appliance, however, can generate 150,000 I/Os per second (IOPS) and 1.6GB/sec throughput. It's targeted for sale at markets with high data throughput requirements such as banking, oil exploration, telecommunications and government research.

"This version is really targeted at small departments and small- to medium-sized businesses," said Gareth Taube, Kaminario's vice president of marketing.

The company said its K2 can now scale to 12TB total capacity from 6TB in its previous iteration. The 12TB box sells for $1.5 million and is capable of up to 1.5 million IOPS and 16GB/sec throughput and is aimed at database and online transaction processing and other enterprise-class applications, according to Taube.

Kaminario's DRAM appliance uses a grid-architecture that it calls Scale-out Performance Architecture (SPEAR), which allows both processing performance and capacity to scale linearly, and independently, as either processor or storage nodes are added.

The storage grid is made up of I/O Directors, DRAM blades and DataNodes, which contain two SATA hard drives and handle the backup of data. Each node has two Fibre Channel ports on the front end, to connect to an existing storage area network.

"Using DRAM as storage is the fastest media you can have. This is a standard block-level device that plugs into SAN and looks like any other block-level storage you may already have," Taube said. " The application just sees logical units of storage across all the data nodes. It doesn't see individual blade servers."

Data is randomly stored on the K2 DRAM appliance across all available nodes, regardless of the underlying hardware. "No single node gets hit more often than other," Taube said. "If you plug in an additional data node, the system reconfigures to spread data over additional capacity."

According to Kaminario, there are no single points of failure on the grid. Any node failures prompt a dynamic reconfiguration of the data across the nodes. The appliance also has redundant uninterruptible power supplies.

"Enterprises struggling with application performance issues due to I/O bottlenecks are discovering they can realise a faster ROI and lower TCO by deploying a high performance storage appliance rather than opting for expensive system upgrades or tuning," Kaminario CEO Dani Golan said.