Ethan Banks, IT architect and cofounder of Packet Pushers said in an article on improving stateful container storage that “containers are all the rage, touting benefits of reduced compute footprint, security, and portability. Containers are being used in more and more pockets of production… With that increase in production, the immaturity of containers shows through, as operations teams are faced with the challenge of bringing feature parity to their container environments from their current environments.”
Containers offer many benefits including the ability to scale up or down with no impact on the application or user experience – statelessness. However, as Banks writes, “for stateful applications, i.e. one that is in the business of long-term, persistent data storage, a different thought process must be applied — one more akin to our pet workloads we lovingly handcraft, monitor, and maintain.”
This process needs solving because the reality is developers and infrastructure teams need to tackle container storage. Here are three use cases StorageOS’ persistent container storage solution, at the application layer, helps solve:
1. Databases in containers.
Database software like MongoDB, Postgres, MySQL, or Couchbase are running in containers, or next to containers, and they are highly available and scalable, in your datacenter, virtualized environment or in your cloud. When developers want to move containers around instead of being tied to a single platform, they need a way to build stateful containers where they have existing apps, and want to use these databases. StorageOS helps developers deploy a database in a chosen environment, delivering fast and durable storage for it.
2. Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery (CI/CD).
StorageOS allows what is probably the most common utilization of containers today to have scalable, rapid access data sets, to be more reliable in its testing and far more quickly provisioned. If you’re looking at the software development space, continuous integration with Jenkins can generate faster code delivery and much better quality.
3. Helping enterprises get to the cloud.
This can be a container discussion or a broader discussion. There’s a big trend in the industry right now of cloud getting packaged in with large IT vendor sales or companies that bought lots of the cloud because it was cheaper than not buying in. But these companies have lots of questions about the security of cloud, getting locked-in or simply being able to grow and scale. The other thing that happens, as a by-product of the move to cloud, is confusion over enterprise manageability – scaling, growing volumes, providing management – this doesn’t really make its way into the existing container storage concept.
At StorageOS, we focus on managing data in the cloud and securing data or applications where they live. If your storage arrays are running in containers with StorageOS, you get the ability to grow and scale in a much easier way. It also allows enterprises to break the lock-in of cloud providers.
StorageOS is in an interesting position. We are building a solution to be consumed by developers which has to drive the tasks that infrastructure teams need and want and can integrate with. We are focused on:
- A customer journey that is very easy to use. We have an integrated platform, a container, which makes it easy to download and install. We run at the application level so you don’t have to make kernel level changes which makes it much easier for us to integrate with third-party service providers or cloud provider platforms.
- A 15-minute time-to-value/immediate ROI. It’s the frictionless sale for the developer and the infrastructure team. StorageOS allows infrastructure managers to define the requirements of the environment around where the data lives, how it’s moved, stored, the performance of that environment from inception (the first provisioning of the storage), and then report on that.
- We are priced for developer adoption, but we scale to enterprise adoption. We integrate directly with a developer environment and scale out as they need to grow, from a free license to professional license to our enterprise license (which will be available later in 2017).
StorageOS is providing the enterprise features and the cost and capacity alignment that cloud delivers, but in the location the enterprise needs to do so.
Register for the beta now, and be the first in line to try StorageOS for free.
You can find out more by watching our TechFieldDay presentation on enabling enterprise storage. You can also sign up to try StorageOS for free if you like what you see.