When we were first introduced to Docker containers, we were told that they should be ephemeral and stateless. It turns out that there are lot of great uses for Docker containers that are either stateful or long-lived. The stateful part is leading to a bunch of startups that have storage products to deliver persistent storage to these stateful containers. Even our old friends at VMware are in on this game. Their Photon platform is going to include VSAN to provide persistent storage for containers.
Articles Tagged with Ceph
Many people seem to think that in this brave new world of converged infrastructure and software-defined everything, the era of standalone storage and networking is coming to an end. Indeed, it’s becoming quite popular to think differently about storage. There are new types of clustered and distributed storage options, like Ceph and Gluster, that rethink the way storage is delivered and built. There are virtual storage appliances (VSAs), like the HP StoreVirtual VSA and NexentaVSA, that essentially replicate standalone hardware in a virtual machine. There are also hybrid approaches, where companies like Nutanix, Scale Computing, and Simplivity deliver a clustered file system that’s tightly integrated, via virtual machine, with their products.
At EMC World 2013, EMC announced ViPR as the answer to storage within the software defined data center. ViPR presents multiple types of storage while segmenting the control plane from the data plane. In addition, ViPR is a head end, fronting traditional storage arrays as an automation and control point and does not replace any array, but, possibly, makes it easier to use those arrays as we move to the software defined data center. Yet, ViPR also raises several questions about how storage will be accessed by the software defined data center: is ViPR the future, or is there more to happen?
The OpenStack Summit this week continued to fan the flames of the software-defined data center. The software-defined data center is just a term for replacing traditional data center hardware functionality with the same features implemented in software, running on commodity x86 servers. While software-defined approaches to data center features are at least nominally less expensive than their hardware counterparts the real promise in the approach is flexibility and management ease with high levels of integration. Reconfiguring a network to support the security requirements of a new application is now just a function of software and APIs. Expanding storage is just simply adding another node with more storage attached, and the cluster compensates automatically. Even things like firewall rules and load balancer configurations can now be stored as templates along with the applications, to be provisioned in minutes.