If you want containers, you’ll need SDS too

A cloud made up of ones and zeroes

Posted on Monday, November 14, 2016

The rise of Docker and containerized development has been phenomenal, particularly for businesses operating in the Cloud services arena.

Having seen the benefits of this micro-virtualization technology – improved DevOps performance, continuous application integration, easy access to best-of-breed containers from the Docker Hub – many organisations are keen to deploy the technology in house.

But there has always been one major problem for on-site adopters – poor storage support.

Traditional storage and Docker doesn’t quite work

It is possible to deploy Docker in a traditional storage environment. But those businesses who have attempted it ran into serious problems with management and scalability of the underlying storage system.

A survey conducted by container storage vendor Portworx found that:

  • 56 percent felt tools were inadequate to manage container storage
  • 42 percent had concerns about data loss
  • 33 percent could not scale storage effectively with the number of containers

Many adopters also reported provisioning taking too long in SAN or NAS environments.

These additional overheads greatly reduced the hoped-for performance gains of Docker-based containerized development.

Adopting cloud-like storage resolves the problems

Quoting from the Portworx report again:

“When asked what features they most wanted from a storage product for use with containers, the top choice (37%) was for storage to be provisioned automatically.”

The success of Docker in the cloud is as much to do with the underlying infrastructure as it is to do with containerization. The scalable, flexible nature of hosted storage helps to overcome the problems listed above.

Software defined storage (SDS) technologies allow businesses to build a scalable pool of storage on-site. Intelligent automation then reduces the overheads associated with scaling and allocation – effectively bringing the power of the cloud back in-house.

43 percent of the survey respondents claim that they would deploy containers within one year if the issues outlined above could be resolved. And the reality is that SDS can resolve storage provisioning automatically just like they asked.

So there’s no reason not to begin the container deployment process right now.

  • To help your business get container ready with SDS, and to unlock the value of your post warranty assets in that environment, please get in touch