Container storage platforms: Big six approach starts to align | Computer Weekly

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Containerization is emblematic of the largest present adjustments in IT. Containers are designed to be light-weight and transportable – between programs, between the information heart and the cloud – and are the cornerstone of digital transformation and cloud utility improvement.

However whereas containerization doubtlessly simplifies the event, deployment, and operation of utility environments, there may be a number of complexity behind the scenes.

Not the least of which is storage, the place capability should be provisioned for containers after which managed, maintained and secured. This generally is a troublesome and opaque course of that wants to be made seen and trackable.

For that reason, all the key storage distributors – and various startups not lined right here – have developed or bought containerized storage platforms or one thing comparable. In truth, they usually do extra than simply storage, with information safety and different varieties of superior performance.

On this article, we’ll have a look at the container storage and information safety platform choices from the Big Six, particularly Dell EMC, HPE, Hitachi, IBM, NetApp, and Pure Storage.

We lined the identical matter a yr in the past, and it is fairly noticeable how issues have shifted.

Whereas Pure Storage leads with Portworx, others have made vital additions to their portfolios all year long. Dell EMC has its containerized storage modules as soon as primarily based on VMware Tanzu (now defunct, in fact), IBM tailored its storage for the Purple Hat OpenShift container platform with Spectrum Fusion, and NetApp folded its Astra container administration portfolio into BlueXP.

Dell EMC Storage Container Modules

In October 2021, Dell EMC made its container storage modules publicly accessible. CSM consists of a number of plugins that present storage administration and information safety with Kubernetes past the fundamental CSI performance.
CSI drivers usually assist to present, take away, show, and undisplay volumes of information. However Dell EMC is concentrating on CSM at enterprise clients in search of extra when it comes to automation and management with a comparatively easy consumer interface.
CSM customers can entry storage array options that they’d not usually have entry to. Clients can put together their current storage container utilizing the information capabilities on Dell storage arrays, reasonably than utilizing extra software program.


HPE has developed its personal Kubernetes administration platform, HPE Ezmeral Runtime, which will be deployed on Synergy system {hardware}.
Ezmeral is designed to deploy cloud and non-cloud purposes utilizing Kubernetes and might run on naked or digital infrastructure, on-premises or within the cloud. It consists of options for deploying data-driven purposes, together with edge, in addition to AI/ML and operations customization.
Ezmeral supplies persistent container storage and configuration automation for organising container excessive availability, backup and restoration, safety testing and monitoring to reduce handbook admin duties.


Hitachi Kubernetes Service (HKS) allows Hitachi Unified Compute Platform programs to handle file volumes and objects on Kubernetes cluster nodes.
HKS allows deployment of UCP nodes as a Kubernetes-driven non-public cloud with container administration in on-premises and hybrid cloud environments. The software program behind HKS comes from Containership, which Hitachi acquired in 2019.

IBM Spectrum Fusion

It’s not a containerized storage platform reminiscent of from Dell EMC or Pure, however Spectrum Fusion is designed for storage for Purple Hat OpenShift Container Platform. The corporate tailored its merchandise to be used with Purple Hat software program after buying the open supply software program supplier for $34 billion in July 2019.
Spectrum Fusion combines components of Spectrum Scale Basic Parallel File System (GPFS), Spectrum Uncover for metadata cataloging and indexing, and Spectrum Defend Plus for backup and restoration. Fusion additionally helps storing S3 objects domestically or within the cloud. Clients can handle Spectrum Fusion by way of a single portal.
The primary launch of Spectrum Fusion was a hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) system that shipped with Purple Hat OpenShift. It’s now accessible as a software-defined product that may run on any x86 {hardware} supported by OpenShift.
Initially, a Spectrum Fusion {hardware} set up required a minimal of six nodes or six units. With the brand new software-only Spectrum Fusion, that is down to three. Supported clouds embrace AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud, and IBM Cloud.
The software-only launch additionally included information safety for containers, in addition to monitoring and analytics integration with IBM Turbonomic, utility useful resource administration and community efficiency software program that makes use of automation and AI for optimization.

NetApp Astra/BlueXP

NetApp introduced the Astra Information Retailer in October 2021 as a unified information retailer and useful resource pool for containers and digital machines, however this was changed by BlueXP in November 2022 as the one administration aircraft for Astra and NetApp’s on-premise and cloud merchandise.
Astra has information safety options reminiscent of snapshots that enable clients to roll again Kubernetes clusters to a earlier state if one thing goes flawed. Clients also can create full utility backups and restore purposes to one other Kubernetes cluster. Whole purposes and their information can be cloned and moved between Kubernetes clusters.
In the meantime, Astra Management Service is a cloud-based service for Kubernetes clusters managed by NetApp, whereas Astra Management Middle supplies comparable performance for on-premises storage managed by the client.

Pure Portworx

Pure Storage might have been the chief for storage suppliers as they centered on containerization after they purchased Portworx in 2020 for $370 million.
Portworx embeds native container performance to allow discovery, provisioning, and administration from inside Kubernetes clusters. It might uncover, load steadiness, and handle Pure Storage FlashArray and FlashBlade {hardware} straight from Kubernetes deployments.
Beginning with the two.8 replace in early 2021, Portworx can run totally from containers in Kubernetes (and different container orchestrators) and supply steady capability for enterprise purposes.
In early 2022, Portworx PX-Backup acquired object blocking from ransomware, in addition to Portworx Information Providers providing database as a service and PX-backup as a service. Sooner or later, Portworx may also obtain an unaltered SafeMode snapshot.
Portworx is definitely a group of software-defined storage, information safety, and information providers merchandise that run from containers to create storage swimming pools, handle provisioning, and supply superior storage options together with backup, catastrophe restoration, safety, auto-scaling, and storage migration. native to Kubernetes cluster servers, on exterior storage arrays and containers in main cloud suppliers, AWS, Azure and GCP.

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