Hitachi Adds Kubernetes Support to Converged Infrastructure
A shipping container is moved with a crane before being loaded onto a ship docked at the Port of Oakland in Oakland, California. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Hitachi Adds Kubernetes Support to Converged Infrastructure

Expects move to lower barrier for using Docker containers

At the OSCON 2015 conference today Hitachi Data Systems announced support for version 1.0 of the Kubernetes orchestration framework for Docker containers.

Michael Hay, vice president and chief engineer for HDS, said the company has worked closely with Google to ensure tight integration between Kubernetes and the underlying software it relies on to manage the Hitachi Unified Compute Platform.

“We wanted to lower the barrier to entry for organizations to make the move to Docker containers,” said Hay. “We felt that is was important to get Kubernetes running on a converged infrastructure platform as soon as possible.

Hay said that the UCP Director software that HDS uses to manage its converged infrastructure is already built on top of containers. As a modern piece of software based on a microservices architecture, extending UCP Director to work with Kubernetes was a pretty straightforward effort.

Hitachi UCP systems, said Hay, are certified to run containers on both CoreOS and CentOS operating systems alongside VMware running on a variety of operating systems. HDS expects IT organizations to run containers and virtual machines side by side for years to come.

But it’s also clear that given the momentum surrounding Docker containers in particular, HDS sees the shift to microservices, using containers as an opportunity to gain market share at the expense of more established server rivals inside the data center. While HDS has established a reputation as a provider of enterprise-class storage systems in the US, its presence in the x86 server market is by comparison relatively nascent.

Hay said Docker represents an opportunity for HDS, because most IT operations teams are already being made aware of the implications Docker containers will have on both application performance and IT infrastructure utilization rates. With more applications contending for I/O resources HDS is betting that Hitachi UCP systems will be seen as a viable alternative to legacy systems that were not developed with containers in mind.

The degree to which Docker containers will force IT infrastructure upgrades naturally remains to be seen. On the one hand, Docker containers initially might only wind up increasing utilization rates on existing servers. Conversely, HDS is betting that an increase in the number of application workloads per server will tax I/O capabilities beyond their existing limits.

Of course, that doesn’t necessarily mean organizations will embrace converged infrastructure to run containers. But it does mean they will at least be more likely than ever to consider their options.

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