Nexenta, a provider of an open source software-defined storage on x86 servers, today outlined multiple paths towards adding support for Docker containers.
Via a partnership with ClusterHQ, Nexenta announced it is adding support for Flocker, an open source data volume manager for containers, to its storage management software. At the same time, Nexenta said it will also add support for both VMware vSphere Integrated Containers, which enables containers to run on existing instance of VMware, and VMware Photon OS, a project through which VMware is embedding Docker containers within a lighter-weight virtual machine platform.
As part of that effort, Nexenta also announced today that it has become a member of both Open Container Initiative and Cloud Native Computing Foundation and that it has integrated Nexentda Edge and Nextenda Stor with the Kubernetes framework for managing containers.
Thomas Cornely, chief product officer at Nexenta, said the ultimate goal is to provide persistent block-level storage for containers running either natively on a physical server or on top of multiple iterations of virtual machines in a way that enables those containers to move across a server cluster as needed.
As part of the general trend towards eliminating the need for separate arrays to manage primary storage, Cornely said, enterprise IT organizations don’t want to have to deploy separate server clusters to support virtual machines and Docker containers.
“Our focus is on scale-out storage that is simple to deploy,” said Cornely. “We’re eliminating the waste created by the iSCSI stack.”
Cornely said much of the initial focus when it comes to deploying containers in production environments will be on top of virtual machines that already have a rich set of management tools for IT organizations to readily invoke. As the management framework surrounding containers over time continues to mature, Nexenta expects to see usage of physical servers to run applications based on Docker containers increase.
Both virtual machines and containers will be permanent fixtures of most data center environments for years to come. In fact, Cornely said, as more IT organizations look to move to software-defined storage, one of the prerequisites will be the ability to support both containers and virtual machines in all their forms using a common persistent storage platform.
Obviously, Nextenta is not the only storage software vendor moving down a similar container path. But as a storage management software, chances are high the Nexenta will get there well before storage vendors that rely on proprietary ASICs to manage storage I/O on proprietary storage arrays.