IBM Storage brings enterprise data services to containers

By | 3 minute read | August 1, 2019

Today, 85 percent of enterprises are operating in a hybrid multicloud environment;[1] at the same time, IDC expects the worldwide installed base of container instances to reach three billion in 2021.[2]

While hybrid multicloud architectures and container adoption have become common, challenges exist for these interwoven technologies. Containers are easily deployed for experimentation and new development projects across different platforms and clouds. However, we see that companies wanting to use containers in production or at scale need to meet traditional IT requirements of availability, security and performance, especially for their data.

Because of their low overhead design, new use cases are being developed, which drives new sets of requirements. Containers provide the agility to quickly shift application workloads, scale up for demand, or shut down when not needed. To use containers in production, the data behind these applications and microservices needs to be persistent, with more consistent performance and the ability to responds to rapid shifts in the workloads.

Storage provisioning needs to be an element of the Kubernetes orchestration, while supporting containerized workloads, container data security, data availability and reliability typically associated with enterprise storage. For ease of administration and data flexibility, the storage and the data enhance the capabilities to improve developer speed and productivity. The underlying infrastructure needs to unify traditional and container workloads, be agile to support modern workloads, cloud-native applications and public cloud integration, and provide data cyber resiliency features.

To address these requirements, IBM Storage continues to invest in capabilities for container storage orchestration, security and backup to ensure our award-winning portfolio of block, file and object storage is container ready.

The Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform is an enterprise-ready Kubernetes container platform with full-stack automated operations to manage hybrid multicloud deployments. IBM Storage for Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform is a reference solution that brings together IBM solutions and open source technologies. This tested and documented solution supports IBM Cloud Paks as well as standalone applications such as DevOps, database, HPC, analytics and AI workloads.

This solution includes support for:

  • IBM Spectrum Virtualize-based IBM Storwize and IBM FlashSystem 9100 NVMe arrays for hybrid multicloud primary storage
  • IBM Spectrum Scale and Elastic Storage Systems for AI and big data workloads
  • IBM Cloud Object Storage for active archive or cloud-native applications
  • IBM Spectrum Protect Suite for data protection and data re-use

These offerings will help enable your cloud-native environment to be modern, agile and secure to the core.

IBM Storage for Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform offers many advantages and benefits to enterprises moving into hybrid multicloud operations, including:

  • Security. Intelligent volume mapping only allows authorized containers access to data, which helps to reduce the vulnerability footprint
  • Service orchestration. Dynamic provisioning with storage service class support, persistent data volumes, and Kubernetes/API integration
  • Infrastructure agility. The only multi-compute architecture (Power Systems and x86) with Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform, and a storage portfolio with block, file and object storage and data protection and reuse solutions for workload and infrastructure flexibility
  • Performance. IBM’s portfolio of all-flash NMVe and hybrid flash solutions deliver the low-latency and high-throughput to support shifting container workloads and demanding applications
  • Availability. IBM Storwize and FlashSystem 9100 systems deliver six 9s availability[3] and support multi-site high-availability configurations with IBM HyperSwap

Containers were first adopted to help organizations accelerate application development and deployment. Enterprise-ready Kubernetes platforms such as Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform allow organizations to extend the benefit of containers to more workloads. As companies expand their use of containers, they require a modern and secured storage infrastructure that delivers enterprise reliability, data management efficiency and cloud-native agility. The IBM Storage for Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform reference solution helps simplify moving to containers and cloud deployments at enterprise scale.

Learn more about how your organization can leverage market-leading IBM Storage to bring enterprise data services to your container environment.

[1] IBM Institute for Business Value: Assembling Your Cloud Orchestra, October 2018

[2] Source:  IDC, Container Infrastructure Market Assessment: Bridging Legacy and Cloud-Native Architectures — x86 Software Containers Forecast, 2017–2021, March 2018

[3] Based on IBM availability data for installed Storwize and FlashSystem 9100 systems.