IBM Storage systems go cloud native
By Sam Werner | 3 minute read | November 8, 2017
Along with the recent announcements of many new IBM Storage offerings, product enhancements and leading-edge innovations, I would like to call attention to IBM Storage Enabler for Container Environments. This new IBM software for containers is a technology that is quickly becoming a cloud infrastructure “must-have.”
Container technology enables prepackaged and pre-configured software with the elements needed to run in any environment. They share many of the benefits of virtual machines, but with a smaller footprint. As a result, containerization is a key enabling technology for flexibly delivering workloads to private and public cloud environments.
Containers were designed to be very flexible, lightweight and portable. By default, they practically do not allow applications to store data on external storage. This creates a serious challenge for enterprises seeking to use containers with conventional applications, which must retain data across any kind of disruption. Container design consequently evolved to support persistent storage: the ability to store data separately from the container and make it always available to the application, regardless of container location, planned downtime or unexpected disruptions.
IBM persistent storage support for containers started off with an open-source IBM research project named Ubiquity, which gained immediate interest from early-adoption customers. We have now adopted the technology as the basis for container support across our storage system portfolio. Fresh out the door, IBM Storage Enabler for Containers delivers persistent storage support for:
- VersaStack converged infrastructure solutions.
- All offerings built with IBM Spectrum Virtualize, including the Storwize family, FlashSystem V9000, SAN Volume Controller, and IBM Spectrum Virtualize software.
- All offerings built with IBM Spectrum Accelerate, including IBM FlashSystem A9000, A9000R and XIV systems, and IBM Spectrum Accelerate
The Enabler tightly integrates Ubiquity with IBM Spectrum Control Base Edition, the same simplified, small-footprint software that delivers IBM portfolio support for VMware environments. It includes proven capabilities such as policy-based automated storage provisioning and high availability of the control plane. It is capable of managing provisioning from a diverse set of IBM storage systems, with one policy, using one management web-console. IBM Spectrum Control Base Edition is available at no additional charge for clients using IBM Storage systems.
In the container environment, IBM Storage Enabler for Containers supports Kubernetes and IBM Cloud Private orchestration. The orchestration tier manages and automates the entire lifecycle of container environments. Good automation comes with a policy-driven approach, so Kubernetes uses storage classes to maintain a simple storage policy. IBM Spectrum Control Base Edition lets the storage administrator generate the storage policy and push it up to the Kubernetes orchestration tier. This way, it can be easier for container administrators to leverage the storage administrator’s expertise while keeping a good amount of control in the storage administrator’s hands. Peace of mind for everyone.
IBM Storage Enabler for Containers is also part of IBM Spectrum Access, a foundation for IBM Cloud Private that allows users to more easily deploy a private cloud solution on premises. IBM Cloud Private provides a flexible, pretested and complete platform-as-a-service (PaaS) stack, simplifying configuration and management and delivering on cloud initiatives more quickly.
Use IBM Storage Enabler for Containers with:
- IBM Spectrum Accelerate-based offerings to support end-to-end cloud economics, with reliability, agility, simplicity and consistently high performance. It is all based on a grid-based scalable architecture that paves your road to the cloud.
- IBM Spectrum Virtualize-based offerings, to enable container support for these IBM Storage systems as well as over 400 storage systems from IBM and other vendors. With a single software driver, container support is available for all of these systems, potentially enhancing their value and extending their useful life.
The container market is booming toward a cloud-native future.1 Thanks to project Ubiquity, and its quick evolution into IBM Storage Enabler for Containers, IBM Storage can now go where containers go. Download and try it today!
 Impact Brief: Impact of Containers on Data Center Virtualization (http://www.itnewswire.us/Containers.pdf)