As I get prepared to attend yet another DockerCon conference—have been to two so far—I am reflecting on the continued importance that storage for containerized applications plays in the overall ecosystem and the sheer number of startups that have entered this space. It was originally thought that because containerized applications are based largely upon a microservice architecture in which the individual processes could be considered ephemeral (or stateless), storage requirements would be mostly focused around support for massive scalability—often referred to as “hyperscale”. However, what we have seen play out in the containers storage space is a need for both a scale-out architecture, while continuing to provide the expected enterprise-class storage services such as high availability, data protection/resiliency, persistence and predictable performance.
Now heading into the upcoming DockerCon conference in which Veritas for the first time will be exhibiting our new HyperScale Storage for Containers—a software-defined storage offering that brings advanced storage services such as QoS, storage persistence and data protection via replication and snapshots to the ever-growing container space. Furthermore, what both interests and encourages me is the continued discussion around the need for more advanced storage services to support containerized applications and also the need to be able to scale-out these storage services as end users are exploring deploying applications to a much more sizeable install and user base (akin to a Netflix or Twitter type of environment supporting 100K users to 1M’s of users).
Yet another encouraging data point is that industry analysts appear to be really coming around to embracing the container-movement as both a compliment and potential replacement for virtual machine environments. Just about a year ago, when I had the opportunity to basically do an “analyst tour” around the adoption of containers and the types of applications that they were hearing users interested in “containerizing and/or refactoring for containers”; at that time the general consensus amongst the various analysts was that most companies—and this was largely addressing the enterprise space—were still in their preliminary investigative stages and had yet to deploy their applications in a production environment. Fast forward to today and I recently re-engaged with many of these same analysts and got a much different story in that they are now talking with enterprise customers that have begun to realize the benefits of running their applications in production and at a far greater scale—hyperscale—than previously.
What lies in store for DockerCon this year? I can’t wait to find out and expect the excitement, ambition and container revolution to continue…at hyperscale.
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