The common wisdom is that containers and the container management framework Kubernetes will be transformative. A hurdle remains, however, and that hurdle is storage.
According to Abhishek Shukla, HPE's managing director of Global Venture Investments, this new and vastly more efficient world of microservices is at risk if storage architectures are not developed that match the efficiency, speed, scale and agility of other elements of the microservices paradigm.
“While Kubernetes frees developers from having to worry about the complexities of compute resources, there’s one critical area it doesn’t address: storage,” wrote Shukla in an HPE blog. “In a world generating 2.5 quintillion bytes of data every day, that’s a problem.”
And while containers and Kubernetes are becoming the preferred choice for running data center infrastructure, the storage problem will have to be faced.
“If developers had to manually specify the location, configuration, and requirements of every compute resource a container might need, no one would bother with microservices. It would just be too complicated,” wrote Shukla. “But, while Kubernetes does a great job stripping away that complexity for compute, that’s still basically the process developers deal with for storage.”
Developers can use Kubernetes to schedule a million containers very quickly. But when they start wrestling with on-premises and cloud storage, it takes weeks or even months. “If microservices are going to scale, developers need a way to connect containerized applications to all the different places data might live, transparently, so they don’t have to think about it,” he wrote.
Yesterday, the container storage firm Portworx announced that it had raised $27 million in a Series C round. And HPE was one of the round’s investors.
“Portworx’s vision of the future of data greatly resonates with us,” wrote Shukla. “HPE is a global leader in storage—and Portworx can help our customers more easily take advantage of it, even as their IT landscape grows more complex.”