Red Hat drives deeper integration of persistent storage for containerized environments

As modern day application architects continue to aggressively leverage container technologies, Red Hat Enterprise Linux customers demand deeper integration between Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS). This week at Red Hat Summit, we are excited to showcase the hard work of the Red Hat Storage and OpenShift communities to deliver one of the first PaaS offerings for automatic orchestration of remote persistent storage for containerized application services across a large cluster topology.

The need for persistent storage in PaaS

Anyone who has managed long-lived services like databases or content management systems in a PaaS understands the dire need for persistent storage that exists outside the container space and has a life span longer than the containers that uses it. Traditionally, a PaaS solution might force application developers down a narrow path of only using cloud storage APIs such as S3. Red Hat Storage has invested engineering resources to help address those challenges by streamlining the interaction of administrators and developers around storage.

Red Hat Storage allows persistent storage to be made available in OpenShift without being closely bound to disks, servers, networks, or devices. Administrators can describe and make available storage services independently from developers who can discover and request persistent storage as needed in OpenShift in a controlled and quota enforced manner. This allows administrators to focus on infrastructure needs and developers on creating better applications without worrying about storage housekeeping.

Next generation container storage from Red Hat

OpenShift 3 offers a DevOps experience that enables developers to automate the application build and deployment process within a secure, enterprise-grade immutable application infrastructure. OpenShift 3 uses a platform stack supported by a number of community projects with deep Red Hat involvement. This week marks one hundred days since the launch of OpenShift Commons – an open community to drive innovation around containers and cloud – that already includes more than a hundred member organizations.

With OpenShift 3, the goal is to enable the mapping of container storage to enterprise storage technologies, such as Red Hat Storage. When a container needs to be evacuated from a node due to maintenance or an outage, the solution is smart enough to automatically move the volume to the correct node. Thus, the persistent storage is as mobile as the container itself.

OpenShift 3 leverages the hard work of the Red Hat Storage engineers i the Kubernetes community to enable a way for developers to incorporate storage elements into their application services. Through these collaborations within open source communities, OpenShift 3 has found a way to expose the speed and reliability of Red Hat Storage your existing and next generation cloud applications.

Red Hat Storage rounds out the stack for containerized applications

OpenShift 3 provides a holistic experience to run microservices using Docker formatted containerized environment and Kubernetes, while supporting Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 platforms. While the Docker packaging model defines the container format and manages individual containers, Kubernetes deploys and manages sets of containers.

OpenShift

We see Google’s Kubernetes gaining a strategic vantage point for container management and orchestration. Kubernetes also has a model for attaching storage volume to containers. This is another area of deep commitment from Red Hat Storage as is apparent from the storage capabilities available within Kubernetes, and the number of contributors from Red Hat in this space.

Red Hat has contributed upstream on a number of volume plugins for Kubernetes including NFS, GlusterFS, Ceph RBD, and iSCSI. All of the validation work by the Red Hat contributors on Kubernetes plugins is done in SELinux, offering users a tested, secure environment. In this video, Steve Watt, Chief Technologist at Red Hat describes some of the upstream work done by his team on volume plugins for Kubernetes.

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Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) Atomic Host is a variation of RHEL 7 optimized to run Linux containers. It uses SELinux to provide strong safeguards in multi-tenant environments, and provides the ability to perform atomic upgrades and rollbacks, enabling quicker and easier maintenance with less downtime. This blog post by Sayan Saha, product manager for Red Hat Gluster Storage deep dives into the new possibilities that RHEL Atomic Host opens for Red Hat Storage customers.

Learn More

Stop by the Storage booth at Red Hat Summit to speak with experts on persistent storage for containerized PaaS environments. You could also attend a session on “Building OpenShift & OpenStack platforms with Red Hat” at 4:50pm on Thursday in room 306 for more insights on the topic. We hope to see you there.

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