KubeCon Seattle, here we come!

Our top 3 storage-for-containers things to look forward to at KubeCon

By Steve Bohac, OpenShift Storage Product Marketing

Season greetings!

As always, much going on with Red Hat OpenShift Container Storage!

Of course, Kubernetes 1.13 was released this week, Container Journal recently published an article I authored, and KubeCon Seattle is coming up next week… By the way, did you see the latest Forrester Wave Enterprise Container Platform Software Suites where Red Hat OpenShift was named a Leader? Good stuff!

Red Hat OpenShift Container Storage helps organizations standardize storage across multiple environments and easily integrates with Red Hat OpenShift to deliver a persistent storage layer for containerized applications that require long-term, stateful storage. Enterprises can benefit from a simple, integrated solution including the container platform, registry, application development environment, and storageall in one, supported by a single vendor.

December is always a busy month with industry conferences (not to mention holiday planning!), so as I finalized my own KubeCon plans, I wanted to pause and take a quick breath and outline my top 3 things I’m looking forward to at KubeCon Seattle 2018 next week:

  1. Assorted Kubernetes announcements (whatever they are!). Yes, who knows what kind of interesting things will be announced next week… but they’ll likely be exciting! The Kubernetes ecosystem has gotten so large now, there is always a plethora of interesting products and technologies announced at KubeCon. It’s always interesting to see how these new announcements dictate where things are going with Kubernetes and cloud native technologies in general. (By the way, for a great overview of the “third era” of Kubernetes, check out PodCTL #54 with our own Brian Gracely and Tyler Britten.)
  2. For the first time ever, there will be a Cloud Native Storage Day as one of the co-located events at KubeCon. Like the other co-located events, it takes place next Monday before the KubeCon show officially kicks off. The day’s agenda includes customers and industry leaders like Red Hat (I’ll be there with a few colleagues presenting) discussing current implementations and future directions of container storage. This should be very educational and interactive for everyone! And…. the sessions will be recorded (look back here for a post-KubeCon blog after the show for links to the recordings!).
  3. Catching up on the status of the Rook project. What is Rook? Rook is a persistent storage orchestrator that is designed to run as a native Kubernetes service. Consider it the glue between storage and the containerthe thing that makes automation work. This is an interesting development around storage for containers, and I’m looking forward to meeting up with colleagues and “fellow travelers” to understand more.

Anyway, it should be a good one at KubeCon next week (did I mention it is sold out!?). In between sessions, make sure to visit us in Booth D1 in the Expo Hall for product demonstrations, to speak with Red Hat OpenShift Container Storage experts and other community leaders about upstream projects, and to snag some of our giveaways (while supplies last!).

We hope to see you there! If we don’t catch you in person, we’ll be tweeting (and re-tweeting) all week! If you don’t already, make sure to follow us on Twitter at @RedHatStorage.

Not attending KubeCon? No sweat! You can still learn more and get hands on with a more intimate understanding of how Red Hat OpenShift and OpenShift Container Storage work together with a test drive.

Still want to learn more? Check out the Red Hat OpenShift Container Storage datasheet.

Red Hat Hyperconverged Infrastructure for Virtualization delivers increased efficiencies for storage and compute at the edge

Customers can realize more value and greater simplicity with cost-effective, open source, integrated compute and storage delivered in a compact footprint

By Daniel Gilfix, Red Hat Cloud Storage and Hyperconverged Infrastructure

Hyperconverged Infrastructure (HCI) emerged as an infrastructure category about a decade ago aimed at a few specific use cases and has been dominated by proprietary software vendors offering appliances built on their hardware, or rigid configurations delivered with OEM hardware partners.

What’s new?

Today we announced the next iteration of our enterprise-grade, open source approach in this spaceRed Hat Hyperconverged Infrastructure for Virtualization 1.5, which benefits from the combined strength of Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Red Hat Virtualization, Red Hat Gluster Storage, and Red Hat Ansible Automation.

Where’s the beef?

Red Hat Hyperconverged Infrastructure for Virtualization (RHHI-V) is an optimized, hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) that has helped organizations across industries like energy, retail, banking, telco, and the public sector make the most of business-critical applications that must be deployed with limited space, budget, and IT staff, including departmental and lines of business ops, remote sites, and development and test environments. Integration with Red Hat Ansible Automation helps reduce manual errors normally associated with downtime while enabling a more streamlined and speedy deployment. Simplified administration via a single user interface means you can consolidate your infrastructure and adopt a software-defined datacenter more efficiently. Such adoption includes using RHHI-V in lieu of a more expensive VMware “lock-in” environment or transitioning from it under professional guidance with the Red Hat infrastructure migration solution.

What’s inside?

Red Hat Hyperconverged Infrastructure for Virtualization 1.5 now features advanced data reduction capabilities for even greater efficiencies as well as a series of validated server configurations for optimized workloads to reduce or eliminate the guesswork out of infrastructure deployment. Details follow:

  • Data reduction via deduplication and compression. Made possible through embedded Virtual Data Optimizer (VDO) code in Red Hat Enterprise Linux, you can now efficiently eliminate duplicate instances of repeating data and compress the reduced data set. This results in improved storage utilization and enables more affordable high-performance storage options.
  • Virtual graphics processing unit (vGPU). With the vGPU capability, you can assign GPU slices to VMs to accelerate 3D graphics and to offload computationally heavy jobs, including applications in computational science, workloads in oil and gas and manufacturing, as well as emerging AI and machine learning applications processing.
  • Open Virtual Network support. Support for software-defined networking via Open Virtual Network (OVN) helps improve scalability while enabling live migration of virtual networking components in a hyperconverged Linux environment.
  • Deep Ansible integration. Red Hat Ansible Automation enables true “ops value” at deploy and runtime, thereby paving the way toward your broader automation goals. We also deliver Ansible playbooks to enable remote replication and recovery of RHHI-V environments.
  • Validated hardware configurations. To help ensure RHHI-V users deploy sound infrastructure configurations, Red Hat has tested a number of use cases with our hardware partners and documents configuration guidelines for optimized workloads. These configurations, along with our new RHHI-V sizing tool, can help you anticipate platform requirements based on their usage patterns, taking the guesswork out of deploying a software-defined HCI platform, and reducing time to value. You can choose among industry standard hardware and enjoy more predictable performance for their desired deployment patterns.

Who benefits?

While RHHI-V was initially targeted at remote office/branch office deployment, we’ve experienced steadily increasing demand to support more mission-critical applications, such as remote tactical operations for public sector, field analysis and oil rig operations in the energy sector, and managing data from a myriad of sensors in factories across both process and discrete manufacturing. Now integrated even more broadly across the Red Hat software stack, RHHI-V is a powerful, general purpose platform for anyone seeking to jumpstart edge computing or modernize their existing data center to accommodate new workloads with greater degrees of efficiency. 

How can you learn more?

For more information on Red Hat Hyperconverged Infrastructure for Virtualization, check out this article by Storage Switzerland. Feel free to also attend our upcoming webinar on December 11. You can always simply access us on the web.

 

Five reasons you need to change your data storage—now

By Terry L. Smith, Senior Director, Penguin Computing’s Advanced Solutions Group

Transformation of the data storage industry in recent years has been dramatic. We’ve seen the development of new, component technologies, yielding higher capacities and performance. But more profound is the general acceptance that the old, proprietary, monolithic approach to storage simply cannot keep up with business needs. Open, software-defined storage delivers a flexilble, cost-efficient alternative to traditional storage appliances while being better able to handle the demands required by modern workloads.

Penguin Computing and Red Hat together deliver comprehensive, open, software-defined storage solutions, expertly architected and configured to meet your business requirements.

But why should you consider complementing your existing monolithic appliance storage with a software-defined approach?  I see five key reasons:

  1. Your data storage requirements keep growing, but traditional storage appliances are not built to handle them.
    There is only so much scaling up you can do with a traditional storage appliance. To keep up with your growing data storage needs, you find yourself in a cycle of “upgrades by replacement.” This is a huge capital burden, exacerbated by additional costs to license and support both the old and new systems during the upgrade migration. Worse still, you may even need to “upgrade” before the appliance’s expected end-of-life, when it would be fully amortized. With an open, scale-out, software-defined storage solution, you can take control. Built with industry-standard server technologies, you can scale out your open storage in manageable units and replace hardware only when needed. You can control your storage growth in a way that cost-effectively meets your needs, not the needs of the vendor.
  2. Your data storage solution should be feature-rich and flexible.
    With traditional storage appliances, your options for capacity and performance may be severely limited. And, other features, like advanced data protection and access protocol support, may be unavailable or require additional licensing. You may even be required to purchase a completely new appliance. But open, software-defined storage solutions empower you with features and flexibility out-of-the-box, often with all-inclusive software pricing. Hardware, software, and support can be decoupled, giving you the ability to work with vendors of your choice and sculpt the cost-effective solution that fits your business needs.
  3. You should have control of your storage support costs.
    Most traditional storage vendors have a business model based on volume of units sold. A “next-generation” box comes out on a regular schedule, and customers are expected to purchase the “upgrade.” To encourage this, traditional storage vendors often keep raising the cost of support for the older appliance. And, if you stop paying for support, the appliance may even stop working. So, you end up buying the new box, even if the older appliance is still capable of meeting your needs. Open storage solutions let you decide how and when to handle hardware and software upgrades. In fact, you could use a rolling upgrade, where old industry standard server equipment is replaced by new equipment as needed and the software subscription is rolled over from the old equipment. This helps eliminate the traditional “migration” concept and its  associated costs. And enterprise-level software support is typically at a flat, predictable rate, which is often lower than the average support cost for proprietary, traditional storage appliances.
  4. You can avoid vendor lock-in and keep your options open.
    Most traditional storage vendors count on locking you into their ecosystems, limiting your upgrade and support options. You can even be legally restricted from making any changes to the storage appliance, such as buying disks directly from disk vendors, to better meet your business requirements or keep using it past the expiration of the support contract. Open technology solutions free you from these limitations and restrictions. If you’re comfortable working directly with the open source and can support it, you may even replace or modify the software layer to meet your own, specific requirements without getting permission from anyone. The message here is clear: You are in control of your options.
  5. You can be ready for the next industry shift, like hybrid-cloud computing with open, software-defined storage.
    Most traditional storage vendors rely on costly and often small development teams who lack the scale to keep up with changing business needs. Open technology solutions, however, generally are created by some of the largest development communities in the world with guidance, vetting, and end-customer support delivered by world-class solution providers who understand business. The result is that open technologies can deliver reliable, feature-rich solutions capable of meeting your business needs now and in the future.

Penguin Computing and Red Hat have been bringing open technology solutions to enterprises for over two decades. With Penguin Computing’s FrostByte family of software-defined storage solutions, featuring Red Hat Ceph Storage and Red Hat Gluster Storage, businesses can break free of the traditional storage appliance without giving up enterprise-quality hardware, software, and services.

You can learn more about Penguin FrostByte with Red Hat Gluster Storage here and Penguin FrostByte with Red Hat Ceph Storage here.

About Terry
Terry L. Smith is senior director of Penguin Computing’s Advanced Solutions Group (ASG). Terry came to Penguin Computing in 2014 with a history of entrepreneurship and deep technical expertise. Launched in 2017, Terry’s group has opened new markets with solutions featuring advanced technologies and designed with world-class partnerships. This includes the FrostByte family of software-defined storage solutions featuring Red Hat Storage. One of ASG’s successes features FrostByte with Red Hat Gluster Storage delivered as an ongoing service for a Fortune 500 financial services institution.

Introducing Red Hat Gluster Storage 3.4: Feature overview

By Anand Paladugu, Principal Product Manager

We’re pleased to announce that Red Hat Gluster Storage 3.4 is now Generally Available!

Since this release is a full rebase with the upstream, it consolidates many bug fixes, thus giving you a greater degree of overall stability for both container storage and traditional file serving use cases. Given that Red Hat OpenShift Container Storage is based on Red Hat Gluster Storage, these fixes will also be embedded in the 3.10 release of OpenShift Container Storage. To enable you to refresh your Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 6-based Red Hat Gluster Storage installations, this release supports upgrading your Red Hat Gluster Storage servers from RHEL 6 to RHEL 7. Last, you can now deploy Red Hat Gluster Storage Web Administrator with minimal resources, which also offers robust and feature-rich monitoring capabilities.

Here is an overview of the new features delivered in Red Hat Gluster Storage 3.4:

Support for upgrading Red Hat Gluster Storage from RHEL 6 to RHEL 7

Many customers like to ensure they’re on the latest and greatest RHEL in their infrastructures. Two scenarios are now supported for upgrading RHEL servers in a Red Hat Gluster Storage deployment from RHEL 6 to RHEL 7:

  1. Red Hat Gluster Storage version is <= 3.3.x and the underlying RHEL version is <= latest version of 6.x. The upgrade process updates Red Hat Gluster Storage to version 3.4 and the underlying RHEL version to the latest version of RHEL 7.
  2. Red Hat Gluster Storage version is 3.4 and the underlying RHEL version is the latest version of 6.x. The upgrade process keeps the Red Hat Gluster Storage version at 3.4 and upgrades the underlying RHEL version to the latest version of RHEL 7.

MacOS client support

Mac workstations continue to make inroads into corporate infrastructures. Red Hat Gluster Storage 3.4 supports MacOS as a Server Message Block (SMB) client and thereby allows customers to map SMB shares backed by Red Hat Gluster Storage in the MAC finder tool.

Punch hole support for third-party applications

The “punch hole” feature provides the benefit of freeing up physical disk space when portions of a file are de-referenced. For example, suppose you’ve used up 20 Gigs of your disk space for backing up a file, and some portions of the file are de-referenced due to data duplication. Without punch hole support, the 20 Gigs remain occupied in the underlying physical hard disk. With support for punch holes, however, third-party applications can “punch a hole” corresponding to the portions of the deleted files, thereby freeing up physical disk space. This further helps to reduce storage costs associated with backing up and archiving those virtual machines (VMs).

Subdirectory exports using the Gluster Fuse protocol now fully supported

Beginning with Red Hat Gluster Storage 3.4, subdirectory export using Fuse is now fully supported. This feature provides namespace isolation where a single Gluster volume can be shared to many clients, and they can be mounting only a subset of the volume (namespace) (i.e., a subdirectory). You can also export a subdirectory of the already exported volume, to utilize space left in the volume for a different project.

Red Hat Gluster Storage web admin enhancements

The Web Administration tool delivers browser-based graphing, trending, monitoring, and alerting for Red Hat Gluster Storage in the enterprise. This latest Red Hat Gluster Storage release optimizes this web admin tool to consume fewer resources and allow greater scaling to monitor larger clusters than in the past.

Faster directory lookups using the Gluster NFS-Ganesha server

In Red Hat Gluster Storage 3.4, the Readdirp API is extended and enhanced to return handles along with directory stats as part of its reply, thereby reducing NFS operations latency.

In internal testing, performance gains were noticed for all directory operations when compared to Red Hat Gluster Storage 3.3.1. For example, make directory operations improved by up to 31%, file create operations have improved by up to 42%, and file read operations have improved by up to 150%.

Want to learn more?

For hands-on experience with Red Hat Gluster Storage, check out our test drive.

Introducing OpenShift Container Storage: Meet the new boss, same as the old boss!

By Steve Bohac, Product Marketing

Today, we’re introducing Red Hat OpenShift Container Storage 3.10.

Is this product new to you? It surely is—that’s because with the announcement today of Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform 3.10, we’ve rebranded our container-native storage (CNS) offering to now be referred to as Red Hat OpenShift Container Storage. This is still the same product with the strong customer momentum we announced a few months ago during Red Hat Summit week.Why the new name? “Red Hat OpenShift Container Storage” better reflects the product offering and its strong affinity with Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform. Not only does it install with OpenShift (via Red Hat Ansible), it’s developed, qualified, tested, and versioned coincident with OpenShift Container Platform releases. This product name best reflects that strong integration. Again, the product itself didn’t change in any way—all that’s changed is the product name.

Red Hat OpenShift Container Storage enables application portability and a consistent user experience across the hybrid cloud.

This new release, Red Hat OpenShift Container Storage 3.10, is the follow-on to Container-Native Storage 3.9 and introduces three important features for container-based storage with OpenShift: (1) arbiter volume support enabling high availability with efficient storage utilization and better performance, (2) enhanced storage monitoring and configuration visibility using the OpenShift Prometheus framework, and (3) block-backed persistent volumes (PVs) now supported for general application workloads in addition to supporting OCP infrastructure workloads.

If you haven’t already bookmarked our Red Hat Storage blog, now would be a great time! Over the coming weeks, we will be publishing deeper discussions on OpenShift Container Storage. In the meantime, though, for a more thorough understanding of OpenShift Container Storage, check out these recent technical blogs describing in depth the value of our approach to storage for containers:

Want to learn more?

For more information on OpenShift Container Storage, click here. Also, you can find the new Red Hat OpenShift Container Storage datasheet here.

For hands-on experience combining OpenShift and OpenShift Container Storage, check out our test drive, a free, in-browser lab experience that walks you through using both.

For more general information around storage for containers, check out our Container Storage for Dummies book.

Why are customers choosing Red Hat’s Container-Native Storage in the public cloud with OpenShift?

By Sayandeb Saha, Director, Product Management, Storage Business Unit

In our last blog post in this series, we talked about how the Container-Native Storage (CNS) offering for OpenShift Container Platform from Red Hat has seen increased customer adoption in on-premise environments by offering a peaceful coexistence approach with classic storage arrays that are not deeply integrated with OpenShift. In this post, we’ll explore why many customers are deploying our CNS offering in the three big public clouds—AWS, Microsoft Azure, and the Google Cloud Platform—on top of native public cloud offerings from the public clouds—despite good integration of Kubernetes with native storage offerings in the cloud. Let’s examine some of these problems and constraints in a bit more detail and describe how CNS addresses them.

Slow attach/detachpoor availability

The first issue stems from the fact that the native block storage offerings (EBS in AWS, Data Disk in Azure, Persistent Disk in Google Cloud) in the public cloud were designed and engineered to support virtual machine (VM) workloads. In such workloads, attaching and consequently detaching a block device to a machine image/instance is an infrequent occurrence at best, as these workloads are less dynamic compared to Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) and DevOps workloads, which frequently run on OpenShift powering dynamic build and deploy CI/CD pipelines and other similar workloads and workflows.

Some of our customers found that attach and detach times for these block devices, when directly accessed from OpenShift workloads using the native kubernetes storage provisioners, are unacceptable because they led to poor startup times for pods (slow attach) and limited or no high availability on a failover, which usually triggers a sequence that includes a detach operation, an attach operation, and a subsequent mount operation.

Each of these operations usually triggers a variety of API calls specific for the public cloud provider. Any or all of these intermediate steps can fail, causing users to lose access to storage persistent volumes (PVs) for their compute pods for an extended period. Overlaying Red Hat’s CNS offering as a storage management fabric to aggregate, pool, and serve out PVs expediently without worrying about the status of individual cloud native block storage (a.k.a EBS or Azure Data Disk) can provide major relief, because it effectively isolates the lifecycle of cloud-native block storage devices from that of the application pods allocating and deallocating PVs dynamically as application teams work on OpenShift. This isolation effectively addresses this issue.

Block device limits per compute instance

The second issue some of our customers run into is the fact that there is a limit to the number of block devices that one can attach to the machine images or instances in various public cloud environments.

OpenShift supports a maximum of 250 containers per host. The maximum number of block devices that are supported to be attached to machine instances per account is far fewer (for example, max 40 EBS devices per EC2 instance). Even though it is unusual to have a 1:1 mapping between containers and storage devices, this low maximum can lead to a lot of unintended behavior, notwithstanding the fact that it leads to a higher total cost of ownership (need more hosts than necessary).

For example, in a failover scenario during the detach, attach, and mount sequence, the API call to attach might fail, because there are already a maximum number of devices attached to the EC2 instance where this attempt is being made, which can cause a glitch/outage. Overlaying Red Hat’s CNS offering as a storage management fabric on cloud-based block devices mitigates the impact of hitting the maximum number of devices that can be attached to a machine image or instance, because storage is served out from a pool that is unencumbered by individual max device per instance/host limit. Storage can continue to be served out until the entire pool is exhausted which, at that time, can be expanded by adding new hosts and devices.

Cross-AZ storage availability

The third issue arises from the fact that cloud block storage devices are usually accessible within a specific Availability Zone (AZ) in AWS or Availability Sets in Azure. AZs are like failure domains in public clouds.

Most customers who deploy OpenShift in the public cloud do so to span more than one AZ for high availability. This is done so that when one AZ dies or goes offline, the OpenShift cluster remains operational. Using block devices constrained to an AZ for providing storage services to OpenShift workloads can defeat the purpose, because then containers must be scheduled within hosts that belong to the same AZ, and customers can not leverage the full power of Kubernetes orchestration. This configuration could also lead to an outage when an AZ goes offline.

Our customers use CNS to mitigate this problem so that even when there is an AZ failure, a three-way replicated cross-AZ storage service (CNS) is available for containerized applications to avoid downtimes. This also enables Kubernetes to schedule pods across AZs (instead of within an AZ), thereby preserving the spirit of the original fault-tolerant OpenShift deployment architecture that spans multiple AZs.

Cost-effective storage consolidation

Storage provided by CNS is efficiently allocated and offers performance with the first gigabyte provisioned, thereby enabling storage consolidation. For example, consider six MySQL database instances, each in need of 25 GiB of storage capacity and up to 1500 IOPS at peak load. With EBS in AWS, one would create six EBS volumes, each with at least 500 GiB capacity out of the gp2 (General Purpose SSD) EBS tier, in order to get 1500 IOPS. The level of performance is tied to provisioned capacity with EBS.

With CNS, one can achieve the same level using only 3 EBS volumes at 500 GiB capacity from the gp2 tier and run these with GlusterFS. One would create six 25 GiB volumes and provide storage to many databases with high IOPS performance, provided they don’t peak all at the same time. Doing that, one would halve EBS cost and still have capacity to spare for other services. Read IOPS performance is likely even higher, because in CNS with three-way replication as data is read from distributed across 3×1500 IOPS gp2 EBS volumes.

Check us out for more

As you can see, there’s a good case to be made for using CNS in various public clouds for a multitude of technical reasons our customers care about, besides the fact that Red Hat CNS provides a consistent storage consumption and management experience across hybrid and multi clouds (see the following figure).

 

Red Hat CNS runs anywhere and everywhere Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform runs.

In addition to the application portability that OpenShift already provides across hybrid and multi clouds, we’re working on multi cloud replication features that would enable CNS to effectively become the data fabric that enables data portability—another good reason to select and stay with CNS. Stay tuned for more information on that!

For hands-on experience now combining OpenShift and CNS, check out our test drive, a free, in-browser lab experience that walks you through using both.

Leverage your existing storage investments with container-native storage

By Sayandeb Saha, Director, Product Management

The Container-Native Storage (CNS) offering for OpenShift Container Platform from Red Hat has seen wide customer adoption in the past year or so. Customers are deploying it in a wide variety of environments that include bare metal, virtualized, and private and public clouds. It mimics the diverse spread of environments in which OpenShift itself gets deployed—which is also CNS’s key strength (i.e., being able to back OpenShift wherever it runs—see the following graphic).

During the past of year of customer adoption of CNS, we’ve observed some key trends that are unique for OpenShift/Kubernetes storage and that we’ll highlight in a series of blogs. This blog series will also include business and technical solutions that have worked for our customers.

In this blog post, we examine a trend where customers have adopted CNS as a storage management fabric that sits in between the OpenShift Container Platform and their classic storage gear. This particular adoption pattern continues to have a really high uptake, and there are sound business and technical reasons for doing this, which we’ll explore here.

First the Solution (The What): We’ve seen a lot of customers deploying CNS to serve out storage from their existing storage arrays/SANs and other traditional storage, as illustrated in the following graphic. In this scenario, block devices from existing storage arrays are served out with our CNS software running in VMs or containers/pods to OpenShift. In this case, the storage for the VMs that runs OpenShift is still served by the arrays.

Now the Why: Initially, it seemed backward as to why customers would be doing this; after all, software-defined storage solutions like CNS are meant to run on x86 bare metal (on premise) or in the public cloud, but further investigation revealed some interesting discoveries.

While OpenShift users and ops teams consume infrastructure, they typically do not manage infrastructure. In on-premise environments, OpenShift ops teams are highly dependent on other infrastructure teams for virtualization, storage, and operating systems for the infrastructure on which they run OpenShift. Similarly, in public clouds they consume the native compute and storage infrastructure available in these clouds.

As a consequence, they are highly dependent on storage infrastructure that is already in place. Typically, it’s very difficult to justify a storage server purchase when storage has been already procured a year or more ago from a traditional storage vendor for a new use case (OpenShift storage in this case). The issue is that this traditional storage was not designed for nor intended to be used with containers and the budget for storage has mostly been spent. This has driven the OpenShift operations teams to adopt CNS effectively as a storage management fabric that sits between their OpenShift Container Platform deployment and their existing storage array. The inherent flexibility of Red Hat Gluster Storage in this case is the form of CNS being leveraged, which enables it to aggregate and pool block devices that are attached to a VM and serve that out to OpenShift workloads. OpenShift operations teams can now have the best of both worlds. They can repurpose their existing storage array that is already in place/on premise but actually consume CNS which operates as a management fabric offering the latest and greatest in terms of feature, functionality, and manageability with a deep integration with the OpenShift platform.

In addition to business reasons, there are also various technical reasons that these OpenShift operations teams are adopting CNS. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Lack of deep integration of their existing storage arrays with OpenShift Container Platform
  • Even if their traditional storage array has rudimentary integration with OpenShift, very likely it has limited feature support, which renders it unusable with many OpenShift workloads (like lack of dynamic provisioning)
  • The roadmap of their storage arrays vendor may not match their current (or future) OpenShift/Kubernetes storage feature support needs, like lack of availability of a Persistent Volume (PV) resize feature
  • Needing a fully featured OpenShift Storage solution for OpenShift workloads as well as the OpenShift infrastructure itself. Many existing storage platforms can support one or the other, but not both. For instance, a storage array serving out Fiber Channels LUNs (plain block storage) can’t back an OpenShift registry as one needs shared storage access for it usually provided by a file or object storage back end.
  • They seek a consistent storage consumption and management experience across hybrid and multiple clouds. Once they learn to implement and manage CNS from Red Hat in one environment, it’s repeatable in all other environments. They can’t use their storage array in the public cloud.

Using CNS from Red Hat is a win for OpenShift ops teams. They can get started with a state-of-the-art storage back end for OpenShift apps and infrastructure without needing to acquire new infrastructure for OpenShift Storage right away. They have the option to move to x86-based storage servers during the following budget cycle as they grow their OpenShift footprint and onboard more apps and customers to it. The experience with CNS serves them well if they choose to implement OpenShift and CNS in other environments like AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud.

Want to learn more?

For hands-on experience combining OpenShift and CNS, check out our test drive, a free, in-browser lab experience that walks you through using both.

Red Hat Summit 2018—It’s a wrap!

By Will McGrath, Product Marketing, Red Hat Storage

Wowzer! Red Hat Summit 2018 was a blur of activity. The quality and quantity of conversations with customers, partners, industry analysts, community members, and Red Hatters was unbelievable. This event has grown steadily the past few years to over 7,000 registrants this year. From a Storage perspective, this was the largest presence ever in terms of content and customer interaction.

Key announcements

For Storage, we made two key announcements during Red Hat Summit. The first was around Red Hat Storage One, a pre-configured offering engineered with our server partners, announced last week. If you didn’t catch Dustin Black’s blog post that goes into the detail of the solution, check it out .

The second announcement, which occurred this week, highlighted the momentum in building a storage offering that provides a seamless developer experience and unified orchestration for containers. There are now more than 150 customers worldwide that have adopted Red Hat’s container-native storage solutions to enable their transition to the hybrid cloud, including Vorwerk and innovation award winner Lufthansa Technik.  

We featured a number of customer success stories, including Massachusetts Open Cloud, which worked with Boston Children’s Hospital to redefine medical-image processing using Red Hat Ceph Storage.

If you’d like to keep up on the containers news, check out our blog post from Tuesday and this week’s news around CoreOS integration into Red Hat OpenShift. You might also like to check out the news around customers deploying OpenShift on Red Hat infrastructureincluding OpenStackthrough container-based application development and tightly integrated cloud technologies.

Storage expertise on display

On the morning of the first day of Summit, Burr Sutter and team demoed a number of technologies, including Red Hat Storage, to showcase application portability across the open hybrid cloud. This morning, Erin Boyd and team ran some way cool live demos that showed the power of microservices and functions with OpenShift, Storage, OpenWhisk, Tensorflow, and a host of technologies across the hybrid cloud.

For those who had the opportunity to attend any of the 20+ Red Hat Summit storage sessions, you were able to learn how our Red Hat Gluster Storage and Red Hat Ceph Storage products appeal to both traditional and modern users. The roadmap presentations by both Neil Levine (Ceph) and Sayan Saha (Gluster and container-native storage) were very popular. Sage Weil, the creator of Ceph, gave a standing-room only talk on the future of storage. Some of these storage sessions will be available on the Red Hat Summit YouTube channel in the coming weeks.

We also had several partners demoing their combined solutions with Red Hat Storage, including Intel, Mellanox, Penguin Computing, QCT, and Supermicro. Commvault had a guest appearance during Sean Murphy’s Red Hat Hyperconverged Infrastructure talk, explaining what led them to decide to include it in their HyperScale Appliances and Software offerings.

This year, we conducted an advanced Ceph users’ group meeting the day before the conference with marquee customers participating in deep-dive discussions with product and community leaders. During the conference, the storage lockers have been a hit. We had great presence on the show floor, including the community booths. Our breakfast was well attended with over a hundred people registered and featured a panel of customers and partners.

Continue the conversation

During his appearance on The Cube by Silicon Angle, Red Hat Storage VP/GM Ranga Rangachari talked about his point of view on “UnStorage.” This idea, triggered by his original blog post on the subject, made quite a few waves at the event. Customers and analysts are responding positively to the idea of a new approach to storage in the age of hybrid cloud, hyperconvergence, and containers. Today is the last day to win prizes by tweeting  @RedHatStorage with the hashtag #UnStorage.

If you missed us in San Francisco, we’ll be at OpenStack Summit in Vancouver from May 21-24. Red Hat is a headline sponsor at Booth A19. If you’re attending, come check out our OpenStack and Ceph demo, and check back on our blog page for news from the event. We’ll also be hosting the “Craft Your Cloud” event on Tuesday, May 22, from 6-9 pm at Steamworks in Vancouver. For more information and to register, click here. For more fun and networking opportunities, join the Ceph and RDO communities for a happy hour on May 23 from 6-8 pm at The Portside Pub in Vancouver. For more information and to register for that event, click here.

On to Red Hat Summit 2019

You can check out the videos and keynotes from Red Hat Summit 2018 on demand. Next year, Red Hat Summit is being held in Boston againit’s been rotating between San Francisco and Bostonso if you couldn’t attend San Francisco this year we urge you to plan to visit us in Boston next year. We hope you enjoyed our coverage of Red Hat Summit 2018, and hope to see you in 2019.

More accolades for Red Hat Ceph Storage

By Daniel Gilfix, Product Marketing, Red Hat Storage

Once again, an independent analytic news source has confirmed what many of you already know: that Red Hat Ceph Storage stands alone in its commitment to technical excellence for the customers it serves. In the latest IT Brand Pulse survey covering Networking & Storage products, IT professionals from around the world have selected Red Hat Ceph Storage as the “Scale-out Object Storage Software” leader in all categories. This includes price, performance, reliability, service and support, and innovation. The honors follow a pattern of recognition from IT Brand Pulse, having bestowed the leadership tag to Red Hat Ceph Storage in 2017, 2015, and 2014, with 2016 noted for Red Hat as “Service and Support” leader.

The report documented the results of the independent, March 2018, annual survey that polled vendors on their perception of excellence in eleven different categories. Red Hat Ceph Storage earned ratings that were visibly head and shoulders above the competition, including more than a 2X differential over Scality and VMware.

Source: IT Brand Pulse, https://itbrandpulse.com/it-pros-vote-2018-networking-storage-brand-leaders/

It feels like just yesterday!

This latest third party validation comes on the heels of Red Hat Ceph Storage being named as a finalist in Storage Magazine and SearchStorage’s 2017 Products of the Year competition in late January 2018. Here, the evaluation was based on Red Hat Ceph Storage v2.3, one that made great strides in the areas of connectivity and containerization, including an NFS gateway to an S3-compatible object interface and compatibility with the Hadoop S3A plugin.

Red Hat Ceph Storage 3 carries the baton

IT professionals voting in this year’s IT Brand Pulse survey were able to consider newer features in the important Red Hat Ceph Storage 3 release that addressed a series of major customer challenges in object storage and beyond. We delivered full support for file-based access via CephFS, expanded ties to legacy storage environments through iSCSI, pumped fuel into our containerization options with CSDs for 25% hardware deployment savings, and introduced an easier monitoring interface and additional layers of automation for more self-maintaining deployments.  

See you at Red Hat Summit!

Ceph booth at Red Hat Summit 2018

As usual, the real testament to our success is the continued satisfaction of our customer base, the ones who are increasingly choosing Red Hat Ceph Storage for modern use cases like AI and ML, rich media, data lakes, hybrid cloud infrastructure based on OpenStack, and traditional backup and restore.

Ceph user group at Red Hat Summit 2018

We look forward to discussing deployment options and whether Red Hat Ceph Storage might be right for you this week at Red Hat Summit—There’s still so much more to go! Catch us at one of the following sessions in Moscone West:

Today (Wednesday, May 9)

Tomorrow (Thursday, May 10)

Container-native storage from Red Hat is on a roll at Red Hat Summit 2018!

By Steve Bohac, Product Marketing, Red Hat Storage

It’s Red Hat Summit week, with this year’s edition taking place in San Francisco! As always, Red Hat has a plethora of announcements this week.

If you haven’t already heard the news, yesterday we announced substantial customer adoption momentum with container-native storage from Red Hat. Customers such as Lufthansa Technik, Aragonesa de Servious Telematico (AST), Generali Switzerland, IHK-GfI, and Vorwerk (amongst many more) are using Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform for cloud-native applications and are representative of how organizations are seeking out scalable, fully integrated, developer friendly storage for containers.

Based on Red Hat Gluster Storage, container-native storage from Red Hat offers these organizations scalable, persistent storage for containers across hybrid clouds with increased application portability. Tightly integrated with Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform, container-native storage from Red Hat can be used to persist not only application data but data for logging, metrics, and the container registry. The deep integration with Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform helps developers easily provision and manage elastic storage for applications and offers a single point of support. Customers use container-native storage to persist data for a variety of applications, including SQL and NoSQL databases, CI/CD tools, web serving, and messaging applications.

Organizations using container-native storage from Red Hat can benefit from simplified management, rapid deployment, and a single point of support. The versatility of container-native storage from Red Hat can enable customers to run cloud-native applications in containers, on bare metal, in virtualized environments, or in the public cloud.

For those of you attending Red Hat Summit this week, as always we know you love breakout sessions to learn more about Red Hat solutions—and we have a bunch covering container-native storage from Red Hat! Don’t forget to get your raffle tickets at each of the storage sessions you attend. Here’s what the line up for container-native storage from Red Hat sessions looks like:

(All in Moscone West unless otherwise noted)

Tuesday, May 8

Thursday, May 10

Want to learn more?

For hands-on experience combining OpenShift and container-native storage, check out our test drive, a free, in-browser lab experience that walks you through using both.

Happy Red Hat Summit! Hope to see you this week!

 

 

 

Five ways to experience UnStorage at Red Hat Summit

Welcome to Red Hat Summit 2018 in San Francisco! The Storage team has been hard at work to make this the best possible showcase of technology and customers—and have fun while doing it. This year our presence is built around the theme: UnStorage for the modern enterprise.

What is UnStorage?

Today’s users need their data so accessible, so scalable, so versatile that the old concept of “storing” it seems counterintuitive. Perhaps a better way of describing the needs of the modern enterprise is UnStorage, as outlined in this blog post by Red Hat Storage VP and GM, Ranga Rangachari.

Five ways to experience UnStorage at Red Hat Summit

  1. Content is king: We have 24 sessions packed with storage knowledge, best practices, and success stories. Over 21 Red Hat Storage customers will be featured at the event, including on a panel at our breakfast (open to all attendees) on Wednesday at 7 am at the Marriott Marquis. Learn how some of the most innovative enterprises leverage the power of unStorage to solve their scale and agility challenges.
  2. Without hardware partners, it’s like clapping with one hand: By definition, the success of software-defined storage hinges on the strength of the hardware ecosystem. Since the storage controller software is only half the solution, it’s important to have deep engineering investment with hardware and component vendors to build rock-solid solutions for customers. With partners like Supermicro, Mellanox, Penguin Computing, Intel, Commvault, and QCT, all featured at the conference, Red Hat Storage enables greater customer choice and openness—a key tenet of UnStorage.
  3. Explore your storage curiosity: UnStorage is all about breaking the rules to make things better. You’ll find a lot of creative ideas that are off the beaten track. Just as UnStorage is ubiquitous—it stretches across private, public, and hybrid cloud boundaries—it’s hard to miss Storage at the conference. You can find storage lockers near the expo entrance where you can drop off backpacks and charge phones while you attend sessions. Or enter to win one of two Star Wars collector edition drones by attending sessions or visiting the booth. Stop by the Storage Launch Pad to play online games, take surveys, and pick up a ton of giveaways, including two golden tickets handed out every day, which will afford you a special set of prizes.
  4. Test drive storage: Kick the tires on UnStorage with one of three test drives for Ceph, Gluster, and OpenShift Ops. As the name suggests, software-defined storage is completely decoupled from hardware, making it easy to test and deploy in the cloud. On the other side of the deployment spectrum, you can also try out the sizing tool for Red Hat Storage One, our single SKU pre-configured system announced last week. Stop by one of four Storage pods on the expo floor for demos and conversations with Storage experts.
  5. The proof of the pudding: Stop by Thursday’s keynote with CTO Chris Wright and live demos by Burr Sutter and team featuring container-native storage baked into Red Hat platforms such as OpenShift. UnStorage is as invisible as it is pervasive. Modern enterprises demand that storage be fully integrated into compute platforms for easier management and scale. With container-native storage surpassing 150 customers in the last year alone, learn how customers such as Schiphol, FICO, and Macquarie Bank are building next-generation hybrid clouds with Red Hat technologies.

We’re not all-work-all-the-time at Red Hat Storage, though. Join us at the community happy hour or the hybrid cloud infrastructure party on Tuesday to blow off some steam during a long week. Our social media strategist, Colleen Corrice, is running a way cool Twitter contest: All you have to do is post a picture at a Storage session or booth @RedHatStorage with the hashtag #UnStorage to receive a T-shirt and be included in a drawing for a personal planetarium.

Finally, check out this infographic on all things UnStorage @ Red Hat Summit. Please check back for a daily blog through this week. We hope to see you at Red Hat Summit 2018.

Introducing Red Hat Storage One

More than a year ago, our Storage Architecture team set out to answer the question of how we can overcome the last barriers to software-defined storage (SDS) adoption. We know from our thousands of test cycles and hundreds of hours of data analysis that a properly deployed Gluster or Ceph system can easily compete with—and often surpass—the feature and performance capabilities of any proprietary storage appliance, usually at a fraction of the cost based on our experience and rigorous study. We have many customer success stories to back up these claims with real-word deployments for enterprise workloads. However, one piece of feedback is consistent and clear: Not every customer is willing or prepared to commit the resources necessary to architect a system to the best standards for their use case. The barrier to entry is simply higher than for a comparative proprietary appliance that is sold in units of storage with specific workload-based performance metrics. The often-lauded flexibility of SDS is, in these cases, its Achilles’ heel.

Continue reading “Introducing Red Hat Storage One”