Enterprises around the world are embracing the cloud and cloud native technologies. And who can blame them? From cost savings to increased agility and reliability, there are plenty of reasons to make the switch.
The technological drivers for both private and public clouds overlap to a great degree – efficient use of resources, on-demand resource availability, elasticity, and quick, efficient provisioning. At the same time, each provides benefits for enterprises. Large scale public cloud deployments running steady state workload can be costs prohibitive. In addition, regulatory and compliance requirements, and security concerns may compel many organizations to deploy private clouds. However, also in cases where traditional IT is transformed with private cloud technologies, organizations must complement their dedicated by procuring portions of their IT capacity in the public cloud, be it to absorb peak demand when private cloud capacity is insufficient, for backup and disaster recovery, or to address geographical constraints. When deploying both private and public cloud technologies and a hybrid cloud, it is required to efficiently integrate the two effectively into a single pool of resources.
With hybrid, it’s possible to enjoy the best of both worlds. In fact, recent research shows that today, almost 87% of enterprises deploy a hybrid cloud strategy that leverages both private and public clouds to gain from the benefits and reduce the drawbacks of both. To maximize efficiency and flexibility, organizations must have the ability to move applications and data between their cloud resource silos, independent whether it is in the form of public or private clouds. But an application without storage is about as good as your ability to remember your login credentials.
What Does Cloud-Native Mean?
Before we get into the storage, let’s explore what cloud native means. The cloud native computing foundation (CNCF) defines cloud native as “technologies that empower organizations to build and run scalable applications in modern, dynamic environments such as public, private, and hybrid clouds”. To enable this, modern cloud-native apps are built with microservice architecture packaged into containers. At large scale, containers are managed by Kubernetes, which also automatically handles resource allocation and management.
Let’s break this down a bit.
Containers and Microservices
Realizing the full potential of cloud native and container technology is much easier when applications adopt a microservices architecture. The application then consists of a set of loosely coupled services, each responsible for a different task that can be deployed and maintained independently. The microservices communicate with each using well defined APIs and protocols. With microservices, code can be more easily updated and teams can make use of different programming languages and tech stacks to enable optimal performance for each component. Microservices can be scaled independently of each to enable a more cost-effective approach to deployment. with microservices you can scale a single component according to its load, instead of the entire app. The biggest benefit for an enterprise is the agility that can be gained as new capabilities can be delivered to customers as individual microservices can be developed, tested, monitored, deployed, and scaled without affecting other components in the application.
Kubernetes is an open-source system for the management of cloud-native applications. It orchestrates the varied operations of the containerized apps independent of the underlying infrastructure or cloud provider. It completely automates the deployment, scaling and management of containerized apps and today is widely used in both private and public cloud deployments.
Kubernetes & Hybrid Cloud
Kubernetes and cloud native technologies enable enterprises to build hybrid clouds with a consistent application environment across public and private clouds, reducing complexity and increasing flexibility. However, Kubernetes by itself is not sufficient to complete the picture of consistent IT in a hybrid cloud environment. Stateful applications have persistent data and cloud native storage solutions are required to fully realize the benefit of a hybrid cloud.
Cloud Storage Today
Traditional data centers or private clouds customers deploy storage as a separate silo consisting of either dedicated storage appliances or software defined storage deployed on commodity servers. In a Kubernetes based cloud environment this brings multiple challenges as the storage infrastructure needs to be managed and scaled separately from the Kubernetes environment with its unique set of tools and automation. This adds costs and complexity. In the public cloud, customers primarily use the storage service that is made available by the cloud provider.
The issues with the current model of cloud storage for building hybrid clouds based on Kubernetes that can provide consistency across infrastructure and providers are obvious. Customers have to deal with complexity in different storage environments across their hybrid cloud with different management tools, capabilities, performance characteristics and data management workflows.
Cloud Native Storage for Kubernetes-Based Hybrid Clouds
Cloud native software-defined storage that is built to run natively in Kubernetes provides the best solution for enterprises to build a consistent end-to-end software defined IT environment across their hybrid cloud. Container native storage like Ionir’s software-defined storage and data management platform are delivered as containers and run alongside application containers on the worker nodes of a Kubernetes cluster. There is no separate storage silo to manage and the storage platform can run wherever the customer’s Kubernetes based IT environment is instantiated.
Ionir’s platform is the first microservices based storage and data management solution for Kubenetes. The microservices architecture allows the platform to easily scale and be extended to add new capabilities, add application interfaces beyond persistent volumes, and keep abreast of innovations in storage media and protocols without the need for forklift upgrades or new media types. The platform provides a unique set of data management capabilities that allows enterprise customers to build consistent workflows and to manage application data in a hybrid cloud environment. Ionir’s Data Teleport™ capability allows persistent volumes to be instantly moved or copied between clouds, eliminating the barriers between the resource pools in a hybrid cloud.
Cloud-native offers the best approach for organizations looking to roll out highly scalable applications that are cost effective, and efficient to build and maintain. However, without cloud-native storage, there can be no truly cloud-native infrastructure, since data is the heart of any critical business application. Smart cloud-native storage enables organizations to take full advantage of the benefits of hybrid cloud computing: elasticity, flexibility, scalability, and on-demand use of resources. A uniform storage stack across multiple infrastructure and cloud providers enables consistent application and data management. Furthermore, instant application and data mobility enabled by Ionir’s Data Teleport™ breaks down the boundaries between clouds in a hybrid cloud environment, delivering a single unified cloud for maximum agility and flexibility