Addressing the Docker to Production Storage Challenge

Briefing Note: Hedvig Storage Driver for Flocker Delivers Persistent Storage for Docker Containers

Docker is a container technology that virtualizes at a finer level of granularity than a virtual machine (VM). This finer granularity is more lightweight than a VM, making containers less impactful on the environment both during creation and during execution. The lightweight nature of Docker containers has been popular with developers speeding the time to deployment. But Docker lacks persistent data management, slowing its progression from a developer’s tool to a production solution. While developers can spin up containerized applications in a few seconds, provisioning storage for these environments can take hours or more.

Flocker to The Rescue

Flocker, by ClusterHQ, is a volume manager designed specifically for Dockerized applications. It allows applications to run containerized stateful services, enabling the containerization of production databases. Docker volumes are assigned to a particular server and are designed to be stateless. Flocker volumes, called datasets, are stateful, portable and can be used in any container in the cluster. Also leveraging the Flocker API or CLI, the volume will follow the container it is assigned to as it moves across the cluster but this capability requires shared storage.

Storage Integration

The way for Docker applications to achieve production quality is for storage systems to integrate with Flocker. Hedvig can now deliver a production experience for Docker containers with the release of its new open source Hedvig storage driver for Flocker. Hedvig’s software-defined approach to storage provides flexibility, dynamic provisioning and the cost economics of commodity server infrastructure. These capabilities are an ideal match for the demands of the Docker infrastructure. Hedvig’s distributed storage architecture is designed for containerized applications. Now with Flocker integration Hedvig can orchestrate seamlessly within the Docker environment. In short, the combination makes Docker ready for real production environments.

StorageSwiss Take

Containers are a hot topic, but their use is at least in enterprise IT, largely limited to development, even though production environments could benefit greatly from their use. The key to production adoption of containers is for storage systems to work seamlessly within the Docker environment, yet continue to provide the robust data services that IT professionals expect. Flocker is the first step in filling that gap and Hedvig with its new Flocker driver is a second. The combination makes Docker containers viable for production right now.

To learn more about overcoming the Docker storage container challenges join Storage Switzerland and Hedvig on our webinar “The Top 4 Requirements of a Docker Storage Architecture” and read our latest report “Docker: What do Storage Pros need to know?”.

Watch On Demand

Eight years ago George Crump, founded Storage Switzerland with one simple goal. To educate IT professionals about all aspects of data center storage. He is the primary contributor to Storage Switzerland and is and a heavily sought after public speaker. With 25 years of experience designing storage solutions for data centers across the US, he has seen the birth of such technologies as RAID, NAS and SAN, Virtualization, Cloud and Enterprise Flash. Prior to founding Storage Switzerland he was CTO at one the nation's largest storage integrators where he was in charge of technology testing, integration and product selection.

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