Multi-Tenant Docker Storage Containers

Briefing Note: Zadara Storage

Corporate IT is transitioning to an “As a Service” model. That is because the as a service model is not just isolated to the cloud – there are plenty of on-premises service use cases as well. Zadara’s storage solution works both in the cloud and on-premises. Zadara Storage is an example of true multi-tenancy, isolating even storage processing to a particular department or application, providing the ultimate granularity of quality of service (QoS). Multi-tenancy is important in the cloud so that administrators can isolate subscribers. But in the enterprise, “as a service” isolates specific departments or applications.

The Zadara Virtual Private Storage Array (VPSA) is available as a cloud service through Amazon AWS, Microsoft Azure and other cloud service providers (CSPs), but it is also available to enterprise data centers through their on-premise option. With Zadara’s On-Premise as a Service (OPaaS), enterprises can build an on-premises storage infrastructure that rivals that of cloud providers. The on-premises solution requires an initial six-month commitment, and the cloud solution has only a 1-hour commitment. Both solutions charge only for the capacity used on a per-hour basis and are billed monthly. The two deployment options can interconnect for disaster recovery and bursting capabilities.

The VPSA is a turnkey hardware and software solution, but the organization only pays for the resources used. To be clear, this is not a lease, and there are no long-term accounting items. For example, if the customer selects a two node system with 70 drives but only uses 24 drives, then they only pay for those 24 drives in that billing cycle.

The VPSA is Primary Storage

The Zadara solution IS primary storage. Each node in the Zadara cluster has an SSD cache to accelerate disk performance. Applications and users can connect to a VPSA via iSCSI, NFS or CIFS as well as ISER cloud storage. The storage software offers complete data protection features like snapshots, replication, and various RAID configurations.


Zadara recently made support available for Docker containers. Now data centers can run a Docker container of their choosing to create a converged Docker architecture. Beyond traditional Docker use cases, users can write containers that add value to the Zadara Storage VPSA system itself. For example, this could be a container that can index the data on the system, compress the data or perform protection tasks. They also added the ability to backup any Zadara VPSA, either on-premises or in the cloud, to Amazon S3. From there you can set the Amazon aging property to move that data to Glacier.

StorageSwiss Take

Zadara Storage’s delivery model truly emulates the cloud. Storage is paid for as it is consumed and is elastic in all directions. Unlike most (if not all) cloud vendors, they also offer the same solution on-premise or in a hybrid mode. The recent addition of Docker support allows the system to deliver a hyper-converged capability, by virtue of its ability to place compute resources in their storage and run Docker Containers within the storage itself. Its Docker implementation also opens up the possibility of an “app store” like extension of storage services.

What all of this adds up to is the expansion of the already disruptive as a service model beyond the cloud and into private, enterprise data centers. The end result could be ubiquitous agile IT, available in all locations–public and private.

Twelve 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 a heavily sought after public speaker. With over 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 of the nation's largest storage integrators where he was in charge of technology testing, integration and product selection.

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Posted in Briefing Note

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