UPDATED 15:00 EDT / JUNE 05 2018


Container startup Portworx brings persistent storage to Amazon container service

Portworx Inc., a provider of cloud-native storage technologies for containerized software, said today it has been chosen as a launch partner for Amazon Web Services Inc.’s Elastic Container Service for Kubernetes.

The partnership means that Amazon’s EKS customers can use Portworx’s persistent storage services to manage certain Kubernetes workloads better, the company said. The services are available starting today.

Kubernetes is the most popular orchestration tool for containers, which are used to package software applications in a way that allows them to be built just once and run on any kind of infrastructure and operating system. Amazon’s EKS service, launched in November, enables enterprises to run automated Kubernetes clusters on its infrastructure with a one-click deployment.

Portworx sells a persistent storage system for containers that works by transforming commodity Intel Corp. x86 server hardware into a converged storage node that can automatically provision itself with any Docker-ready scheduler. Enterprises can use Portworx’s storage system to quickly provision storage for containerized apps, manage features on a per-container basis, provision and schedule storage to automatically respond to container bursts, and run storage at the speed of bare-metal servers that come without software installed.

By partnering with AWS, Portworx is bringing new dynamic provisioning, high-availability and encryption capabilities to EKS workloads, it said. The idea is simplify the management and operation of stateful services on EKS, including popular databases such as Apache Cassandra, MongoDB and Postgres, while preventing data loss and application downtime in the event of system failures.

“Any time you want to run a stateful service like a database in containers, you need a solution for persistent storage,” Portworx Chief Technology Officer Gou Rao told SiliconANGLE. “Containers, including those that run on Kubernetes, do not provide persistent data management natively.”

Amazon does offer its own persistent storage product, called Amazon Elastic Block Storage, but Rao said there are problems with using it specifically for containers. First, he said, EBS doesn’t work across availability zones, which limits the ability of Kubernetes to run stateful applications in an highly available manner. Second, Rao said, attaching and detaching EBS volumes to containers is a slow and fragile process, which frequently leads to downtime and manual intervention.

“Without Portworx, [users] will have to deal with failures like those, [and will also be] limited to a maximum of 40 volumes per EC2 instance, no matter how powerful a machine, limiting container density dramatically,” Rao said.

Image: Grant Hutchinson/Flickr

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