UPDATED 09:00 EST / DECEMBER 04 2018

CLOUD

Portworx enables container application portability across clouds

Cloud-native storage company Portworx Inc. is attempting to tackle the problem of software container data portability with its latest platform update.

PX-Enterprise is Portworx’s cloud-native storage product for Kubernetes, which is the most widely used tool for managing software containers. Developers use software containers to build modern applications because they offer a considerable advantage by abstracting away the underlying hardware and operating system, allowing those apps to run on any computing platform.

According to Portworx, PX-Enterprise provides scalable storage for container workloads by transforming commodity x86 server hardware into a converged storage node that can scale across clusters and automatically provision itself. The idea is that enterprises can use PX-Enterprise to make it easier to provision the storage resources needed by their container apps. With it, users can manage their storage requirements on a per-container basis.

The new PX-Motion feature adds to those basic storage capabilities by letting customers migrate application data between different Kubernetes clusters hosted on a range of cloud environments. That makes it simple for companies to move entire applications across multiple clouds. It also makes it easier to automate workloads such as the backup and recovery of Kubernetes apps, and simplifies the debugging process when trying to fix any problems with apps running in production, the company said.

Portworx reckons the importance of this new app migration capability is not to be understated, citing the results of its 2018 Annual Container Adoption Survey that found a third of its customers run containers in more than one cloud. A multicloud strategy is all well and good, since companies like to run different apps on the most suitable platforms, but doing so creates new problems when it comes to managing data. The survey pointed out that 34 percent of companies say multicloud and cross-data center management are the biggest barriers in the way of greater container adoption.

“Kubernetes does not inherently provide data management,” said Murli Thirumale, Portworx’s co-founder and chief executive officer. “Without solving data mobility, hybrid and multicloud Kubernetes deployments will never be mainstream for the vast majority of enterprise applications.”

PX-Enterprise 2.0 also introduces new monitoring and metrics capabilities with PX-Central, which is a unified portal for managing metadata services across clusters hosted on multiple clouds. This helps with the overall management of Kubernetes deployments across different cloud environments, the company said.

Such capabilities are all the more important when one considers the versatility of Portworx’s container storage, which can integrate with Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, IBM Cloud, Red Hat OpenShift, Mesosphere DC/OS and others.

Photo: Marcuss-Trapp/pixabay

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