Portworx puts storage into containers for your data centre pleasure

Early edition of product is aimed at DevOps folk

The container movement developers missed out storage, unlike their shipping container cousins – but startup Portworx has put storage in a dedicated container for use by other containers.

Portworx is a fresh new startup, with $8.5m funding, having been founded last year by three ex-Ocarina guys: CEO Murli Thirumale, CTO Gou Rao, and chief architect Vinoid Javaraman. Ocarina was a specialised deduplication technology company bought by Dell in 2010 to produce its cross-storage platform deduplication technology.

The PX-Lite version of its PWX technology provides, Portworx says, container-defined storage, and operates in a container itself. It is also virtual SAN-like, aggregating all local storage resources, including flash and SATA arrays, and treating them as a global block pool across a cluster of nodes, a PWX cluster. The product is said to ensure data persistence for containers across servers, and you can run a database on it.

It runs natively on-premises or in the cloud, and in Linux, and is described as an early-version product for DevOps, so more development is coming. That means adding more automatic performance management, as large-scale clouds are said to have, and providing a PX-Enterprise version with multi-cloud administration and a managed storage experience.

Gabe Monroy, CTO and co-founder of Deis, provided a canned supporting quote: “Getting up and running with stateful containers is far too complicated today. With PX-Lite, you can have clustered, highly-available storage by simply running a container on each of your hosts. That's quite compelling.”

He says container users don’t want to manage storage hardware and don’t want a SAN. With Portworx you can create volumes quickly because they are software-defined.

Portworx’ Eric Han blogged that: “Containers need infrastructure that spins-up storage as fast as a container and that scales effortlessly. Every application has state to store: from logs, to databases, to picture content for websites. What used to be glommed into a bloated VM is now repacked into microservices with dozens of containers. Running with unnecessary VM overheads and hardware that must be reconfigured for each app’s storage is not just a waste — it subtracts from the benefits of containers.”

The Portworx technology works with any Docker-aware scheduler and provides high-availability. IT provides container-specific snapshots, class of service, clones, and software-defined self-provisioning. Lighthouse provides cloud-based monitoring and management of PWX clusters. With Portworx you can run containers on bare metal servers and get highly available storage across nodes.

Check out a Portworx video here. Access a demo environment on AWS and technology walk-throughs here.

PX-Lite is available on February 17 and you can register here for access. ®

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