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IBM Cloud Private user wanting containerised storage? It's all yours

Big Blue deal with MayaData brings OpenEBS to platform

MayaData has linked arms with IBM to make OpenEBS storage available to IBM Cloud Private users, giving Big Blue an answer for those that want containerised storage.

OpenEBS is open-source, container-native software that provides block storage and uses Kubernetes as the underlying framework for scheduling and storing configuration data. It is available under the Apache 2 licence and sponsored by MayaData, originally known as CloudByte.

In January 2017 Evan Powell, the ex-CEO of storage software biz Nexenta, became CloudByte chairman, and he took over the CEO role in June of that year.

CloudByte developed Elaststor, OpenEBS and also the open-source Maya orchestrator, which can tier data to S3-compatible storage. OpenEBS has snapshotting, replication, high availability, and can back up to S3.

Powell had CloudByte change its name to MayaData in December last year, when it launched Maya Online, software-as-a-service (SaaS) that provides Kubernetes monitoring and control in a cross-cloud control plane for stateful workloads, such as databases like MySQL and PostgreSQL, Jenkins for CI/CD, and messaging such as Kafka and RabbitMQ.

Maya currently supports workloads that run on OpenEBS and is orchestrated with Kubernetes.

In February, OpenEBS was certified for Red Hat OpenShift, StackPointCloud, and the IBM Cloud. Three months later Litmus came along as did a set of testing workloads and automations for end to end testing of stateful workloads on Kubernetes, using chaos engineering to inject system failures.

Now MayaData has announced the MayaData Data Agility Platform or MDAP, which combines OpenEBS, Litmus and MayaOnline into a single service.

Quote cannery

Analyst Henry Balthazar from 451 provided a canned quote: "MayaData's MDAP platform extends the ease of use of OpenEBS with related capabilities that reduce the risk of using Kubernetes for stateful workloads. Together with the partnership with IBM Cloud Private, MDAP seems likely to accelerate the usage of open-source OpenEBS in production by enterprise users."

A prepared quote from Powell harked back to his Nexenta days: "Many many years ago a few of us coined the term 'software-defined storage'. The limitations of virtualisation and of IT of that time limited the success of those efforts. Today, however, microservices, Kubernetes, cloud services and containerisation are a perfect storm."

Ah, how we enjoy a good "perfect storm" cliché.

"Together these trends have enabled infrastructure to compose itself as needed for workloads and small teams." He said customers can use MDAP "to free themselves from the burdens of storage management and cloud lock-in".

MDAP is available from the IBM Cloud Private marketplace and OpenEBS is now a default option for IBM Cloud Private users. Cloud Private is a Kubernetes-based platform for running container workloads on premises.

IBM and container storage

This gives IBM another containerised storage capability. It's Ubiquity open-source research project enables persistent storage for Docker and Kubernetes, initially for Spectrum Scale but now block storage as well.

In November last year IBM adopted Ubiquity technology as the basis for container support across its storage system portfolio with IBM Storage Enabler for Containers delivering persistent storage support for:

  • VersaStack converged infrastructure
  • All tech built with IBM Spectrum Virtualize, including the Storwize family, FlashSystem V9000, SAN Volume Controller, and IBM Spectrum Virtualize software
  • All tech built with IBM Spectrum Accelerate, including IBM FlashSystem A9000, A9000R and XIV systems, and IBM Spectrum Accelerate

IBM Storage Enabler for Containers supports Kubernetes and IBM Cloud Private orchestration. So now it has OpenEBS and MDAP as well - the more the merrier.

Cross-cloud mobility is probably the key OpenEBS attraction here.

Powell told us: "OpenEBS is one of a class of solutions that uses Kubernetes itself as a storage substrate. This gives more control to the development teams and enables cross cloud mobility as well. You can also use OpenEBS to connect to underlying storage systems. It's that latter function where to some extent OpenEBS and other such solutions complement underlying SANs."

Other suppliers of containerised storage include Portworx, UK startup StorageOS, and Scality.

Pricing for the MayaData Data Agility Platform is based on the number of nodes under management - which are those nodes that are used at least partially for storing data.

A free tier is available via sign-up on or MayaData is accepting a limited number of new customers now and will announce general availability in the near future. ®

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