September 23, 2017

Recognizing there’s increased demand for connecting containers running on bare-metal servers, Veritas Technologies now offers a version of software it developed to turn a server into a hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) that is capable of running Docker containers natively.

Chad Thibodeau, principal product manager for Veritas, says Veritas HyperScale for Containers takes the core technology Veritas developed for the OpenStack cloud framework and applies it to Docker. The goal is to enable IT organizations to deploy an HCI platform that unifies compute and storage to directly support Docker containers. In most IT environments, he notes, Docker containers are being layered on top of virtual machines or platform-as-a-service environments, and Veritas HyperScale for Containers can be used in those environments. But Veritas expect more containers to be deployed on bare-metal servers now that there can be HCI platforms that natively support Docker.

To facilitate those deployments, Veritas HyperScale for Containers—which itself is being made available as set of Docker images—is designed from the ground up to be plugged into a variety of container orchestrations.

Thibodeau says the Veritas approach to HCI makes it possible for IT organizations to separate the compute and data planes with a server configured with direct-attached storage. All the functions associated with copying, moving and backing up data can occur without impacting the performance of the applications on the system, he notes.

In many instances developers are being forced to employ containers on a public cloud with or without permission because there is no local server that can support containers natively. Because Veritas HyperScale for Containers is software, Thibodeau says developers now have the option of installing it on a local server themselves to avoid violating any compliance requirements or security policies.

There is no shortage of HCI platforms these days. But Thibodeau says a software-only approach to HCI enables IT organizations to avoid getting locked into a specific hardware platform. Of course, HCI is only one element of an increasingly complex IT infrastructure debate. While HCI unifies the management of compute and storage, many IT organizations still prefer rack-based systems that allow them to scale compute and storage independently of one another depending on the requirements of the application workloads. From a DevOps perspective, that means most organizations will be managing some form of HCI appliances and rack-based systems side by side for years to come.

In the meantime, since spinning out of Symantec Veritas has been pursuing a platform-independent approach to data management. Thibodeau says the basic idea is to enable IT organizations to federate the management of data regardless of what platform it’s running on. Veritas HyperScale for Containers is the latest extension of that 360-degree approach to data management. The degree to which IT organizations are mature enough to unify data management is, of course, debatable. But as far as containers are concerned, many IT organizations are trying to find the path of least resistance to bare-metal server deployments that eliminate the need for a virtual machine altogether.

Mike Vizard

Mike Vizard is a seasoned IT journalist with over 25 years of experience. He also contributed to IT Business Edge, Channel Insider, Baseline and a variety of other IT titles. Previously, Vizard was the editorial director for Ziff-Davis Enterprise as well as Editor-in-Chief for CRN and InfoWorld.