Datrium Hosts Containers on Converged Infrastructure

Datrium, a provider of a converged infrastructure (CI) platform, has added support for stateful Linux containers and Docker persistent volumes to both a bare-metal instances of it platform as well as multiple types of virtual machines on which any container might be deployed.

Craig Nunes, vice president of marketing, says Datrium DVX Software 3.0 adds support for logical groups of containers, which it dubs a Protection Group. IT teams can then assign specific levels of data protection policies enabling, for example, instant recovery, archiving and disaster recovery. A Dynamic Policy Binding utility includes new containers into a protection group based on naming convention.

Nunes estimates that by now half of all new application development is being accomplished using containers. Most of those containers are being deployed on virtual machines. But as tooling surrounding containers becomes more sophisticated, Nunes says there will be a sharp escalation in the number of bare-metal servers being deployed on containers.

In general, many organizations are now able to deploy a half-dozen containers per virtual machine. While that improves server utilization rates, some IT organizations are already deploying hundreds of containers on a bare-metal server.

The Datrium platform is based on an x86 server preintegrated with Datrium DVX Software, which with this release adds support for kernel-based virtual machines used on Red Hat Linux servers in addition to VMware. Compute nodes inside the Davium platform run all the virtual machine workloads in local flash, while persistent data is stored in capacity-optimized secondary storage appliances called data nodes, which provide support for always-on erasure coding, global deduplication and compression. A data management service, dubbed Data Cloud, provides recovery and replication; a container-persistent volume cloned on one compute node immediately becomes available, and encryption applied to any container will remain with the cloned container. Each Datrium platform can scale to 32 compute nodes in a rack system running up to 1,500 virtual machines.

Datrium is not the only server and appliance vendor trying to make a case for deploying containers and virtual machines on either a converged or hyperconverged platform. But rather than forcing IT organizations to select a specific virtual machine or container deployment model, Nunes says Datrium is pursuing an open convergence model that enables IT organizations to switch between VMware, Red Hat and bare-metal servers as they see fit. Each instance of Datrium DVX comes with Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.3, CentOS 7 1611 and Docker version 1.2.

Unlike virtual machines however, containers being deployed on a bare-metal server are more likely to force an infrastructure conversation, given the demand for increased memory and I/O bandwidth they represent. But even in an existing VM environment, it might only take the addition of a few more virtual machines to require an IT organization to upgrade a legacy x86 server. In either scenario, one day there may be fewer servers in that data center, and each one of those servers will be a lot more dense in terms of the total number of workloads that will be running on them.

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.

Mike Vizard has 1389 posts and counting. See all posts by Mike Vizard