Defying Data Gravity With Container-Native Storage

One of the biggest challenges DevOps engineers face is data gravity—the pull of accumulating data into a black hole and the resulting lack of data mobility. This slow delivery of data is expected to double annually from now until 2024. Data gravity thwarts data movement and organizations’ ability to keep up with dynamic customer demands, deploy applications seamlessly and produce efficient CI/CD pipelines.

Now more than ever, IT professionals need to implement innovative data services solutions to combat data gravity and avoid the disruption of DevOps pipelines. To achieve this, they need to understand the strain data gravity puts on data mobility and how they can overcome it.    

Addressing the Data Gravity Problem

Applications themselves are lightweight. Once you’ve got several Kubernetes clusters, for instance, you can spin up your applications and easily move them from cluster to cluster. But the problem always comes back to one pesky issue: How to move the data that underlies those applications while overcoming data gravity. 

This is where the right software-defined infrastructure can reduce the overall cost of operation, management and infrastructure procurement to support DevOps pipelines by enabling customers to stand up right-sized Kubernetes environments whenever and wherever required.

Kubernetes Everywhere

Kubernetes allows your apps to move freely, but unfortunately, data gravity restricts that freedom. It’s harder to move the data required by applications than it is to move the actual applications. Moving the application and associated configurations requires a lot of orchestration and tooling that must work in tandem with the federation of resources. 

Kubernetes offers elasticity—to look at your computer resources, both on-premises and in the cloud, under a single umbrella, and to be able to move, to migrate and to balance from one point to another. Orchestration and automation work because resources are all virtual. When anything goes wrong, Kubernetes is designed to kill and/or restart the offending process or element and ensure a smooth failover. 

Defying Data Gravity

However, the storage problem persists. Organizations need to move both their applications and the data within them. That’s the role container-native storage plays, making it much easier to move applications. This is the final piece needed to achieve freedom from data gravity and see gains in reduced complexity, cost and management.

Moving data is costly and wastes valuable time. Unlike transporting apps, in cloud environments transporting data takes hours or days and can result in massive egress charges. Data gravity threatens the entire value proposition of elasticity. 

This is where container-native storage (CNS) solutions come in. CNS solutions pool local physical media capacity and present virtual volumes to applications. However, advanced CNS eliminates data gravity by enabling instant movement of data to and from any cluster anywhere and providing instant access to any point in time.

These solutions offer data the freedom to move as fast and easily as applications. Full volumes, regardless of size or amount of data, can be instantly transported across time or across the world.

Or Sagi

Or is responsible for the architecture, design, and core technology of ionir’s platform. Prior to ionir, Or was Chief System Architect for Reduxio’s storage platform, and principal engineer with IBM XIV, where he founded the NAS development team. Other highlights include: developing the OS infrastructure for Texas Instruments’ next-generation cable modems, developing PCI device pass-through virtualization for Qumranet (acquired by Red Hat), implementing Infiniband based message passing systems at Voltaire, and introducing high availability into the Exanet distributed file system. Or began his career in his teens, when he designed and built a web-based global book circulation system for the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA). He later led the transition from DAS to NAS at Tel Aviv University School of Mathematical Sciences. Or holds several patents and patents-pending in the areas of storage architecture, encryption and data consistency in distributed systems.

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