Portworx Updates Kubernetes Storage Portfolio

Portworx, at the online KubeCon + CloudNativeCon Europe 2020 conference, today announced an update to the enterprise edition of its storage software for Kubernetes clusters that adds the ability to automatically rebalance clusters as well as support for proxy volumes and the lightweight k3 distribution of Kubernetes from Rancher Labs.

In addition, a preview of an update to PX-Backup now provides access to telemetry to provide more insight into Kubernetes environments, including the number of backups they have and the number of restores used. A new node-based licensing plan and pay-as-you-go options also promises to make PX-Backup 1.1 affordable to more organizations.

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Other new capabilities in PX-Backup include the ability selectively restore individual resource types from a backup instead of the entire application; the ability to identify and support backups for any custom or generic custom resource definition (CRD); and support for namespace quotas at the CPU, memory and storage levels to ensure clusters have sufficient resources to run a backup. Policies can now also be applied to those quotas to create schedules for backups.

Portworx today also updated its PX-Autopilot for Capacity Management software, which adds pool management support on Google Kubernetes Engine; an auto pool-rebalance capability; and GitOps-based workflows that require approvals.

Finally, Portworx announced it has been certified on the Cloudera Data Platform (CDP) for Kubernetes clusters.

Michael Ferranti, vice president of product and corporate marketing for Portworx, says these updates to the Portworx portfolio are designed to appeal to IT organizations that are starting to deploy stateful containerized applications across fleets of Kubernetes clusters. Portworx Enterprise 2.6, for example, now enables a storage cluster to continue to operate even when the open source etcd datastore on which it is based goes down, he says.

Despite the economic downturn brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, demand for storage software for Kubernetes clusters among enterprise IT organizations remains robust, he adds. Portworx revealed today that its average annual recurring revenue for the year to date increased by 61% in only three quarters, with 26 customers now having purchased licenses valued at $250,000 or more. One customer is now running Portworx Enterprise in production on more than 1,500 nodes and 90 Kubernetes clusters, which the company notes ranks among the largest known Kubernetes environments.

In the meantime, the debate over how stateful container applications should be deployed continues. Some IT organizations prefer to leverage existing storage platforms to store persistent data generated by stateless containerized applications. However, organizations that deploy storage software on Kubernetes clusters effectively reduce their total cost of operations by eliminating the need to manage a separate legacy storage platform, notes Ferranti, adding administrators can more easily manage integrated compute and storage across fleets of Kubernetes clusters.

There’s no doubt the rate at which stateful applications are being deployed on Kubernetes clusters is increasing steadily. The only real issue is to what degree enterprise IT organizations that have already made investments in storage systems are now willing to replace those systems to provide a better application experience at a potentially lower total cost.

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.

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