IBM Bolsters Container Storage Platform

IBM today announced that IBM Storage Suite for Cloud Paks is now more tightly integrated with both the Red Hat OpenShift and CoreOS platforms.

A container client and runtime Operator software is being added to make it easier for containerized applications to access a data lake based on IBM Spectrum Scale software. IBM already bundles Red Hat OpenShift Container Storage, Red Hat CEPH and IBM Spectrum Storage software under a single license within IBM Storage Suite for Cloud Paks.

IBM also announced that IBM Cloud Object Storage now supports the open source s3fs file to object storage interface bundled with Red Hat OpenShift. The source s3fs file to object storage interface provides a way to mount an S3-compatible bucket as a local file system on a Linux machine.

In addition, IBM Spectrum Protect Plus data protection software will shortly support Red Hat OpenShift environments in the form of a container that can be deployed using Operator software. IBM is also making available a beta of IBM Spectrum Protect Plus on Microsoft Azure Marketplace.

IBM also has updated the Ansible scripts it provides on IBM FlashSystem to simplify deployment and for enhanced support of persistent memory storage and improved snapshot and data efficiency.

Finally, IBM also described plans to add integrated storage management capabilities for Kubernetes clusters managed by someone other than a dedicated storage administrator.

Eric Herzog, chief marketing officer for IBM Storage, says that while most container applications are still stateless in the sense that they store data outside the Kubernetes cluster, the number of stateful applications storing data on a cluster is also now rising. As such, IT organizations should expect to see a larger percentage of the IBM Storage portfolio running natively on Red Hat OpenShift and other distributions of the Kubernetes in the months to come.

In the meantime, IBM notes the number of container applications being deployed in IT environments is growing regardless of where data is stored. According to Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG), 39% of organizations are using containers in production now, with another 18% planning to do so within the next year. In all, 70% of current or planned users report their container-based applications are or will be deployed across hybrid clouds, ESG reports.

Many of those deployments will involve artificial intelligence (AI) applications developed containers that need access to a high-speed General Parallel File System (GPFS) platform that is at the core of the IBM Spectrum portfolio, notes Herzog.

Of course, as more data is stored on Kubernetes clusters, the fiercer the competition becomes among storage vendors to provide the storage software for Kubernetes clusters. It may be early days still, but given the fact that a lot of new data being stored in the cloud or the network is in close proximity to a Kubernetes cluster, it’s now survival of the Kubernetes fittest for storage vendors large and small.

Mike Vizard

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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