Application Aware Storage For GKE and OpenShift

Summary

As more and more enterprises move to Kubernetes for their cloud-native needs, they are
looking for high-performance storage options for their stateful and data-intensive
workloads. Beyond a seamless workflow to provision storage, they are also looking for
complete data lifecycle management features as a part of their storage platform. ROBIN
Storage is a perfect candidate for this need. With their application awareness, high
performance and scale, ROBIN Storage is well suited to meet enterprise cloud-native
storage needs. Robin has already partnered with Google Cloud and Red Hat OpenShift to
deliver their customers with high-performance storage. They are also well positioned to
work with any Kubernetes platform.

Introduction

As Kubernetes gains increasing enterprise adoption, the need for supporting stateful
applications becomes a critical need. Kubernetes community is working on supporting
stateful applications on the platform but the enterprise needs are different from running
basic stateful apps. Many enterprises are forced to migrate their mission-critical legacy
applications to container environments to ensure that both their legacy and modern
applications are hosted on Kubernetes clusters. This brings into focus the need for a
comprehensive storage platform that meets the critical enterprise needs such as

  • Ease of use without developers having to manage additional operational overhead.
    Provisioning and managing storage should be integrated into the developer workflow
  • Bare-metal like performance
  • High availability
  • Comprehensive data management capabilities

While most Kubernetes platforms meet the compute and networking needs of enterprise
workloads, very few platforms are capable of meeting the performance and data
management needs of the enterprises.
According to Rishidot Research’s analysis of market trends and our discussions with
enterprise stakeholders, more than half of the enterprises are expected to deploy
container based workloads by 2020. Almost three-thirds of our research participants are planning to use containerized workloads also said they are planning to deploy Stateful
workloads on Kubernetes. There is a clear market need for storage solutions that work
seamlessly with Kubernetes. As more and more big data and machine learning workloads
move to Kubernetes, high performance becomes the core requirement for Kubernetes
storage. Robin’s platform features meet these requirements and, recently, they
announced partnerships with both Google Cloud and Red Hat OpenShift. In this short
whitepaper, we will talk about the state of stateful applications in Kubernetes and how
ROBIN Storage meets the enterprise needs of Google Cloud and OpenShift customers.

The state of stateful applications in Kubernetes

Running stateful applications in Kubernetes is challenging even with the progress made by
the Kubernetes community on StatefulSets and support for many Persistent Volumes.
According to the CNCF survey, the critical challenges for running containers in production
are security, complexity, storage, and networking. The enterprise needs are much
different from modern applications as they have legacy and data-intensive
applications in the mix. Even with StatefulSets, trying to bring up clusters, handling node
failures, managing routing, ensuring HA, etc. for databases or big data workloads requires
a great deal of coding and operational overhead. Using storage volumes with Kubernetes
includes managing volume level primitives that adds operational overhead. As developers
push for ease of access to resources, managing multiple configuration settings to deploy
stateful applications is a non-starter for developers in the modern enterprise.

Critical Enterprise Needs

– Application Aware Storage
– Ease of use without developers having to manage additional operational overhead.
Provisioning and managing storage should be integrated into developer workflow
– Bare-metal like performance
– High availability
– Comprehensive data management capabilities on Kubernetes