Containers are in a weird place in IT right now. You can’t follow the space very far before you’ll come across someone talking about the inevitable containerization of IT. If you’re new to the space, you might have thought this has already happened. The prime example of this is Docker, which went from being a container company in 2013 to being the container company today. Yet in some ways, containers are just starting to be truly tested in how they can be deployed in complex situations. They’re like a really popular band that’s used to playing club all of the sudden doing a worldwide arena tour. All that stress can really test how well they work. Except instead of drugs and in-fighting, containers have to deal with storage and networking.
There are no shortage of companies eager to try their hand at solving these problems, one of the more interesting is StorageOS. In the piece below, Ethan Banks lays out some of the problems with containers and storage. Containers are generally stateless, but as they expand further into other IT sectors, the need to map these to storage volumes become all the more glaring. StorageOS provides a solution to this problem by making it easy to manage the underlying storage of these containers. They do this by running at the application layer as a 40MB container, with tight integration with Docker, Swarm, and Kubernetes.
One of the things that stood out to me, the founder of StorageOS all originate in the financial sector. As such, they’ve made sure that there’s encryption available at the policy level for data that’s at rest or in transit. I haven’t heard much about security for containers, which makes me a little nervous. Having a company like StorageOS put that right up front is encouraging. The one thing I didn’t hear is how this would impact performance if applied.
Packet Pushers comments:
The joy of operating a container-based infrastructure is all of the change they introduce. Yes, that was sarcasm. My impression of containers is that they were originally more about application development and less about transforming infrastructure and operations. And yet, here we are. Containers are all the rage, touting benefits of reduced compute footprint, security, and portability. Containers are being used in more and more pockets of production.