One of the tenets of Cloud-Native architecture is infrastructure independence. Applications abstract themselves from compute hardware via containers. Kubernetes handles orchestration and networking access to the application. Theoretically, containers should remain stateless, being created and destroyed dynamically. Most production applications are stateful in the real world, requiring persistent storage somewhere in the application stack. Portworx realized the gap with persistent storage and developed PX-Store. Pure Storage discussed its acquisition of Portworx and how it solves persistent storage in Kubernetes during Cloud Field Day.
Why is Storage in Kubernetes So Hard?
Kubernetes storage can be confusing and complicated. There are multiple forms of storage native to Kubernetes, such as ephemeral storage and Persistent Volumes. Engineers can make static claims, which are assigned to an application pod before an actual request is made, manually bound to the application through Persistent Volume Claims. Since they are manual and static, Persistent Volumes tend to be tied to the underlying infrastructure, creating vendor dependencies and lock-in. Developers and engineers achieve infrastructure independence with Kubernetes, however, that same philosophy isn’t realized with native storage solutions.
Portworx Addresses Persistent Storage Headaches
Portworx was founded alongside the Kubernetes project, designed to enable stateful applications on the Kubernetes platform. Portworx is 100% software-driven, providing a consistent, persistent storage environment on-premises, in the public cloud, and in hybrid-cloud Kubernetes deployments. Portworx realized that containers couldn’t rely on storage infrastructure to achieve portability alongside persistent storage. They solve these challenges with their PX-Store solution.
Practically, Portworx PX-Store deploys as a container in the Kubernetes stack. It creates a software-defined storage infrastructure and presents container-granular persistent volumes to application containers. PX-Store detects and understands the underlying storage infrastructure, simplifying storage operations for engineers.
PX-Store is infrastructure-independent, serving persistent volumes consistently. It supports enterprise arrays, like Pure Storage, bare-metal servers with SSDs or magnetic disks, and cloud storage. Since the PX-Store persistent storage is 100% software-based, it is portable across worker nodes. If a worker node fails, the container can restart on another worker node in the cluster and maintain access to its persistent volume.
PX-Backup Future Proofs Any Application to Any Cloud
Portworx offers modules to extend its reach into the Kubernetes ecosystem and provide additional capabilities beyond software-defined storage. PX-Backup is a module that enables infrastructure agnostic backup. Many traditional backup solutions are machine-defined and target individual worker nodes. Machine-defined backup is useful in a traditional virtualization environment, but it doesn’t make much sense in a cloud-native Kubernetes environment.
PX-Backup is application-driven. It leverages its knowledge of each application to provide infrastructure agnostic application-based data protection. PX-Backup accesses the application configuration in the etcd database, the application data stored in PX-Store, and the container image in the container registry. Since this is a complete backup of the application, it is entirely portable to any Kubernetes environment with Portworx software-defined storage. The backup can be taken from an obsolete version of Kubernetes on-premises and restored into the public cloud without any rework. PX-Backup orchestrates the restore, and PX-Store provides a consistent storage environment to serve the persistent storage needs.
Pure Storage and Portworx: Better Together
Pure Storage and Portworx aim to deliver the modern data experience, accelerating traditional and cloud-native applications on any infrastructure. Their all-flash storage arrays enable performance and simplicity to on-premises applications. They extended their capabilities into the cloud-native arena by acquiring Portworx. Together, Pure Storage and Portworx create a compelling and rich solution to provide storage to any application in any infrastructure. To learn more about Pure Storage and Portworx, check out their coverage at Cloud Field Day.