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StorageOS – which launched in beta at Dockercon this week – is a software-only storage product that aims to tackle the key weakness of storage for container environments, including Docker and Google's Kubernetes.
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The company – launched by four ex-finance industry storage professionals in London – aims to provide stateful storage for containers.
By default, container storage is stateless, so when containers stop running for whatever reason – planned or unplanned – storage (especially databases, logs and user data) is lost and isn't resumed when the containers are re-started.
StorageOS aims to resolve that by providing persistent – that is, stateful – storage to apps running from containers.
Containers are gaining popularity because of their ability to enable rapid deployment of internet-ready applications running on multiple platforms and devices, without some of the overheads associated with virtual machines.
StorageOS can run on commodity hardware, on a virtualisation hypervisor, in the cloud, in a container or on bare metal. It connects with the containers for which it provides storage via application programming interfaces (APIs) and a rules-based engine.
StorageOS would generally run in the same hardware as the containers it supports.
Founder and CEO Chris Brandon claims StorageOS offers a unique way of provisioning and managing container storage.
“People have been doing things with [parallel file system] GlusterFS and with NFS, but these are gateway-driven and complex. We run via a Docker plugin, communicating directly with Docker at API level.”
StorageOS intends its product to be easy to take up, with a free developer edition and pay-as-you-go options.
“It starts ultra small,” said Brandon. “We're not looking to build VSAN, but storage for containers.”