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StorageOS tackles shortcomings of container storage

As containers gain popularity for webscale apps, startup StorageOS launches in beta to provide persistent storage for containers at Dockercon developer event

Startup StorageOS has beta-launched a product that provides persistent storage for enterprise-class container-based operations.

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.

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.

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Easy take-up

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.”

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