Containers Provide a DataOps Advantage

By Hubert Yoshida posted 03-17-2020 20:03


Bobby Soni, Chief Operating Officer, Digital Infrastructure @ Hitachi Vantara, announced the acquisition of the assets of Kubernetes start-up Containership in his blog post of March 10. Containership enables customers to easily deploy and manage Kubernetes clusters and containerized applications in multi-cloud and on-premise environments. This is a major acquisition since container technology promises to usher in the next big change in infrastructure economics since server virtualization. By some estimates, customers are saving as much as 50% on infrastructure costs by switching from hosting cloud native applications in their own data centers to hosting containerized versions of those applications in a private, hybrid or public cloud.


Hitachi has been an early adopter of containers. Hitachi Vantara has been using containers for some time and is expanding its use in more of our software products to not only enhance our agility but also to enable customers to easily deploy containers. In July 2015, our Unified Compute Platform was part of the Kubernetes 1.0 launch and the first enterprise infrastructure platform to adopt and community validate Kubernetes orchestration. Hitachi Vantara products make extensive use of containers. Hitachi Ops Center tools, Hitachi Content intelligence, Pentaho, Lumada, Hitachi Enterprise Cloud all use containers and Kubernetes for rapid development and deployment of service based applications.


Containers provide a DataOps advantage since it can be used everywhere for the deployment of software applications. You can run a big data cluster in a container, or series of containers. You can deploy a machine learning model in a container in a repeatable way. When demand increases, you can scale to another container and load balance as required. If you want to try out some models, but don’t want to spin up all the required hardware, you can spin up a sandbox in a container to test code without disrupting other applications. Containers enable you to fail fast, so you can correct your mistakes and move on faster.


Containers are agile because they are stateless. But because they are stateless, they need to have persistent storage. Hitachi provides a plugin to enable stateful applications, such as databases, to persist and maintain its data after the life cycle of the container has ended. Built-in high availability enables orchestrators such as Docker Swarm, Kubernetes to automatically orchestrate storage tasks between hosts in a cluster.  Hitachi Storage Plug-in for Containers is based on the industry standard Container Storage Interface (CSI) Driver. In addition, the storage plug-in enables the advanced storage capabilities of Hitachi VSP G and F series. These storage platforms provide features such as automation, high availability, seamless replication, remote management and analytics.  There are plans for additional infrastructure software to add container support in the future either in containers or monitoring/provisioning containers.


As valuable as containers are, they still have limitations when they are put into a runtime state. Securing containers from one another and at the same time allowing them to communicate when necessary is required to build functional applications from a set of microservices.

Containers need a common and consistent interface in order to be resilient, secure and composable. Kubernetes provides many of these capabilities and is quickly becoming the most widely adopted solution for container orchestration


The assets that we acquired with Containership addresses critical cloud native application issues facing customers working with Kubernetes such as persistent storage support, centralized authentication, access control, audit logging, continuous deployment, workload portability, cost analysis, autoscaling, upgrades, and more. Containership’s underlying technology – the Containership Kubernetes Engine – is a CNCF-certified Kubernetes distribution which enables the provisioning and ongoing maintenance of Kubernetes clusters on any major cloud provider.


The “V” in Hitachi Vantara is a nod to our heritage in virtualization. That heritage continues with this next level of virtualization with containers.

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