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The storage landscape has changed considerably over the past few years. We’ve seen the advent of Linux containers as a popular development tool, necessitating new forms of container-native storage solutions. Storage has evolved into software-defined storage (SDS) solutions that can provide consistent storage across on-premise, public and hybrid cloud environments. Hyperconverged infrastructure has emerged as a viable means of supporting both compute and storage.
Indeed, storage has evolved since Red Hat acquired Gluster and InkTank (Ceph) in 2011 and 2014, respectively. At the time of those acquisitions, Red Hat was looking at the individual power behind both solutions, and how that power could be harnessed to help make open source the de facto choice for organizations looking to dip their toes into SDS. In reality, we were laying the groundwork for the software-defined present we find ourselves in today. We were creating the building blocks for an integrated portfolio of solutions with storage as an important part of the puzzle.
Bringing them both into the Red Hat fold continues to help with innovation, particularly as we increase our focus on building our technology stack. Over the past few years, Red Hat has looked for synergy and integration between our various product lines, and have, as a result, grown beyond our early days as the "Linux company."
2018 integrations brought container storage and hyperconvergence
While our integration strategy has been in place for several years, it really took hold last year with the introduction of Red Hat OpenShift Container Storage and Red Hat Hyperconverged Infrastructure.
Red Hat OpenShift Container Storage combines elements from across the Red Hat portfolio designed to provide a consistent storage experience across the hybrid cloud. This offers benefits for both developers and operators, including simplifying storage management since that process is incorporated into the tools that developers and operators use to manage Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform.
With Red Hat Hyperconverged Infrastructure, Red Hat is focusing on users who may be interested in migrating from purpose-built hyperconverged infrastructure appliances to open compute, network, and storage stacks.
Red Hat OpenShift Container Storage and Red Hat Hyperconverged Infrastructure were the latest milestones in an effort that began with the Gluster and Ceph acquisitions all those years ago. But that effort is far from over.
It’s quite likely that the pace at which storage solutions are evolving will continue in 2019. This would be driven by several factors.
First, data will probably continue to expand across multiple geographies and clouds. I believe that both developers and operators will want the ability to more easily manage their data and storage across this highly distributed and complex environment. For Red Hat’s customers, that should mean more integration between different solutions, with the intent of making it easier for people to manage storage and development from a single solution.
For example, the KubeVirt upstream technology collaboration paints a picture where developers can build and deploy applications for both containers and virtual machines. Container storage deployments will likely move beyond advanced capabilities such as dynamic provisioning and expansion of storage into tighter integration of operations management of data directly from the container management tools. With Kubernetes as an orchestration layer for not just applications, but infrastructure, we’re on the cusp of a new beginning where storage can be widespread and yet invisible. The future of storage is filled with possibilities.
Ranga Rangachari is vice president and general manager of Storage at Red Hat.