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By Irshad Raihan, Red Hat Storage

In a recent post, we announced that Red Hat Gluster Storage is now available as a Docker image in the Red Hat container registry. This represents the second important step toward our vision of storage as a service, delivered and managed alongside applications deployed in containers. The first step was its availability as a fully supported storage back-end for Red Hat OpenShift Enterprise 3.1 in a dedicated storage cluster, leveraging kubernetes GlusterFS volume driver.

As we get closer to a public announcement in the summer, please continue to watch this space for new developments and offer feedback on interesting use cases or trends around container adoption. Watch the following video on efforts underway at Red Hat to containerize the storage platform, from Luis Pabón, our lead engineer on the emerging technologies team.

Here are the top five reasons you’d consider Red Hat Gluster Storage over any other software-defined or traditional storage provider as a persistent storage layer for containers:

  1. Scale - Distributed scale-out systems are inherently more suited to workloads that require scale on demand. Red Hat Gluster Storage has been deployed at some of the most demanding enterprise customers and public sector agencies, which required an agile, scalable storage solution deployed on industry-standard x86 servers. Applications deployed in containers are no different. If at all, they demand even more scalability, flexibility, and dynamic scaling from their storage platform not found in traditional storage solutions
  2. Cost - Open source software brings a number of built-in cost efficiencies, given that end customers are not paying a premium price for much of the innovation that has been accomplished in upstream projects through thousands of committers and contributors rather than a small, closed-off engineering team. In addition, many customers tell us that they were able to leverage existing Red Hat Enterprise Linux skills to manage their storage in lieu of hiring a dedicated storage admin. And finally, the next step in the evolution of the container storage story holds the promise of reducing costs even further by converging the applications and their persistent data stores, leading to greater utilization and hardware reuse.
  3. Fit - The core value proposition of containers is enabling greater business agility: They empower developers to speed development cycles and drive innovation. The choice of storage should enable and empower them to drive the business forward. Traditional, monolithic storage, stuck in mode 1, has the potential to slow this process down. Software-defined storage such as Red Hat Gluster Storage was born in the era of the cloud and containers. It’s a mode 2 technology at its core, unlike many traditional storage solutions that have been re-badged and re-engineered to keep up. This difference is critical and shows up many monolithic storage vendors as they struggle to evolve with the business needs of their customers.
  4. Integration - Red Hat Storage is not just containerized in a vacuum. A lot of work is being done to tightly integrate with the rest of the Red Hat stack for containers in upstream communities and product. In particular, we’ve invested in integrating Red Hat Gluster Storage with the host layer (Atomic Host, RHEL), the development layer (OpenShift Enterprise), and the orchestration layer (Kubernetes) to enable an end-to-end experience.
  5. Support - Even though we at Red Hat would love to believe containers are mainstream today, the reality is that it’s on a path to being mainstream and an ecosystem that is still growing, which is exactly why a single point of support is key. Being able to make one call (or choke one throat) on questions about container orchestration, container host and PaaS, or container storage - and not have to deal with the endless finger pointing associated with a multi-vendor situation - is invaluable to customers as they try to navigate new terrain.

Are there other reasons that should be added to this list? We’d love to hear your feedback through the Comments section. Please also check out additional insights at red.ht/containers.

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