IBM container applications and extended hybrid cloud storage support

Sajjad Hussain
Oct 29 · 4 min read
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The introduction of these functions is mainly to support the rapidly expanding container and Kubernetes ecosystem (including RedHat OpenShift), while helping enterprises to accelerate the pace of the hybrid cloud.

This release aims to further expand IBM’s innovation in cross-platform data to promote the full adoption of containers, Kubernetes and Red Hat OpenShift as unified standards across physical, virtual and cloud platforms. These include deepening the protection of containers, expanding cloud options for backup, disaster recovery and data retention, enhancing support for native data access to containers on Red Hat OpenShift, and improving the flexibility of container applications through object storage.

According to survey data released by Enterprise Strategy Group, 74% of enterprises have used them in the production process or plan to adopt containers in the next year. As the usage of containers increases year by year, enterprises are also facing storage challenges. More professional strategies, products and services are urgently needed in the fields of data management, data protection and backup.

IBM launched its first container-oriented storage solution in 2017, enabling enterprise-level storage to provide persistent support for containers and Kubernetes. Based on past rich experience and close cooperation with Red Hat, IBM announced the launch of new features to enhance its container-oriented storage solutions.

IBM Storage Suite for Cloud Paks aims to strengthen the support for native data access of containers on OpenShift. The suite will provide maximum flexibility for continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) teams, who often manage files, objects, and data blocks in software-defined storage.

IBM packages Red Hat OpenShift Container Storage, Red Hat Ceph Storage and IBM Spectrum Storage and other software, and provides general authorization. The new version of IBM Spectrum Scale released this time adds a fully containerized client and runtime Operator to provide leading file system data access for HPC, AI, and scalable data pools on any OpenShift cluster. In addition, IBM Cloud Object Storage added support for open source s3fs files and reflected it in the object storage interface bundled with Red Hat OpenShift.

Christoph Buchstätter, Director of Computing and Platform Services at Porsche Informatik, said “As we begin to modernize the infrastructure with containerized applications and Red Hat OpenShift, we need an infrastructure that can support modernization and upgrade of applications in a safe and reliable manner. We choose IBM Cloud Object Storage because it can provide our containerized applications with built-in security, stability, and high availability. The system is easy to manage and helps us keep our data under control.”

For users who are evaluating existing infrastructure container support capabilities, IBM FlashSystem can provide low-latency, high-performance, and high-availability storage solutions for physical, virtual, or container workloads that support multiple container storage interfaces (CSI). The version released this time has updated Ansible scripts to achieve rapid deployment, while enhancing support for storage-level memory (SCM) and improving snapshot and data efficiency.

The most exciting thing is that IBM Storage has made plans to add integrated storage management capabilities to a container-native, software-defined solution. The solution will be managed by Kubernetes administrators, relying on IBM’s long-term experience in scale-out storage, and strive to meet the performance and scalability required by artificial intelligence and machine learning workloads running in the Red Hat OpenShift environment.

In the fourth quarter of 2020, IBM plans to introduce enhancements to its industry-leading modern data protection solution IBM Spectrum Protect Plus to provide more complete protection for the Red Hat OpenShift environment. These enhancements include: deploying the IBM Spectrum Protect Plus server as a container using a certified Red Hat OpenShift Operator to facilitate user deployment; protecting metadata, including the ability to restore applications, namespaces, and clusters to different locations; and extending the Container native and container-ready storage support, etc. IBM also announced the launch of a beta version of IBM Spectrum Protect Plus on the Microsoft Azure Marketplace.

Richard Potts, general manager of IBM business partner SCC enterprise software and solutions business, said: “IBM Storage continues to promote innovation, only to better meet the changing needs of customers. IBM Storage is launched for Kubernetes containers and the Red Hat OpenShift hybrid cloud platform. Innovative results and new solutions show that IBM has always grasped the development direction of the industry. Whether it is the innovative results of the new IBM Spectrum Scale container native storage access or the integration of IBM Spectrum Discover and Red Hat OpenShift Container Storage (OCS), it is IBM Supporting the development of hybrid cloud data centers.”

Finally, IBM also announced that it will provide extended hybrid cloud support for IBM Spectrum Protect, officially launching a new seventh-generation b-type SAN switch and director equipped with the new IBM SANnav management software in the fourth quarter, as well as the official launch in the first half of 2021. New LTO 9 tape technology products that enhance network resilience.

Just as Red Hat is committed to helping companies improve and strengthen open source innovation, IBM Storage is committed to narrowing the gap and worries between traditional IT platforms and fast-growing open source projects. IBM Storage also provides consistent data services across physical, virtual, cloud and containerized workloads in terms of high-performance storage solutions, or software-defined storage. IT professionals can extend the existing storage and data protection infrastructure, or create a new platform that combines open source innovation and enterprise data services. In this way, IBM Storage helps companies accelerate innovation while protecting their business.

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