StorageOS – A Quick Introduction

 

I had the opportunity to talk to Chris Brandon, Founder and CEO of StorageOS, recently, and thought it might be worthwhile putting together a brief introductory post. I had spoken to them a few months ago but this time round the concepts started to sink into my somewhat thick skull.

 

What Do They Do?

Persistent container storage. Chris described the solution as an “[e]nterprise-class cloud storage platform that runs on commodity hardware, VM and cloud storage infrastructure”:

  • Designed for high-performance applications;
  • Lightweight, 40MB Docker plugin supports hyperconverged or centralised deployments;
  • Ideal for running databases and CI/CD workloads -all while reducing complexity and cost;
  • Priced for rapid adoption, scales to enterprise deployments; and
  • Policy engine automates volume placement and data services.

[image via StorageOS]

 

Architecture

The architecture is split into a ‘Data Plane and a ‘Control Plane’. Storage media is consumed by the Data Plane and presented as virtual volumes. The Control Plane manages configuration and provides an API interface for provisioning. The configuration is persisted using a Key Value Store.

[image via StorageOS]

 

Benefits?

According to StorageOS, there are a few, including:

  • Agile, On-Demand: API driven, automated policy driven provisioning
  • Anywhere: Deploy standalone or hyper-converged in VMs, cloud, x86 servers and laptops
  • Made Easy: Easy to deploy, simple to manage, integrates with Docker and Kubernetes
  • On-Demand: Pay by usage, subscription based license
  • Enterprise Ready: Deterministic performance, highly available, durable and secure

 

How Can I Access It?

There’s a free developer version with community support available already. You can run it on your computer, in VMs or in the cloud. It offers 30 days of full functionality, and from there on is free to use without enterprise features.

A “Professional Edition” is coming in mid 2017, and an Enterprise Edition is “coming soon”.

 

Conclusion

Chris tells me there’s been a big uptake in retail right now. A lot of people I speak to are interested in working with containers, or are already well down the track. Storage has been a problem for them. I’m keen to see how this progresses and whether StorageOS gets the traction they need. I certainly believe there’s a place in the market for solutions like this, and if you’re into this kind of thing, I urge you to have a look at the beta. You can even find some handy instructions here.