Docker Containers Make Your Applications Portable, but What About Your Data?
By Stacey Gilmore, Solutions Marketing at Nimble Storage, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise Company

Figure 1 With Docker Containers, applications can run anywhere and even more between cloud and on-premesis. But what about application data?

Companies that can’t keep pace in this digital age won’t survive. That’s why organizations of all sizes are breaking down walls between Dev and Ops teams, and evaluating Docker Containers. By letting teams build, ship, and run applications anywhere, Docker helps IT and DevOps teams speed up innovation and growth.

Just One Big Catch
Though Docker Containers have traditionally been used with applications that work with transient data, digital business requires applications that collect and analyze data that persists between sessions. Known as stateful applications, they store and access the data you need to fine tune and improve practically anything in any industry that helps you increase ROI – from supply chain operations to customer engagement, sales, and marketing.

Whether you’re in banking, retail, or healthcare, you need to empower developers to work with stateful applications too. So how do you bring the ‘anywhere portability’ of Docker Containers to stateful applications?



Moving and managing data should be as easy as moving and managing Docker Containers themselves
In order to make the application data used by containers portable, you need a high quality persistent storage solution that offers Docker-style capabilities for the data that goes with your Docker Containers. Some of the most important capabilities to look for in a persistent storage solution include:

Automated Data Management Capabilities to speed up both Ops and DevOps by making your data as easy to manipulate as Docker Containers. Look for a full-range of capabilities to speed up every phase of the DevOps cycle, including:

  • Instant, easy, and affordable ways for DevOps and Ops teams to copy, propagate, and refresh data volumes for all who need it, including dev/test, QA, staging, canary testing, and production.
  • Configurable volume characteristics, such as performance and security; if data is encrypted in production, DevOps teams can reduce issues by giving developers encrypted volumes as well
  • Full support for Windows and Linux Containers so you’re free to choose whatever platform and container type are right for business at hand

Application Data Portability and Cloud Readiness help you avoid vendor lock-in by giving you an easy cloud on-ramp and exit strategy for data, and will even make it easy to switch between clouds. As your applications move across infrastructure and clouds, you’ll need a way to make data accessible everywhere too. Look for a vendor with a true pay-as-you-go multicloud storage offering that’s powerful enough to meet enterprise application requirements and includes deep integration with Docker Containers.

Enterprise Grade Storage not only helps you ensure data is protected and available when you need it, but also offers maximum efficiency to complement the server and software savings Docker Containers bring. For example, a SaaS development team that currently clones 96 TB of data 3 times a week gets a 10x data reduction from Nimble Storage. As a result, they consume 22.5 TB capacity instead of the 288TB they would consume using commodity storage.

Just as Docker Containers speed up DevOps lifecycles by making life easy for all involved, the best persistent storage solutions are powerful enough to simplify data management across teams and lifecycles. In contrast, those that do little beyond provision volumes will stymie rather than streamline real-world operations. If you’re serious about using Docker for faster innovation and growth, finding the right persistent storage can mean a competitive edge for business.

Visit our website to learn more about our persistent storage solution for Docker Containers