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Persistent Storage for Docker Containers
By Michael Mattsson, Sr. Tech Marketing Engineer, Nimble Storage

As the paradigm shift for running applications in containers continues, we assessed the marketplace for core features needed to integrate into the Docker ecosystem. Docker provides a rich set of integration points that allow vendors to innovate and add value to Docker – storage in particular. Nimble is announcing a Docker Volume plug-in that abstracts all our essential array features into the Docker Volume framework to build, ship and run applications in stateful containers. We believe this is one of the most comprehensive Docker Volume plug-ins available.

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Docker Volumes

While stateless containers dominate in the micro services era, we still largely depend on persistent data and stateful applications. Stateful containers requiring persistent data and high availability across Docker hosts demands a volume separate from the application image being stored on a shared storage system. The importance of application data doesn’t change with containers – reliability, availability and performance are essential to minimize the application-to-data gap that a Nimble Unified Flash Fabric delivers.

These are the features and benefits available to Docker via the Nimble Storage plug-in:

Highly Available – Fully integrated into Docker Swarm and Docker Datacenter for seamless orchestration of scheduling and running containers on any host in the swarm.

Performance Policies – Predefined performance policies based on analysis across 8,500+ customers worldwide have been optimized to support an organization’s particular application needs.

Volume Placement – Docker volumes may be placed in different pools in a Nimble Storage group to control data separation or to meet performance needs that fully leverage a Unified Flash Fabric.

Volume Encryption – Control data at rest encryption for sensitive data and applications.

Thin Provisioning – Depending on the chargeback model, policies and storage guarantees, volumes may be thick or thin provisioned.

Variable Block Deduplication & Compression – Market-leading storage efficiency is selectable per volume achieving up to 5X or more data reduction.

Zero-Copy Clones – Incorporate Docker volumes in complex workflows to reuse data from a production volume to stage test and development. This works on either existing Docker volumes or volumes served to non-dockerized applications – instantaneously and without any extra space overhead.

Volume Import – Import Nimble volumes from existing environments into a Docker volume – either direct cut-over or via a cloned snapshot.

Permissions & Ownership – Gain granular control over the mount-point to ensure applications run seamlessly with the level of permissions and ownership required.

Docker Volumes may also take advantage of all Nimble array native features such as snapshots, replication and InfoSight Predictive Analytics for a comprehensive storage solution for mission-critical workloads.

A Complete Solution

Nimble is ensuring a seamless and feature rich experience while managing Docker volumes. We offer the full Nimble Storage Predictive Flash platform across a Unified Flash Fabric experience for Docker and strive to evolve our products to better support applications as new frameworks and functionality evolves.

For a deeper discussion about the container paradigm shift, please visit the personal blog on NimbleConnect: https://connect.nimblestorage.com/people/mmattsson/blog/2016/09/20/the-container-paradigm-shift

Written by:
Michael Mattsson