Containers have revolutionized the way we ensure that software will run reliably when moved from one computing environment to another. Whether they are based on Docker or Kubernetes, the #1 challenge that companies face in taking full advantage of containers is how to manage persistent storage. In a survey done by CNCF (Cloud Native Computing Foundation), 48% of the respondents listed it as their top concern, ahead of security, networking and overall complexity.

 

It is by no means a surprise that NetApp, a leader in data management market, offers a dynamic provisioner call Trident.

The Concept & Benefits

Developers want to consume infrastructure how, when and where they want, without worrying about performance, reliability or availability. Also, this needs to be achieved without any knowledge of the underlying infrastructure.

 

With Trident, storage is characterized by attributes, which define specific features or hardware specifications. The attributes are then grouped into Storage Classes which developers can consume as needed. The beauty of Trident is that it gives developers autonomy by dynamically provision the persistent volumes based on the storage class they’ve selected.

 

In my experience, this freedom is something that both the developers and the ops teams love.

 

Storage admins love it because they no longer need to spend their days creating volumes based on developers’ individual requests. Developers love it because they get their volumes as soon as they request them.

 

This transformation of the provisioning relationship and experience is at the core of the value that Trident brings and is so powerful that customers are clamoring to try it as soon as possible!

 

In some cases, companies do not yet have NetApp storage available for testing TRIDENT, either because their NetApp storage platforms are being used for other projects or because they simply do not have any of our systems in place.

 

That is when ONTAP Select comes in the game!

ONTAP Select

NetApp ONTAP Select offers robust enterprise storage services that are deployed on a choice of commodity hardware and hypervisor. It combines the best of the cloud for agility and for granular capacity scaling with the flexibility, resilience and locality of on-premises storage.

 

In other words, ONTAP Select is the #1 Storage Operating System in the world running in a Virtual Machine! And that is powerful!

 

Most companies have either ESXi or KVM available. It is then quite easy to fire up ONTAP Select, especially because it embeds an evaluation mode, which can be used to provision up to 2TB of raw capacity for 90 days, while giving you the possibility to use our advanced storage features, such as efficiency, snapshots, data protection, encryption and so much more…

 

You can start with single nodes cluster (which is sufficient to test Trident) or choose to build multi-nodes clusters up to 8 nodes, in order to test different configurations.

Figure 1: ONTAP Select – Delivers enterprise-class storage services with cloud-like agility on your choice of commodity hardware. A four-node configuration is highlighted here.

These advanced features are translated into Kubernetes Storage Classes and then can be recognized by the developers.

Bottom Line

You can build a storage infrastructure and a dynamic storage provisioner for Kubernetes in less than one hour, max!

 

Once you have tasted the benefits that Trident can offer, you can decide to continue with ONTAP Select into production (there are customers using Trident and ONTAP Select for several hundreds of TB) or you can opt for one of the many offerings in NetApp’s portfolio including full flash systems, hybrid FAS or cloud environments running NetApp in all the major hyperscalers.

 

In conclusion, users are very excited about the possibilities Trident makes possible and making it even more flexible is the fact that it is not limited to one single type of backend storage. You can also choose to use several different platforms in the same deployment, leveraging different storage classes.

 

Now is the time to check it out. Register for your free 90-day free trial of ONTAP Select today!

Yves Weisser

Yves is an CSA covering topics such as Software Defined Storage and DevOps across EMEA. He works closely with account teams in the region, providing expertise and consultancy on these subjects.

Before taking this position, he held several technical roles within NetApp, including Professional Services and Pre-Sales for Telco & Service Provider accounts with a global coverage. During that time, he also became a specialist on Network Functions Virtualization.

Prior to NetApp he was a developer in various companies – Infovista being one of them – creating products used by Telcos.

Yves is based in France where he lives with his wife and daughter. Outside of work, he describes himself as a foodie and a beer geek. He is also keen on travelling throughout the world, to discover new places, new foods and new tastes.