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The Container Wars Are Under Way As Dell, And Others, Add Flocker Support

By - Source: Toms IT Pro

Virtualization drastically altered the computing landscape, but it took an extended period of time for the novel technique to permeate to the far corners of the datacenter and gain wide acceptance. Containers are much more efficient than traditional VM architectures, and as such, they're poised to upset a large portion of virtualized workloads -- and the projected adoption rate is staggering in comparison to virtualization.

However, for all of the container promise, there are still lingering gaps in functionality and security that hamper many production deployments. The story of the containerized future is unfolding before our eyes, but the winners haven't been declared yet.

ClusterHQ's Flocker data management software tackles the challenges associated with maintaining stateful containers as they migrate among clusters with the ability to provide the correct routing between the storage and containers, thus providing persistent storage attributes.

The segment is heating up, as Rancher recently announced its own persistent storage service. One of Rancher's core claims is its ability to simplify volume management, and Rancher now allows Flocker integration into its service catalog.

ClusterHQ revealed new enhanced Flocker functionality at DockerCon in Europe, including two new tools that enhance manageability from container development to production deployment. The dvol CLI provides Git-like functionality for data, and the new ClusterHQ Volume Hub SaaS management system presents a simplified catalog of all data volumes in a Flocker cluster in one centralized interface. The centralized display automatically lists data volumes under duress, which aids problem recognition and resolution tasks.

Dell also announced that it is supporting Flocker container data management in Dell Storage Center array software for the Dell Storage SC Series. Deploying containers on a fast and flexible flash-based architecture promises the utmost performance, and the Flocker integration simplifies management by supporting Docker Swarm, Kubernetes and Mesosphere container management tools.

ClusterHQ support is spreading rapidly, and Dell is one among many partners. EMC, HP and NetApp have all joined ClusterHQ's storage partner ecosystem, along with PMC-Sierra, Kaminario, Nexenta and Huawei.

The leading vendors are listening with rapt attention as the container and microservices movement comes to the forefront, and as vendors solve more of the challenges associated with microservices, the pace of adoption will quicken.

ClusterHQ has been leading container development and is already entrenched, with broad support from the leading hardware vendors and emerging startups, such as Hedvig, which just might prove to be its key advantage against its rivals.

Paul Alcorn is a Contributing Editor for Tom's IT Pro, covering Storage. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

Update, 11/12/15 11AM PT: We have amended the original version of this article to reflect the fact that ClusterHQ and Rancher have announced Flocker integration with Rancher.