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ClusterHQ And VMware: Collaboration Key For Container Tech's Success

By - Source: Toms IT Pro

In response to the growing influence containerized technology is having in the virtualized datacenter, ClusterHQ announced a pluggable storage driver for VMware's vSphere virtual architecture. Built in collaboration with VMware, the driver gives an operator direct control of VMware storage volumes, including VSAN and Virtual Volumes, at the container level.

Known primarily for Flocker, a container data management solution for open source containers and Docker, ClusterHQ's flagship product gives admins the ability to move containers with stateful services, like databases, key-value stores and queues, from one host to another.

In non-Flocker scenarios, moving containers usually means leaving the data behind and finding some other way to map or move the data to the container in its new location.

With Flocker, the data is kept in volumes called "datasets," and then the data manager application can help move both container and dataset together to the new location without a data disconnect. Controlling Flocker's operations is done by either using the Flocker command line interface (CLI) or through an API using languages such as Python or Ruby.

Though containerized environments can run on standalone servers, ClusterHQ pointed to a recent survey it ran with that virtualized servers are still a key hosting environment for containers. Seventy-three percent of the survey question's 229 respondents said that if they are using containers, they run the containers on virtual machines.

Along the same lines, the survey also reported that out of 173 respondents, 30.9 percent use VMware hypervisors to host their containerized applications. Other hypervisors followed, including Xen (13.4 percent), Citrix XenServer (9.3 percent), Hyper-V (8.6 percent) and KVM (15.6 percent).

In short, by collaborating with VMware, the effort to make the pluggable driver for vSphere shows that ClusterHQ is hitting the right growth market.

On the other hand, VMware's history of working with third-party vendors and communities have always been a big plus for administrators. From security to storage management, there have been plenty of tools made to help make admins' jobs easier. Not only does working with ClusterHQ bolster VMware's relationship with the container community, but it also helps the virtualization company by making its products attractive to future containerized application solutions.

ClusterHQ's storage driver for vSphere is downloadable here.