Dell works with ClusterHQ to allow Docker containers to leverage Dell Storage

Recently, Dell made available new driver code that allows ClusterHQ’s Flocker to integrate with the Dell Storage SC Series. This enables developers and operations teams to use existing storage backends to create portable container-level storage for Docker.

If this all sounds a bit foreign, let’s take a step back.

Digital Transformation  

To put the above into context let’s start with Digital Transformation. Digital Transformation is the idea that if you are not already a Digital Business, you need to gain the ability to rapidly deliver a wide range of services to your customers on a multitude of devices. This Digital trend has raised customer expectations and disrupted industries. If you ignore this trend you are very likely to get “Ubered” or “Netflixed” and find yourself going the way of Blockbuster or Borders.

Software, DevOps and Containers

If we look behind Digital Business we find its key driver, software. In a world where slow is becoming the new down you need to make sure this software is delivered, with quality, as quickly as possible. So if you’re looking to increase the velocity of your software it should come as no surprise that the first thing you need to do is reduce friction.

Before we get back to Flocker, Docker and containers we need to introduce the concept of “DevOps” that these three components fit within.  Reducing friction and increasing velocity is the key goal behind DevOps. DevOps is a methodology whereby Developers and Operations work together to create a common workflow that spans from code creation all the way to the delivery of the app or service. By creating a unified culture and utilizing a wide array of new tools, DevOps has significantly sped up the development and deployment of software.

Within the DevOps tools, no component has caught more attention recently than containers. Containers, which is quite often synonymous with Docker, encapsulate services and applications so they can be moved, much in the same way that shipping containers are moved, as if development, testing, staging and production were one environment. Containers also allow you to build once and run anywhere whether that’s a public cloud, private cloud or bare-metal server.

Data, Containers and Flocker

When it comes to data volume, however, in the case of Docker, it is tied to a single server. Enter ClusterHQ. ClusterHQ’s Flocker makes it possible for entire applications, including their data, to be containerized and moved as a single unit between development, staging and production and across different hosts in your cluster.

With the new driver connecting Flocker with the Dell Storage SC Series customers can use a combination of Docker and Flocker to adopt container-based infrastructure for an entire application, including databases, in production environments. Flocker also allows SC Series customers to use container management tools Docker Swarm, Kubernetes and Mesosphere to achieve portable and persistent shared storage for cloud-native applications.

Dell and Devops

Internally, Dell IT is experimenting with containers themselves to determine how best to leverage them.   At a higher level Dell is using the DevOps methodology in our IT department to support our internal tools and our external web presence.  Externally, Dell offers a host of consulting services to allow customers to migrate to a DevOps model. As time marches on we are also looking to put more code for various projects up on GitHub.

Stay tuned to learn about Dell’s open source, DevOps and Container activities.

Extra-credit reading

Pau for now…

About the Author: Barton George