Supercharge Kubernetes Deployments with Dell Container Storage Modules

Enterprise storage made real for Kubernetes.

Dell Technologies today announces the availability of Dell Container Storage Modules (CSM). CSM makes enterprise storage real for Kubernetes by delivering enterprise capabilities with simple, consistent integration and automation for DevOps and IT operations across persistent storage for cloud-native applications.

Application developers across organizations of all sizes are increasingly adopting containers for cloud-native workloads. Containerization of applications is a way to abstract the application from the underlying hardware, enabling faster introduction of new features. For all the benefits containerized workloads provide, there are still challenges for businesses to overcome – everything from a lack of internal alignment, to visibility and monitoring issues, to meeting security and compliance requirements. Containers are expected to grow in the face of these challenges – it’s expected that by 2025, more than 85% of global organizations will be running containerized applications in production.¹

Today, container storage interface (CSI) drivers provide standard lifecycle management of volumes and snapshots for Kubernetes. CSM extends beyond those basic capabilities delivering modules for storage management that enable DevOps teams to build automation for critical enterprise storage services to Kubernetes environments, such as data replication across data centers, role-based access control (RBAC) authorization, observability and resiliency for disaster recovery and avoidance. CSM makes this possible by:

    • Extending enterprise storage to Kubernetes to accelerate adoption of cloud native workloads.
    • Empowering developers to improve productivity with increased manageability and reduced development life cycles.
    • Automating storage operations to integrate enterprise storage with existing Kubernetes toolsets for scalable operations.

Take advantage of the full power of the Dell Technologies storage portfolio

Not only does CSM deliver enterprise storage features for Kubernetes users, it injects storage code into Kubernetes and allows users to take advantage of the unique capabilities of Dell Storage offers like PowerMax, PowerStore, PowerScale, PowerFlex and Unity XT. DevOps teams now have access to advanced storage services such as PowerMax’s multi-site replication, PowerScale’s flexible scale-out NAS and PowerFlex’s scale-out for high performance data bases. With CSM, Kubernetes users now can take advantage of the full power and flexibility of the number one storage portfolio in the world.²

Dell Container Storage Modules will help us simplify and streamline storage infrastructure management to accelerate product development, testing, and deployment of our new products and services.” – Maurizio Davini, CTO, University of Pisa

Deliver more visibility and control for Kubernetes users:

    • Observability – Delivers a high-level view of the storage capacity and performance usage via Grafana dashboards to the Kubernetes users. Kubernetes administrators have insight into CSI Driver persistent storage topology, usage, and performance.
    • Replication – Enables array replication capabilities for Kubernetes users to implement a high availability architecture for business-critical applications. Replication is a key component of any disaster recovery plan.
    • Authorization – Gives storage administrators the ability to limit and control storage consumption in Kubernetes environments by applying quota and Roll-Based Access Control rules that instantly and automatically restrict cluster tenant’s usage of storage resources. Users of storage through the authorization module do not need to  have storage admin root credentials to access the storage system, therefore enabling provisioning operations to non- admin users.
    • Resiliency – Designed to make Kubernetes applications more resilient to node failures by detecting node failures (power failure), K8s control plane network failures and array I/O network failures and move the protected pods to hardware that is functioning.
    • Volume Placement – analyzes capacity and automates volume placement for Kubernetes workloads.³
    • Snapshots – Built on top of the CSI snapshot feature, the module delivers additional snapshot capabilities such as group/crash consistent snapshots with referential integrity.

Dell Technologies Container Storage Modules.Each of the six modules plus all CSI drivers are available for download via the CSM installer – a single source to simplify CSI drivers’ and container storage modules deployment, lifecycle management and tech support. The common installer allows all the modules and CSI drivers to be deployed from the online registry or a dark site.

Empower your DevOps Teams

With Dell’s broad portfolio designed for modern IT, customers can deploy end-to-end storage, data protection, compute and open networking solutions supporting rapid cloud-native adoption. As a result, Dell enterprise offerings are fundamentally and intrinsically designed to move modern applications and workloads to production.  Leveraging Dell Technologies solutions to implement end-to-end lifecycle management processes that are scalable with intelligent sets of capabilities enables DevOps teams to advance quickly along their digital IT transformation. Leveraging modern applications alongside a strong enterprise backbone will result in less management overhead, increase efficient resource availability and allow organizations to be more competitive in their marketplace.

SWISS TXT developed its managed Kubernetes service with self-service storage provisioning using Dell PowerScale storage and its Container Storage Interface (CSI) plugin. This significantly simplified and streamlined our storage infrastructure management. Ultimately, this accelerated service delivery, reduced storage provisioning from 3 days to seconds, reduced costs for short-term storage by 90%, enabled extension of existing hardware for modern workloads & self-service storage for customers. “We’re excited to use the enterprise data services through the container storage modules (CSM) that will help us further accelerate product development, testing, and deployment of our new products and services,” says Josef Vogt, System Engineer, SWISS TXT AG.

CSM is an open source project engineered and supported by Dell Technologies. We welcome contributions to the project to continue to support a healthy and vibrant Kubernetes community.

CSM is available for download on GitHub as of 9/30/2021 and please see here more resources.

1 Will be available 1H FY22

2 IDC Quarterly Enterprise Storage Systems Tracker, 2021 Q2

3Gartner, Best Practices for Running Containers and Kubernetes in Production, Aug 2020

About the Author: Magi Kapoor

Magi Kapoor is a seasoned product management leader and is driving Dell Technologies Multicloud SaaS strategy. She has 20 years of experience in the storage industry with responsibilities spanning product management, systems engineering, technical marketing, business strategy and product development. Magi has a track record of successfully launching and managing full lifecycle of multiple enterprise storage products and cloud offerings. Magi holds a B.S. in Computer Science from Iowa State University, and an MBA from Babson College. Connect with Magi on X @Magi_Kapoor.