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April 2016, Vol. 5, No. 3

Planning for storage volume in the containerized world

The hype around containers may have reached a fever pitch, but enterprises weighing how many eggs to put in that basket should consider how well (or how poorly) containers meet their data storage needs before they take things any further. Consider server virtualization and its impact on storage. Sure, running multiple servers as virtual machines (VMs) rather than on dedicated boxes translated in to much better server utilization, but it also placed incredible demands on the underlying storage infrastructure. Instead of a single workload generating I/Os on a server, you had 10 VMs generating storage load, each with distinct -- and not necessarily complimentary -- characteristics. Meanwhile, virtualization's killer app -- live migration -- requires some form of networked storage, pushing many shops to pricey storage area networks and network attached storage disk arrays. As a variation on virtualization, containers have their own set of storage issues that must be understood and addressed -- persistence, performance, and ...

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