CloudByte was founded in 2011 and has garnered $6.1 million in funding from two rounds. The startup delivers software storage systems to service providers and enterprises deploying private clouds. It competes with the likes of NetApp.
But it’s also riding the new wave in containerized software-defined storage.
Powell says that when he was at Nexenta, the company was involved on the cutting edge of storage at that time, namely, the transition from hardware to software storage. Now, the cutting edge involves containers.
In addition, CloudByte is the lead vendor of a new open source group called OpenEBS. CloudByte created the Apache licensed storage project in the fall of 2016. The project includes native container integration with Kubernetes, Docker, and other orchestration projects.
“It’s slingshotting off Amazon’s Elastic Block Storage (EBS),” says Powell. “The Amazon APIs have become the de facto standard. OpenEBS is compatible with Amazon’s EBS. No other open source group has embraced EBS APIs.”
OpenEBS uses some of the technology developed by CloudByte including the ability to control quality of service (QoS) from containerized storage controllers.
Open Source Software-Defined Storage
The new OpenEBS joins a number of open source projects for software-defined storage.
“The one we’re going to be compared to is Ceph; that’s the one that’s got the most usage,” says Powell. “It was started by a community but backed by a company that Red Hat bought and is now managed largely by Red Hat.”
Ceph is a broad open source project, doing block, file, and object storage. While OpenEBS focuses on block storage and runs in a container itself. It bills itself as “containerized storage for containers.”
Other software-defined storage projects have been created by EMC and CoreOS.
EMC created a connection technology – libStorage – to provide a standardized protocol for containers to interface with stored data. The vendor open-sourced libStorage on GitHub.
EMC libStorage “is fundamentally an alternative to the Docker volumes,” says Powell. “In short, it is EMC’s way of offering something that might be more broadly controlled – or at least less directly Docker controlled.”
In addition, CoreOS established an open source container storage project called Torus.
“Personally I wouldn’t bet against the CoreOS team,” says Powell. “However, they have in this case bet on a means of accessing the storage called Network Block Storage as opposed to iSCSI. iSCSI is much more broadly understood and adopted.”