EMC, a company that’s built much of its business on storage area networks (SAN), has created a connection technology – libStorage – to provide a standardized protocol for containers to interface with stored data. EMC is open sourcing libStorage on GitHub.
“There are a few factors preventing adoption of containers; one of them is storage,” says Josh Bernstein, VP of technology with EMC. “Customers have struggled with how they run persistent apps in containers. It’s a pain point, and now we’re getting to an acknowledgement by industry that this is a problem.”
This echoes the sentiments of Wei Dang, head of product at CoreOS, another company that is working on container storage technology. While CoreOS touts its container storage software as being purpose-built from the ground up, Dang predicts established storage vendors will develop their own container storage options so as not to be left in the dust as containers gain momentum.
That may be the case with EMC.
Some companies may create proprietary protocols to create container storage connectivity, but EMC is making libStorage an open source project with the aim of standardizing the protocols.
LibStorage provides connections between the containers housing the applications and servers that provide the storage, whether those servers come from EMC or other vendors.
“EMC has no plans to offer it as a product in a traditional sense,” says Bernstein. “It plans to offer support for the open source project. If you find relevance with EMC because we’re offering all this code, then you might want our storage products.”
Bernstein says libStorage is not in direct competition with CoreOS’s container storage software, which is based on Kubernetes. For EMC, it’s more about a standardized container storage interface. LibStorage supports multiple platforms, including Cloud Foundry, Apache Mesos, Mesosphere DC/OS, Docker, and Kubernetes.