The Linux Foundation is hosting a little-known open source project that’s doing software-defined storage. The OpenSDS project officially launched with the Linux Foundation in November 2016. And it recently issued its first code release — Aruba.
The impetus of the project was to bring together different companies to collaborate on an open storage platform, said Steven Tan, chairman of the OpenSDS technical steering committee and CTO of cloud storage solutions at Huawei. There are so many open source projects for compute and networking. The founders of OpenSDS wanted something for storage.
Some of the vendors behind the start of OpenSDS were Hitachi, Huawei, and Fujitsu. Dell EMC joined a bit later. The group also includes end users of software-defined storage such as Vodafone, Yahoo Japan, and NTT Communications.
“A lot of end users have a traditional IT set-up, and if they have cloud-native apps they still need to connect to the existing IT infrastructure,” said Tan. “A lot of projects are just addressing one environment. We’re trying to connect the dots and make sure to provide a framework that connects traditional with cloud-native.”
Similar to SDN, software-defined storage separates the control plane from the data plane. OpenSDS is creating the control plane for storage. Tan said it doesn’t matter whether the underlying storage is handled by hardware or software. The OpenSDS code provides a management and control interface.
“It’s definitely a very challenging endeavor,” said Tan. “In terms of more traditional storage like block or file, each vendor does stuff differently. OpenSDS is a consistent way to manage different storage.”
The key thing with storage is the data itself, said Tan. It may be cliché, but OpenSDS is trying to get the right data to the right place at the right time. It’s doing this by building an intelligent and autonomous data storage management framework.
The Aruba Release
For its first code release, the OpenSDS project unified storage with Kubernetes for container control and storage with OpenStack for virtual machine control. “We started with Kubernetes because containers allow us to do cloud-native scale-out infrastructure,” said Tan. “OpenStack enables us to do provisioning and storage management for different frameworks.”
Besides enabling storage to be provisioned and managed for both containers and cloud with a single storage controller, Aruba also includes data replication, which enables solutions such as data protection, data migration, and disaster recovery. Both host-based as well as storage-based data replication are supported.
With the Aruba release, “We are well on our way to execute on the published roadmap to make storage as pain-free as possible, in coordination with other open source projects,” said Rakesh Jain, vice-chair of the OpenSDS technical steering committee and senior architect and researcher at IBM, in a statement.