Do shipping containers make a good home for my apps?

[DevOps, Kubernetes, Persistent volumes, Cloud Native Applications, Cloud-computing, GKE]

Are you a fan of tiny houses as much as I am? I love watching YouTube videos of creative geniuses who build fun, functional, and modern homes out of recycled materials, like shipping containers.  

I can’t build a tiny house out of shipping containers. But I can help you build, run, and optimize persistent storage infrastructure to enable your cloud-native apps by using containers and Kubernetes.

Unlock the best of cloud and Kubernetes so you can innovate faster

One of NetApp's customers, a major online video streaming service, is using Kubernetes container orchestration as a back end for its streaming video service. It’s a massive-scale Kubernetes environment with over 680 clusters, 13,000 nodes, and 129,000 containers. The company has transformed cloud-native app development, deployment, and management to be more agile, flexible, and responsive to the ever-growing and changing demand for online streaming video.

DevOps teams traditionally used Kubernetes to focus on stateless apps without data. However, as the service grew, the company wanted to run stateful apps on Kubernetes, too. But highly available, persistent storage was going to be a real hassle to set up if they wanted it to be easy to back up and restore quickly—and resilient against a zonal or regional failure. Implications for the service are huge. Data is the lifeblood of the service, and a loss of data from these stateful apps means the potential loss of the streaming service itself. This simply cannot happen, ever. 

With NetApp and Google Cloud working together, using NetApp Trident as a matchmaker, Kubernetes and NetApp Cloud Volumes are a match made in the cloud to provide highly available persistent storage for containers. You get the added benefits of multiple storage-efficient features from NetApp with the flexibility and scalability of the public cloud.

Software-defined Cloud Volumes Service

Here’s where the story gets even better. The new general availability (GA) software service tier in NetApp Cloud Volumes Service (Standard-SW) makes it simple for any application owner to build, deploy, and optimize highly available persistent storage for Kubernetes at cloud scale — in just a few clicks. It achieves these simplified operations by understanding the data operations of stateful applications and how they consume storage.

Since Cloud Volumes Service and its data management capabilities are software-defined, they can be used locally in the region where you operate your workloads. You no longer need to be concerned about deploying your workloads out of the country, or accessing data across boundaries where costs and latency are high. This cloud-native, scalable, and flexible enterprise storage architecture is the first partner enterprise storage system delivered with Google Kubernetes Engine. NetApp and Google engineers collaborated on Kubernetes storage and networking features to deliver this first-of-its-kind storage service over the past several months. The outcome of this partnership is that you now have access to more service-level options. 

Software-defined Cloud Volumes Service is an addition to the existing service type (CVS-Performance) with its three service levels (standard, premium, extreme). CVS-Performance provides a balance of capacity and performance that is ideal for cloud-native applications that use Kubernetes and for general-purpose workloads that need to scale quickly. CVS-Performance offers:

  • Native NetApp Snapshot capabilities. You can make copies of your data for near-zero RPO/RTO disaster recovery, migration, or rehydration.
  • Innovative mix of protocol support. Your Cloud Volumes Service supports volumes created for both NFS and SMB. 
  • Flexible scaling. Nondisruptive volume resizing and performance levels scale to fit your needs. Volumes of up to 100TB each, with up to 100 volumes per zone per project, can scale to up to 500 volumes per project.
  • Security. Cloud Volumes Service takes advantage of Google Cloud’s multilayer infrastructure security. Your data is encrypted at rest through strong AES 256-bit encryption and is delivered securely through the Google private services access framework.

Software-defined Cloud Volumes Service also adds:

  • Better coverage. Because Cloud Volumes Service is no longer hardware dependent, the service will be available in all regions and zones where your workloads are currently running. The initial release offers the following regions, and the number will increase as the service grows: South Carolina, Oregon, São Paulo, Belgium, Finland, Hong Kong, Jakarta, and Seoul.
  • Improved availability. The service is designed to have 99.95% availability, so you can protect data in a single zone with minimal outages or downtime. If an instance outage occurs, the service automatically moves the volume’s persistent disk to another instance to maintain availability without disrupting the application.  
  • Better starting performance levels. The Standard-SW tier now provides 32MiBps per TiB of performance.  

Are you ready to give it a try? Test-drive 25TB of Cloud Volumes Service today. To learn more, visit Cloud Volumes Service for Google Cloud.  

Robert Cox
Robert is a senior product marketing manager with over 20 years of product marketing and product management experience. Robert is focused on NetApp cloud data services, working to enable customers to deliver business outcomes for all IT workloads on cloud, multicloud, and hybrid cloud environments. Robert is an avid cyclist and loves to be outdoors.

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