Containers and Clustered ONTAP

By Kelvin Lim, Team Lead, Enterprise and Cloud Solutions, NetApp APAC


Imagine having the ability to run applications many more times than traditional virtual machines on a physical server. Imagine the ability to maintain a single code base and deploy the services on multiple platforms coupled with ultrafast boot time.  These are just some of the advantages that contribute to the rising popularity of Container Technology.


Container-associated storage is ephemeral and the application data which housed by a container, will only exist as long as it is running. Applications which require constant and persistent storage will find this model unsuitable for its needs.


In order to have persistent storage, the use of container data volumes is required.  This gives rise to solutions such as Flocker (from ClusterHQ) which provides an open-source container data volume manager. Flocker’s data volumes (also known as datasets) are portable and can be moved between different container nodes in a cluster. 


NetApp joined the ClusterHQ storage partner network and this has enabled our clustered Data ONTAP to work as a storage backend for Flocker. 


Benefits of utilizing clustered ONTAP for container deployment include:

  • Providing developers with high availability (HA) and field tested enterprise storage platform to build their containers on
  • Scale out architecture provides a means to scale the application container storage landscape without disruption
  • Storage efficiency provides potential cost savings for hosting container data
  • Clustered ONTAP FlexClone enhances DevOps and in turn assists in new application container developments

Clustered ONTAP enables organizations to build the next generation of enterprise ready stateful services on containers. Organizations will be able to build agile services on containers while retaining the enterprise capabilities of Clustered ONTAP without sacrificing on the level of control and reliability of their data. Through Clustered ONTAP, organizations can further leverage on the features of Data Fabric by connecting their private clouds with public clouds.


With NetApp’s Data Fabric vision, organizations are now able to move container data seamlessly between clouds and have full control over their data along with the freedom to choose the right type of clouds to host these containers.