Portworx Looks to Improve Cloud-Native Kubernetes Data Portability

As organizations increasingly choose to adopt cloud-native Kubernetes technologies, there is a corresponding need to make it easier to deploy and manage storage.

Helping enterprises manage storage in Kubernetes is the mission that Goutham Rao has been on since he helped to start Portworx in December 2014. Portworx is an enterprise-grade cloud-native storage vendor and a contributor to multiple open-source efforts. The company's flagship product PX-Enterprise was updated to version 2.0 in December 2018, providing new capabilities to help organizations migrate container storage with PX-Motion and manage data with PX-Central. 

In a video interview with eWEEK, Rao provides insight into the latest features in his company's cloud-native storage platform and where the technology is headed.

Rao said that in the PX-Enterprise 1.0 release, the company was focused on providing a platform that complemented Kubernetes, enabling organizations to run stateful applications. Kubernetes is a container orchestration system that is used to deploy and manage container application workloads that are often stateless and ephemeral. With the 1.0 release, the goal was to provide a storage overlay that virtualizes the underlying storage infrastructure, he added.

PX-Enterprise 2.0

With PX-Enterprise 2.0, Rao said customer feedback was used to improve the product. Among the key trends that have emerged in the past year has been the notion of multicloud, where organizations are making use of more than one cloud, which has an impact on storage management as well.

"Now what people want is something that is a meta-level control plane that can manage multiple Kubernetes clusters, even if they are running on different clouds," Rao said. "Along the same lines, we have to be able to facilitate data management and data orchestration across different Kubernetes clusters and clouds." 

That's where the PX-Motion feature in PX-Enterprise 2.0 is helpful, allowing organizations to share data across different Kubernetes clusters. Rao said that PX-Motion focuses on data accessibility and availability across clusters. The notion of being able to move virtual assets around is not a new one. VMware has long enabled its users to move assets with its vMotion technology. Rao said that the difference with PX-Motion is that rather than moving an entire virtual machine, Portworx is able to handle just the storage.

"Using containers, I can surgically what I need to move, Rao said. "So, the motion is more efficient, and it allows us to move data across wider areas and diverse physical targets."

Watch the full video with Goutham Rao, co-founder and CTO of Portworx, above.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at eWEEK and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.