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Red Hat OpenShift Container Storage 3.10 Gets New Name, New Features

Formerly known as Red Hat Container Native Storage 3.9, it now includes support for block-backed persistent volumes.

Red Hat has renamed its former Red Hat Container Native Storage 3.9 application, now calling it Red Hat OpenShift Container Storage 3.10, as well as adding several useful features that provide new capabilities for customers and channel partners.

In its recent announcement, Red Hat said the renaming was done to better differentiate it from its recently updated Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform 3.10, while also reflecting its close ties and integration with OpenShift itself. The new Red Hat OpenShift Container Storage 3.10 application installs with OpenShift and enables users to maintain application portability and a consistent user experience across their hybrid clouds. Both applications also integrate with Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Red Hat Virtualization and Red Hat OpenStack Platform, as well as with public clouds and legacy storage systems, according to Red Hat.

In addition to its new name, Red Hat OpenShift Container Storage 3.10 gets three new features to help users with their container-based storage:

  • Block-backed persistent volumes (PVs) are now supported for general application workloads for the first time in the application, in addition to supporting Open Compute Project (OCP) infrastructure workloads.
  • Arbiter volume support, which enables high-availability with efficient storage utilization and improved performance.
  • Enhanced storage monitoring and configuration visibility using the OpenShift Prometheus framework.

Steve Bohac, Red Hat's product marketing manager for OpenShift Container Storage, told Channel Futures that the new persistent block storage capabilities will be particularly important for many customers. The block storage capabilities add flexibility and allow the platform to be used with a much wider range of other applications, including the Apache Cassandra database, he said.

Steve Bohac

"One of the issues with containers in general is that they can last a short time, just minutes or seconds, so the data needs to be saved," he said. By keeping the data in a persistent state even after a container has shut off, it can be kept in storage volumes that be accessed later.

"Up until this release we only allowed block storage for the core infrastructure pieces of OpenShift," said Bohac. While block storage is being added in this version, users will also continue to be able to choose from existing file storage and object storage options for their IT configurations, he said.

"If you wanted to use [block storage] for the container data in the previous version, you had to use the tech Preview version, which wasn't fully supported for production at that point," he added.

At its core, according to Bohac, Red Hat OpenShift Container Storage 3.10 is a container-based version of Red Hat Gluster Storage, which is a software-defined storage (SDS) platform designed for high-capacity tasks like backup and archiving, analytics and virtualization.

"This new one is optimized and configured for use with OpenShift," he said.

Charles King, principal analyst with Pund-IT, said Red Hat's move with the renamed product makes sense for customers and the channel.

"What Red Hat is doing here is making its OpenShift Container Storage application more appropriate for and therefore more attractive to its enterprise customers," said King. "At some point, any technology that impacts server and application workloads, like virtualization and containers, has to get its act together with data storage. That's also becoming increasingly important as organizations move toward data-centric or data-driven business strategies and solutions."

The added configuration features in the new version will be helpful for enterprises and smaller businesses to better refine their cloud infrastructures, said King.

"The storage functionalities for OpenShift that Red Hat is announcing – enabling high-availability with improved efficiency and performance, enhanced monitoring and configuration visibility and block-based persistent volumes for general workloads – all fall into this bucket," he said. "These are good additions to the OpenShift solution portfolio, but I expect Red Hat will continue to deliver enhanced storage features and functions for container environments."

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