HyperCloud Block Storage Service (Now With Docker Certified Plugin)

We’re excited to be announcing the availability of a certified volume plugin for the HyperCloud™ Block Storage Service in the Docker Store. This plugin enables the first fully automated storage service for containerized applications. With HyperCloud™, deploying stateful applications on containers can be done in a single click while adhering to IT-defined entitlements, approvals, quotas, and quality of service (QoS) policies.  HyperGrid HyperCloud™ is currently the only full stack offering running the Docker plugin.

How HyperCloud™ Block Storage Service helps customers

Block storage is the most commonly used storage type for most applications. It is ideal for databases as they all require consistent I/O performance and low-latency connectivity. As a result, block storage is critical for running mission-critical applications like Oracle, SAP, Microsoft Exchange, and Microsoft SharePoint.

The challenge that most IT organizations face when delivering infrastructure and storage services in general lies with the manual processes required to deliver these services and the complexity of a piece-part approach for putting these services together. To deploy an application for example, IT admins may end up going through several manual steps like provisioning a VM, then asking the storage team to create a dedicated storage disk, then mounting this disk, formatting this disk, and finally installing the application. This simple process can end up taking days or even weeks!

In the absence of automated workflows, the IT organization is usually stuck with manual processes that result in long waits experienced by end users, rising operational expenses, inconsistent infrastructure, and overall dissatisfaction by business users.

Even if IT is convinced to adopt automated workflows, there are important questions that need to be answered.

  • If an automated, self-service model is adopted for provisioning block storage devices, how can IT ensure that approval workflows and entitlements are enforced for governance?
  • How can IT enforce quota and cost metering policies to ensure appropriate usage of block storage services with showback reports to track the cost of storage consumed?
  • How can IT manage not just the initial provisioning workflows but the life-cycle management operations to enable cloning, snapshots, backup and recovery post-provision?

HyperCloud™ addresses these challenges by providing automated, self-service provisioning and mounting of high performance (SSD) block storage volumes for I/O intensive applications running on Linux or Windows, VMs or Containers. With a certified Docker Volume Plugin, deploying stateful applications on containers can be done in a single click while adhering to IT-defined entitlements, approvals, quotas, and quality of service (QoS) policies. HyperCloud™ also delivers database-as-a-service with Microsoft SQL Server, MySQL, MariaDB, PostgreSQL, and MongoDB, with built-in support for multi-host clustering, backup, replication, and automatic database recovery.

The block storage devices provided by HyperCloud™ deliver low-latency and consistent I/O performance for running mission critical applications that require I/O intensive operations. With role-based access controls, entitlements, approval, quota and cost metering policies, IT administrators can manage block storage usage across the enterprise with cost visibility that promotes better control over spending.

HyperCloud™ also allows administrators to manage Quality of Service (QoS) controls to provide the required service levels to meet application-specific needs for storage performance. Once a block device is provisioned, users can scale storage up or down or provision and attach additional volumes to absorb unexpected spikes in traffic or growth in data storage size.  Lastly, HyperCloud™ allows users to create block storage volume blueprints as code controlled by user entitlements in order to simplify the management and version control of volume templates.

Here’s a complete guide for developing a volume plugin in Java. This is the first reference architecture in Java for the new plugin framework in Docker 1.13.