Q&A: Jacob Cherian of Ionir Discusses Container Native Storage, Kubernetes, Data Migration and More

Q&A: Jacob Cherian of Ionir Discusses Container Native Storage, Kubernetes, Data Migration and More

October 8, 2020 Off By David

Ionir recently launched a container native software defined storage and data management platform, designed to support Kubernetes production workloads in private cloud, hybrid cloud, and multi-cloud deployments.

To find out more, CloudCow spoke with the company’s CEO, Jacob Cherian.

CloudCow: What data storage challenge is Ionir providing a solution for?

Jacob Cherian: Ionir is an enterprise grade container native storage and data management platform for Kubernetes. Beyond providing persistent volumes for stateful application, Ionir provides a unique set of data management capabilities including instant data mobility, data recovery at 1s granularity, built-in disaster recovery, global deduplication and selective compression. As enterprises increasingly adopt Kubernetes, and hybrid cloud and multi-cloud deployments, we see three challenges related to storage and data – data gravity, heterogeneous storage platforms, and data management complexity. Ionir addresses all of these issues. Instant data mobility allows applications and data to be copied or moved instantly between Kubernetes clusters, eliminating the boundaries between clouds and infrastructure silos. Enterprises get a common storage platform for development and production operations across all their infrastructure and cloud providers with a consistent set of data management workflows.

CloudCow: Kubernetes continues to increase, but why are most companies still struggling to accommodate it?

Jacob Cherian: Kubernetes and containerization represents a paradigm shift in how enterprises deploy and manage their IT and applications. As with any significant technology inflection point, there is complexity that needs to be mastered especially given the broad scope of what Kubernetes addresses, a nascent ecosystem of tools and components that need to integrate with Kubernetes, and shortage of skilled manpower. But this is a transitional phase given the significant benefits for enterprises – and vendors and the community under the aegis of CNCF are working to address issues related to deployment and management and accelerate Kubernetes adoption. In addition, while Kubernetes does a good job with network and compute abstraction, support for persistent storage management has been a gap that has slowed the transition of stateful workloads to Kubernetes. This is where Ionir comes in.

CloudCow: Can you explain what your Data Teleport capability does and how it differs from other technologies?

Jacob Cherian: Data Teleport™ enables instant mobility for applications and data. Any persistent volume can be copied or moved between two Kubernetes clusters or clouds in under 40s independent of the size of the volume or the amount of data involved. The volume is fully accessible at the new site within 40s, and our platform uses a set of strategies to ensure that any performance impact is minimized including all writes at the new site without the need for invalidation on the source, global deduplication between source and destination clouds, and smart prefetch of data to minimize on-demand reads. Traditional technologies rely on full copy of data between clouds. A volume and its content is accessible only after all the data is copied which can take hours to days depending on the size of the volume or the amount of data involved. Teleport™ will redefine existing workflows related to movement of data and applications between clouds, and allow customers to innovate by providing their IT operations teams agility and flexibility in hybrid cloud and multi-cloud deployments.

CloudCow: Do hybrid cloud computing strategies require IT teams to move stateful applications and their associated data sets across clusters running on multiple platforms?

Jacob Cherian: Absolutely! If you want to enjoy the full value of your hybrid cloud. There are multiple use cases where applications and their associated data need to be moved or copied between private and public cloud infrastructures. A great example is a production/non-production hybrid deployment with test and development in the public cloud. With existing solutions the process of getting updated production data sets to either support development or debug production faults requires the entire data sets to be copied, which can take hours to days. With Data Teleport™, data sets can be copied and refreshed within 40 seconds, accelerating development and issue resolution. Another example is bursting of applications to handle cyclical or regional changes in demand. Traditional methods require advanced planning and staging of data on multiple sites. Data Teleport™ allows IT to quickly respond to changing requirements allowing businesses to be flexible and agile without the need for detailed advanced planning.

CloudCow: How does Ionir simplify application and data migration?

Jacob Cherian: Data Teleport™ can transform application and data migration from projects that require advanced planning and downtime with significant complexity, to a simple operational workflow. Today to perform a migration data from a point-in-time is copied to the new site or Kubernetes cluster. Once the copy is completed the application at the source is shut down to copy the new data that was created during the initial copy. Once this second copy is completed the application is restarted at the new site or Kubernetes cluster. With Data Teleport™, the volume is moved in seconds, and the application can be started with minimal downtime.

CloudCow: Are enterprise storage solutions currently integrated as part of the container environment?

Jacob Cherian: Many legacy enterprise storage solutions provide CSI drivers to enable them to provide storage for stateful applications in Kubernetes. However using legacy storage leads to a siloed storage infrastructure, scaling challenges, and higher operational and infrastructure costs and complexity. A container native storage and data management platform like Ionir that is based on microservices implemented as containers is native to Kubernetes, and allows customers to build end-to-end software defined infrastructure that enables automation, is platform and cloud provider agnostic, developer centric, and provides seamless scalability.

CloudCow: What’s next for Ionir?

Jacob Cherian: We are currently working with early adopters who are deploying our platform in a myriad of environments and are looking to leverage Data Teleport™ to simplify their hybrid and multi-cloud workflows. We will continue to innovate to provide enterprises the most advanced and capable storage and data management platform for Kubernetes. Our vision is to liberate application from cloud silos so that our customers can achieve maximum agility and flexibility, and make the most effective use of their IT budgets.