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Fast, Easy Cloud-Managed, On-Premises, Self-Service Infrastructure for the Enterprise Cloud

As organizations and developers work to evolve legacy applications away from monolithic structures, the Kubernetes container orchestration system is playing an increasingly important role in these modernization efforts. By implementing Kubernetes, the work of technical teams is greatly simplified by automating numerous processes for application and service deployment which were previously carried out manually. For organizations that are pursuing the realization of a CI/CD software pipeline in their on-premises infrastructure, Nebulon is an alternative to expensive and complex storage arrays or restrictive Software-Defined Storage and Hyperconverged Infrastructure solutions, and provides persistent storage for containerized applications.

With Nebulon Cloud-Defined Storage (CDS), Kubernetes users have the necessary tools and automation facilities needed to fully automate the provisioning and operation of their on-premises Kubernetes infrastructure. Unlike existing storage solutions, Nebulon does not burden operations with yet another infrastructure island to manage or a complex multi-tier architecture. This is possible by Nebulon’s unique storage architecture which supports heterogenous servers, operating systems, and application landscapes. Our cloud-control plane, nebulon ON fully automates firmware updates and greatly simplifies troubleshooting. nebulon ON uses cloud-analytics to allow Kubernetes admins to self-service provision and manage their entire Kubernetes stack all while using the workflows they are familiar with in the public cloud. Let me walk you through some of the tools we are building.

Nebulon CSI Driver for Kubernetes
At Storage Field Day 20 I had the pleasure of demoing for the first time publicly Nebulon’s CSI Driver for Kubernetes! Today I am excited to announce that later this year, when Nebulon Cloud-Defined Storage is generally available, it will ship with a CSI Driver for Kubernetes which provides support for the Kubernetes CSI Driver specification version 1.2.

The Nebulon CSI Driver for Kubernetes is delivered via a Helm Chart

Nebulon’s single GraphQL-based API endpoint and template driven engine allows cluster administrators to configure a Kubernetes installation and then remain completely hands off while application developers self-serve infrastructure. The first step, shown in the illustration below, is to use Nebulon’s curated Configuration Template for Kubernetes to configure all servers in the nPod. There is no second step; our CSI driver makes Nebulon storage transparent from an application development perspective. Developers continue to work with, manage and deploy Kubernetes on-premises as they do today.

Nebulon ON provides curated Configuration Templates for your Kubernetes cluster while StorageClass manifest defines the application storage parameters.

Let us look at an example, which uses Kustomize. The command kubectl apply -k ./ processes the Kubernetes manifest, and then applies the generated resource files. In this case, one of the resources is a PersistentVolumeClaim (PVC). The Nebulon CSI driver listens for and fulfills the request for storage made by such resources. Dynamically provisioned volumes are created to meet the application needs, e.g.: 10GB, 50GB or 100GB, mirrored or un-mirrored and the file system type, ext4 or xfs. These volumes are then automatically mounted to the Kubernetes node on which the pod is scheduled. DevOps teams can, in additon to benefitting from the simplicity of a single tier architecture, make use of snapshots and clones to quickly instanciate new pods from existing data or better protect and quickly recover their application data. These capabilites are all exposed through the CSI driver that internally makes use of our single, cloud-based API in nebulon ON.

The image below shows nebulon ON, our cloud-based control plane after a PersistentVolume has been created and bound to a PVC and mounted as a volume in a Kubernetes pod which is hosted in an on-premises server. As pods are scheduled or re-scheduled within the cluster the Nebulon CSI Driver for Kubernetes automatically handles the movement of the storage ensuring that your applications stay online.

Cloud-based control plane, Nebulon ON, displays important PVC details in relation to an on-premises Kubernetes deployment.

I have put together a brief demo video illustrating how easy it is to get up and running with the Nebulon CSI Driver for Kubernetes. The video also details the rescheduling scenario I mentioned.

KubeCon + CloudNativeCon Europe 2020
If this sounds interesting to you be sure to visit the virtual Nebulon stand @ KubeCon + CloudNativeCon Europe 2020 August 17 – 20, 2020 and learn more about Cloud-Defined Storage and its benefits for Kubernetes and other infrastructure services. I also encourage you to head over to www.nebulon.com and download your copy of our detailed Kubernetes Configuration Guide which walks you through getting Nebulon up and running in a Kubernetes environment.

Wrap-Up
Nebulon Cloud-Defined Storage (CDS) supports a vast array of applications and operating systems which are run on bare-metal servers, virtualized environments, or in containers along with an array of server platforms. All actions taken through nebulon ON can be completed via our single API endpoint or via SDK. Cloud-Defined Storage from Nebulon in a Kubernetes environment really is a no-brainer.

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Clint Wyckoff

Principle Technical Marketing Engineer

Clint Wyckoff is an avid technologist, cloud enthusiast and IT Pro Community contributor with over 15 years of real-world enterprise data center architecture experience. Clint is an energetic and engaging speaker and places a large emphasis on solving the real-world challenges IT professionals face.