Innovation drives transformation. In the case of Docker containers and Kubernetes, the key benefit is a shift to rapid application deployment services. Microsoft and many others have embraced containers and provide images of applications such as SQL Server that can be integrated in days and instantiated in seconds. Installations and other repetitive tasks are replaced with packaged applications that have the developer working quickly in the database. The ease of using Docker and Kubernetes combined with rapid provisioning of persistent storage transforms development by removing wait time and enabling the developer to move closer to the speed of thought.
While the shift to Docker containers in Use Case 1 benefited our developers, provisioning and attaching storage was a manual process that slowed the overall speed of application development. The challenges with manual storage provisioning are twofold: variety and velocity. As the IT organization adds more application images, variety increases administration and support complexity. Velocity, the frequency of provisioning applications, tends to increase with greater selection. Increased velocity is a growth indicator but also places pressure on the IT organization to address automation.
The second transformation in our journey was the addition of the Kubernetes orchestration system and the XtremIO X2 CSI plug-in. Kubernetes brings a rich user interface that simplifies provisioning containers and persistent storage. In our testing, we found that Kubernetes plus the XtremIO X2 CSI plug-in enabled a self-service, on-demand capability. This capability enabled developers to provision containerized applications with persistent storage through point-and-click simplicity and freed valuable storage administrator time to focus on business-critical tasks.
Kubernetes, enhanced with the XtremIO X2 CSI plug-in, provides the capability to attach and manage all-flash XtremIO X2 volumes to containerized applications. Our developer worked with a familiar Kubernetes interface to create a copy of the AdventureWorks database and connect it to the SQL Server container. After modifying the database, the developer could protect progress by using XtremIO Virtual Copies to save a copy of the database.
Moving to a Docker plus Kubernetes infrastructure provides a faster and more consistent way to package and deploy SQL Server. Microsoft and the open-source community that supports Docker and Kubernetes have done much of the foundational work. Manual or scripted installation procedures are not necessary, leaving only customization to the business. Dell EMC adds storage value through XtremIO X2 enterprise storage technology and the CSI plug-in, streamlining the delivery of applications. The goal of this white paper is to jump-start your application development transformation to enable you to achieve all these benefits. Dell EMC can show you how and can provide an infrastructure that optimizes your containerized applications.