There are two forces that are fundamentally remaking the technology landscape today. One is Kubernetes and the other is high performance Object Storage. They are powering (or are shaped by, depending on your perspective) modern, data-rich applications that include AI/ML and application logs. Either way, modern applications need Kubernetes and Object Storage and Kubernetes and Object Storage owe their rise in part to these same modern applications.
They are symbiotic and they are tech’s new building blocks.
Kubernetes, in just a couple of years, has fundamentally altered the way we manage our computing, networking and storage infrastructure. It is THE dominant approach to the build/package/deploy framework and is expressly designed for an environment of continuous change. It has rapidly cemented itself as the dominant computing paradigm due to its ability to abstract the physical infrastructure from the application stack in a way that facilitates the collaboration between development, operations, and IT. Its meteoric rise is due in large part to the maturation of the technologies that built the cloud: elasticity, scalability, resilience and self-service configurability via declarative representations and APIs.
Kubernetes, while already dominant, is still growing. Yes, there is a ton (technical term) of deployed technology that is not Kubernetes today. No, Kubernetes does not represent the majority of the tech landscape.
Kubernetes does, however, dominate the majority of new development. New development eats old development far faster than it did even five years ago. Cycles continue to compress as data growth renders older technologies obsolete.
Kubernetes is going to keep coming. While there are lots of businesses built around it, there is not one entity behind it (a la Docker) that needs a business model. This ensures it will be the dominant paradigm for a decade at least.
The second piece of the puzzle is high performance object storage. High performance object storage is used to distinguish from the traditional, slow, archival object storage that was designed to be a step above tape.
High performance object storage is THE default platform for Kubernetes. Sure the CSI lets you get at SAN/NAS, but SAN/NAS is fundamentally on the decline due to scalability concerns and an outdated API (POSIX).
Need proof? There is not a CSI for object storage. It doesn’t need it. Kubernetes’ storage sibling is modern, high performance object storage. We have detailed the reasons at length but here is a quick summary:
- Kubernetes and modern object storage allow operators to manage storage with the Kubernetes interface and Kubernetes to handle everything from provisioning to volume placement.
- Modern object storage like Minio is multi-tenant by nature. Multi-tenancy allows multiple customers to use a single instance of an application, and when implemented correctly can reduce operational overhead, decrease costs and reduce complexity, especially at scale – provided it can deliver strict resource isolation. If Kubernetes isn’t managing the underlying infrastructure then it is not truly cloud native. This disqualifies those appliance vendors with CSI or Operator integration.