Exploring the Clouds with Red Hat, NetApp and Tego Data
At this point you might feel left behind if your organization’s technology conversations don’t involve a cloud related component. Will cloud technology displace conventional on-premise solutions? Will companies like AWS and Azure rule the world and all the data in it one day? Maybe, but more likely we will continue to evolve with the technology and find a balanced co-existence for our use cases. Companies like Red Hat, NetApp and Tego Data (Tego) are exploring more use cases suited for the cloud. Red Hat approached NetApp and Tego to discuss options and potential solutions for one of their initial use cases and to conduct a proof-of-concept (POC) solution with their AWS account.
ANALYSIS OF POTENTIAL SOLUTIONS
There were several different solutions being considered at the beginning of the POC including Red Hat’s own storage solutions, Gluster and Ceph. Tego collaborating with NetApp demonstrated ONTAP Cloud’s capabilities. The solution needed to deliver key features, capacity, performance, security, uptime, resiliency and scalability. The highlights of each solution is outlined below.
NetApp ONTAP Cloud
A software-only storage solution that gives you granular control of your data in a public cloud environment while retaining enterprise storage software features. Building your cloud storage environment on ONTAP Cloud provides enterprise-class features for your cloud storage including:
- Non-disruptive, two node high-availability (HA) support that keeps you operating against unplanned storage failures in the cloud
- Provisioning of both NAS and SAN storage with NFS, CIFS and iSCSI support
- Minimized storage footprint with efficiency features such as data deduplication, thin provisioning and data compression resulting in lower cloud resource costs.
- Zero-impact NetApp Snapshot™ copies with near-instantaneous point-in-time backups of your data without consuming storage resources
- NetApp SnapMirror® technology brings your hybrid cloud environment together by synching on-premise NetApp storage to your ONTAP Cloud environment.
- Leverage advanced data management features with the OnCommand management suite of tools from in depth monitoring and tracking of storage with OnCommand Insight to detailed storage instance control with OnCommand System Manager.
- Simple replication of data across availability zones to ensure application availability. ONTAP Cloud is deployed and managed from OnCommand® Cloud Manager giving you a simple point and-click environment to manage the software and underlying cloud infrastructure for your cloud storage solution.
Red Hat Gluster and Ceph
Red Hat® Gluster Storage is an open, software-defined storage solution. Building your cloud storage environment on Gluster provides features including:
- Scale-out NAS storage for modern enterprise workloads
- Red Hat® Gluster Storage is an open, software-defined file storage scales out as much as you need. You can easily and securely manage large, unstructured, and semi-structured data at a fraction of the cost of traditional, monolithic storage. And only Red Hat lets you deploy the same storage on premise; in private, public, or hybrid clouds; and in Linux® containers. Traditional hardware-based storage that segregates information is more difficult to manage, can require an outage to add capacity, and requires significantly more infrastructure cost to mitigate the risk of downtime due to hardware failure.
Like Gluster, Red Hat Ceph Storage is also an open, software-defined storage solution. It is a next-generation platform for petabyte-scale storage. As data continues to grow at unprecedented rates, managing petabytes of data at the speed your business requires, you need to store your data flexibly and cost-effectively in the cloud. Designed from the ground up for web-scale object storage and cloud infrastructures, Red Hat® Ceph Storage lowers the cost of storing enterprise data and increases your ability to manage exponential data growth—efficiently, flexibly, and automatically. Delivered in one self-healing, self-managing platform with no single point of failure, Red Hat Ceph Storage manages data on a single distributed computer cluster and provides interfaces for object-, block-, and file-level storage so you can focus on running your business.
As we evaluated the three different solutions against a stringent list of requirements, ONTAP Cloud met the requirements on “paper”. As we moved through the evaluation process it was determined that additional development and support is needed with both Gluster and Ceph to fully address the requirements below.
- The storage solution must provide access to shared file systems/volumes across many nodes in a cluster.
- The storage solution must allow user management of volumes, volume sizes, and other storage settings.
- The storage solution should allow users to control access to volumes
- The solution should provide snapshotting capabilities, per volume.
- The solution should provide longer term backup and recovery capabilities.
- The solution should provide volume replication capabilities across sites and environment.
- The solution should provide users (application owners) the ability to manage replications, backups, and snapshots.
- Easily scale to thousands of volumes with fixed and varying sizes
- Data access performance should be on-par with NetApp storage in the datacenter.
- The storage solution must provide encryption at rest and encryption in transit to support our Enterprise Security Standards.
- For Open Platform, the storage solution must support providing storage to systems with a 99.9% uptime requirement.
- The storage solution must run across multiple availability zones within a region or site.
- Minimum: 2 availability zones, optimal: 3 availability zones.
- The storage solution must be able to survive losing individual infrastructure resources within an availability zone.
- The storage solution must be able to handle the loss of an availability zone without having service affected.
- The storage solution must be able to handle without issue ‘split brain scenarios’ where availability zones cannot talk to each other.
- The storage solution must be able to automatically recover from losses at the individual infrastructure or availability zone levels.
- The solution should provide up to 10 x initial number of volumes and quantity of storage
- The solution should support increasing capacity within 48 hours of request.
- Eventually scaling to support hosting 5 to 10 terabytes of storage total across thousands of volumes
Tego Data is a valued partner and resource for Red Hat. Throughout the months of December and January we worked diligently with NetApp and Red Hat staff to develop and implement the solution as outlined by the requirements of the proof-of-concept (POC).
Through successful collaboration on the POC we implemented a joint Red Hat, NetApp and AWS solution that could be consumed internally by various Red Hat internal community members. Red Hat was very interested in ONTAP Cloud and anticipated its release and availability. The primary goal of the POC was to deliver a shared, highly available enterprise grade cloud based storage solution that adhered to the critical requirements. In particular, the solution needed to handle or support encrypting all data both in flight and at rest while also interacting with on-premise devices and processes such as Kerberos services and database servers.
The POC of ONTAP Cloud was a solid success for all parties involved, but it was determined that a subset of applications were not initially developed to work together. For example, we were not able to configure OpenShift and Kerberos (which provides the in-flight encryption) to work together properly so additional development is required to address this critical compatibility. However, other use cases are being considered and discussed. A visual representation of the POC solution at Red Hat is shared below.