is a startup company helping enterprises more easily deploy containers in production at
scale with guaranteed high performance and a smaller physical footprint through
higher utilization, thanks to what it calls the industry's first container
The company, which just closed an $18 million series B funding round, also is announcing the GA of its breakthrough new appliance, the Diamanti
D10. Last year, I wrote about MemSQL dropping VMs
for containers using Diamanti
and when Diamanti shipped its first beta
in April. Recently, I caught up with Mark Balch, VP of Products at Diamanti, to
dig a little deeper into how their newly-launched appliance can help companies
overcome common container deployment challenges in storage and networking.
VMblog: Where have the
traditional storage and networking players failed to support the container
Mark Balch: Traditional storage
and networking vendors have become dependent on hypervisor-centric use cases and
have been slow to participate in the open source ecosystem such as Kubernetes
and Docker. Saying you support
Kubernetes and Docker is easy simply by running Linux. However, legacy products
have a hard time making it easy to operate containers because they did not
anticipate the multi-tenant container model of running many apps on a single OS
VMblog: Diamanti talks a
lot about the performance advantages of bare metal containers over hypervisors.
Can you explain these performance advantages?
Balch: The hypervisor uses
software overlays to virtualize network and storage resources to each VM.
Examples of that are the hypervisor vSwitch for networking and the virtual
machine file system VMFS for storage. Not to mention the fact that every VM
brings its own operating system and all of the redundant overhead on compute
and storage. Containers running bare metal require only one operating system
per physical host. They can directly access the bare metal network and storage
volumes. And therefore there is no overhead and they can run as fast as the
physical resources allow. People who go the container route and attempt to
solve the container limitations of container network and storage using software
overlays are simply recreating a hypervisor with a different term, and
incurring the same or worse overhead. We've seen third-party performance
degradation stories higher than 40% overhead for these software overlays.
VMblog: The "noisy
neighbor" problem was one of the challenges of virtual machines. In storage, it
meant a rogue virtual machine (VM) that periodically monopolizes storage I/O
resources deprecating performance of other VM "tenants" in the environment. It
worsens as VM density per host increases. Is there a "noisy neighbor" challenge
for containers as well that your appliance addresses?
Balch: It's really about
density. Any multi-tenant environment is subject to noisy neighbor problems.
Containers however have less overhead and therefore higher density than virtual
machines. Containers also have a shorter lifecycle -- they come and go more
frequently. So these characteristics exacerbate the noisy neighbor problem for
containers. And anything that is high I/O, transaction oriented, lots of data
analytics -- all of that contributes to the magnitude of the problem. The new
Diamanti D10 removes that problem by how we handle storage I/O.
Again, thanks to Mark Balch, VP of Products at Diamanti, for taking time out to speak with VMblog.com and answer a few questions.