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VMblog's Expert Interviews: Diamanti Emerges from Stealth to Talk Containers

Diamanti QA 

Virtual machine technology is the building block for most of today's modern enterprise computing infrastructures.  We've lived in a VMworld dominated world for many years now, but technologies and use cases are evolving.  New technologies like containers are growing in importance.  And we're seeing companies like Docker advance and third party technologies spawn to make it even more compelling.  Containers will continue to shift from dev to enterprise as these platforms and ecosystems mature. 

So what are organizations to do in order to get the most from their new container deployment plans?  Developers love Docker.  But it is proving to be challenging to run containers in actual production.  A new company has emerged from stealth mode today, Diamanti, with the first appliance that converges networking and storage.  And it runs Dockerized applications without a hypervisor. 

I asked Chakravarthy Nelluri, a founding engineer at Diamanti, to tell me more about how their new appliance can help companies take advantage of Docker containers.

VMblog:  What problem are you solving at Diamanti?

Chakravarthy Nelluri:  When you move containers from the development sandbox to production, it's hard to maintain performance. People typically throw more boxes at the problem. If you have your storage and networking remote, you just don't get the same performance as we can deliver in a converged box.

For example, Linux Cgroups, when it comes to storage and networking, tend to cap performance. You can use a container for up to 1Gb of network but you will never be able to achieve 10Gb throughput even when resources are available. We are different. We give you 10Gb. No one else can do this today. Our approach uses the concept of sharing. Other approaches use the concept of owning or rate limiting.

We also make storage distributed. So if one node goes down, you still have access to storage. You get the benefits of a NAS approach but with performance guarantees.

VMblog:  How would you summarize the benefits of your hardware approach?

Nelluri:  We do quality of service in the hardware. It's unique to Diamanti. QOS is enforced at the lowest level possible. Because of our IO architecture, we're also very low latency.

For developers, we help them move quickly to microservices knowing they'll perform in production. For operators, we're easy. We drop into your existing infrastructure. We deliver predictable performance at scale and you can pack our appliances more densely.

VMblog:  I understand you lead the company's Kubernetes software contribution efforts.  The latest release of Kubernetes, version 1.2, took a lot of code from your team.  What were you aiming to do?

Nelluri:  Today we run Kubernetes in our appliance with plans to add Apaches Mesos and Docker Swarm so customers have choice. We don't want to be in the container orchestration game - let others play there and our customers will pick the best solution for their workloads.

For release 1.2 of Kubernetes, we provided a vendor-agnostic, standard platform for I/O resource scheduling. Now developers can describe network and storage requirements when building an application by just using the familiar Kubernetes pod definition file.

It makes life so much better for developers, and operators, for that matter. Docker containers just work in Kubernetes with no code changes. There is no vendor lock-in. Our technology-agnostic APIs to specify storage and network requirements are in the open source container specification. Then we contributed another set of APIs to extend workload placement (scheduling) and configuration so containers are deployed for optimal performance to get what the developer requested.


Thank you again to Diamanti founding engineer, Chakravarthy Nelluri, for taking time out to explain things to  Exciting to see new technologies launch out of stealth mode.

Published Tuesday, April 19, 2016 8:02 AM by David Marshall
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