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#VMworld 2021 Q&A: MinIO Will Showcase Its High Performance, Kubernetes-native, Multi-cloud Object Storage

vmworld 2021 QA 

VMworld 2021 digital.  Will you be in attendance?  Make sure you check out MinIO!

VMworld, the world's largest virtualization and cloud computing event hosted every year by VMware, is back again for 2021 in a digital setting.  And one of the show sponsors this year is a company called MinIO.

MinIO is a leader in cloud object storage with a rich suite of enterprise features designed for public, private and edge environments.  A pioneer in the area of high-performance, Kubernetes-native object storage, MinIO holds the object storage world’s fastest benchmarks for HDD, NVMe, Spark and Presto. Open source, software-defined and Amazon S3 compatible, MinIO’s object storage suite can deliver ML/AI, analytics, backup, application and archival workloads from a single platform.

Are you gearing up for VMworld 2021?  Get started now by reading this exclusive interview with Jonathan Symonds, MinIO's Chief Marketing Officer, to learn more, and start getting excited for what's to come!

MinIO logo 

VMblog:  Your company is sponsoring this year's VMworld 2021 digital event.  Can you talk about what that sponsorship looks like?

Jonathan Symonds: This year is interesting for us as VMware reached out to a few close partner companies in the startup space to participate. The process was that VMware employees needed to nominate you based on your ability to contribute to the success of VMware over the next 12-18 months. It is, unsurprisingly, called the Contributor Sponsor. Needless to say, we are delighted to be included and have a number of assets on hand to support the educational mission and some big time talent on the chat front for those that are interested.

VMblog:  What type of things will people be able to do and find at your virtual booth this year? 

Symonds: Our primary focus is on our plugin for the vSAN Data Persistence platform (DPp). The integration brings our high-performance, AWS S3 compatible object storage, into the heart of vSphere and therefore into the heart of IT. Now administrators can seamlessly provision multi-tenant object storage directly from the vCenter console while providing API-level control to DevOps and application architects. MinIO supports vSAN, vSAN-SNA and vSAN-Direct through this integration.

VMblog:  And do you have any speaking sessions during the event?  If so, can you give us the details?

Symonds: We were fortunate to be selected for a speaking session. It was very competitive this year given the limited slots and we think VMware's decision to dedicate time to DPp speaks to how important object storage is to the success of Tanzu.

The session title is "Modernize Infrastructure with S3-Compatible Object Storage on VMware HCI."

It will cover the application revolution and how those applications look to object storage given their requirements around performance, resiliency, scalability and RESTful APIs.  We are taking a hands on approach here and our CTO Ugur Tigli will will walk through how to create a centralized, ultradense, multi tenant storage infrastructure. This is, of course, the foundation of an at-scale object storage-as-a-service play.

Definitely worth your time if you are on the Tanzu journey. I would add that every demo at last year's VMworld, and every demo at this year's VMworld around the DPp is done with MinIO. It is not a coincidence.

VMblog:  Many attendees are chomping at the bit to get back to a physical VMworld event. Is your company ready for the same?

Symonds: That is a resounding yes. Our first VMworld was two years ago, before Tanzu was a reality, and because of that show, VMware recognized that our Kubernetes credentials made us an ideal candidate to be a design partner for the DPp. By last year's event we had launched the first functional object store for the DPp (which was why all the demos featured MinIO).

When next year rolls around - we will be making a big in-person statement. 

VMblog:  Can you give us the high-level rundown of your company's technology offerings?  What kind of message would a virtual attendee hear from you?

Symonds: At the highest level, MinIO is the leader when it comes to high performance, Kubernetes-native, multi-cloud object storage. We would start with our credentials in that space.

We would then talk about our flagship offering in the VMware world - object storage for the Data Persistence platform and why it matters:

  • MinIO supports VMware's vision of delivering hybrid-cloud and multi-cloud. MinIO not only provides a complete cloud-native object storage system that can be deployed on any cloud infrastructure to convert them into an S3 compatible object storage service, but it also provides seamless interoperability to existing storage systems. This enables applications to access data on their existing legacy systems without migrating the data over. Both cloud-native applications and traditional enterprise applications can co-exist - creating a roadmap for the eventual migration to 100% cloud native.
  • VMware has a goal of migrating cloud native applications onto the vSAN Data Persistence platform. MinIO provides the mechanism to achieve that. Given MinIO's vast credentials in the S3 arena, any application that runs on MinIO (which is to say almost every cloud native application) will run unmodified on the vSAN Data Persistence platform - starting on day one.
  • VMware and MinIO have material requirements around performance and the integrated product delivers. MinIO has built its reputation in the private cloud as the world's fastest object store. It is why we are attractive to so many applications from AI/ML to modern, data intensive cloud apps. VMware provides the infrastructure to do this - first in a virtualized environment and now in a containerized environment. Because vSAN Direct Configuration provides optimal access to the underlying storage, we can run at full speed.
  • VMware believes in the software defined data center - so do we. VMware has built a full-stack hybrid-cloud infrastructure platform  that now extends to containers and orchestration. While they have vSAN for software-defined block and file storage, their customers wanted the addition of cloud-native object storage. With the vSAN Data Persistence platform VMware offers true software defined storage experiences for applications running on Kubernetes. This allows MinIO to bring their Kubernetes-native object storage as a VMware Cloud Foundation service.

VMblog:  Talking about your product solutions, can you give readers a few examples of how your offerings are unique?  What are your differentiators?

Symonds: MinIO only does one thing - object storage. We aim to do it better than anyone else on the planet. It is why VMware picked us to be a launch partner. That relentless focus enables us to achieve things larger companies with competing priorities cannot. Here is what we mean:

  • MinIO was built from scratch in the last four years and is native to the technologies and architectures that define the cloud. These include containerization, orchestration with Kubernetes, microservices and multi-tenancy. No other object store is more Kubernetes-native.
  • With its focus on high performance, MinIO enables enterprises to support multiple use cases with the same platform. For example, MinIO's performance characteristics mean that you can run multiple Spark, Presto, and Hive queries, or to quickly test, train and deploy AI algorithms, without suffering a storage bottleneck. MinIO object storage is used as the primary storage for cloud native applications that require higher throughput and lower latency than traditional object storage can provide.
  • MinIO leverages the hard won knowledge of the web scalers to bring a simple scaling model to object storage. At MinIO, scaling starts with a single cluster which can be seamlessly expanded to create a global namespace, spanning multiple data centers if needed. Expansion of the namespace is possible by adding more clusters, more racks until the goal is achieved.
  • Minimalism is a guiding design principle at MinIO. Simplicity reduces opportunities for errors, improves uptime, delivers reliability while serving as the foundation for performance. MinIO can be installed and configured within minutes simply by downloading a single binary and then executing.
  • Software Defined. The age of the storage appliance is over simply because you can't containerize one. The future is software defined and MinIO runs on everything from a Raspberry Pi to an Nvidia GPU and thus from the edge to the datacenter.
  • Open Source. MinIO products are 100% open source under GNU Affero General Public License, Version 3.0 (AGPLv3). The advantages of Open Source are well understood. These include the avoidance of vendor lockin, security, consistent innovation, transparency, and the reliability that comes with millions of community members hammering every release from every possible angle.

The net effect of the innovation is that enterprises can now run Kubernetes-native, high-performance object storage on any cloud. This means lower costs as enterprises can choose the cloud that offers the best terms for their infrastructure needs. This means better performance as they can choose any combination of CPU, Network and Drive. This means more scale as any cloud can become a warm tier (or even a hot tier). This is innovation.

VMblog:  How does one adopt MinIO in the VMware context and what does it cost?

Symonds: vSphere 7.0 Update 1 ships with the VMware vSAN Data Persistence platform that enables software defined storage offerings like MinIO to be natively integrated with vCenter Workload Clusters running on top of vSAN. This deep integration allows admins to enable, manage and monitor MinIO from vSphere APIs and UI.

The integration includes the lifecycle management of MinIO object storage via the vSphere cluster while offering bare-metal like performance and cost efficiencies.

To enable the plugin, log into vCenter and select the cluster in which you want to deploy MinIO tenants.

Click Configure, then navigate to Supervisor Services and select Services. Locate the MinIO row and activate the radio button. Click Enable to enable the service.

That's it. The plugin comes with a 60 day free trial after which a license key will be required. License keys come with full SUBNET privileges. Cost is a function of capacity. Visit MinIO's virtual booth to see a full demo or check it out on our YouTube channel.

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Published Thursday, September 23, 2021 10:56 AM by David Marshall
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