Portworx is a company that was set up to help organizations manage the challenge of wrangling databases and stateful applications within a container infrastructure world. When Docker first popularized the notion of containers for cloud-native applications, it quickly became apparent that for all but the simplest use cases, some degree of persistent storage would be required. This is where Portworx jumped in and started out as the “storage company for Docker.”

Things, of course, change and Docker is no longer the container poster child. That position has well and truly been taken by Kubernetes, which is why Portworx has expanded upon its initial singular Docker focus. It now covers the gamut of container schedulers, Docker Swarm, of course, but also Kubernetes and even the somewhat forgotten Mesosphere DC/OS. For all of these different platforms, Portworx offers the same proposition: that of resolving issues around production: persistence, high availability, data automation, security, and support for multiple data stores and infrastructure.

And since this week marks the holding of this year’s Kubernetes user conference, KubeCon, it makes sense that Portworx has some news to share about how it’s upping the storage ante for the Kubernetes crowd. To whit, Portworx is announcing the availability of PX-ENterprise 1.4 and, while that sounds like some next-level kind of military weapon, it is actually the latest release of Portworx’ production-ready offering.

3DSnap

The most interesting part of this release is 3DSnap, a tool that allows enterprises to group and snapshot their persistent data volumes as a single unit, in order to maintain an application-consistent backup of complex applications. In practice, the feature is useful in the case of scale-out databases that often have multiple data volumes for a single database. Likewise, commonly used applications such as WordPress require group snapshots since to restore a website to a particular point in time, files in a volume need to be snapshotted at the same time as a MySQL database. 3DSnap gets it name from the three dimensions represented by the snapshot: time, space (a particular server), and application. 3DSnap is initially available for MySQL and PostgreSQL, with other databases coming soon.

There’s a bunch of other new stuff in this release, a new user interface, and some turbo-level encryption options, for example, but it’s probably 3DSnap that has the most obvious application right now out in the real world. Indeed, one customer that is already using 3DSnap is ComputeStacks a company that provides its own Docker container platform to other service providers. Says Kris Watson, CEO of ComputeStacks:

I chose Portworx as the cloud native storage layer for my multi-tenant container-as-a-service platform because it allows me to offer best-in-class features like high availability, auto-scaling, backup and recovery, and encryption to my customers at a reasonable cost. Now, PX-Enterprise with 3DSnap allows me to provide a time machine for my customer’s entire application, ensuring that I can always restore it to a particular point-in-time with guaranteed application consistency.  No one else can do that.

MyPOV

3DSnap seems to be one of those totally obvious things that will move the needle in terms of Portworx’ adoption pretty quickly. Backup seems to be the regular “go-to” use case for anyone in the storage world and 3DSnap brings a live application backup story to the container world.

 

 

 

Ben Kepes

Ben Kepes is a technology evangelist, an investor, a commentator and a business adviser. Ben covers the convergence of technology, mobile, ubiquity and agility, all enabled by the Cloud. His areas of interest extend to enterprise software, software integration, financial/accounting software, platforms and infrastructure as well as articulating technology simply for everyday users.

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