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Docker Boosts Container Storage With Infinit Acquisition

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at eWeek and contributor to TechWeek

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Docker to directly integrate storage capabilities into its container engine, while still leaving room for organizations to choose other storage technologies

Docker Inc. announced on December 6 that it is acquiring privately-held distributed storage vendor Infinit. Financial terms of the deal are not being publicly disclosed.

The Infinit Storage Platform is an open-source decentralized software defined storage technology that is ideally suited for container and micro-services deployments.

The Infinit approach makes use of multiple nodes in a peer to peer model. The model is also self-healing and fault tolerant, according to Infinit, with each piece of data stored multiple times across the storage nodes. In the event of a storage failure, the Infinit platform automatically attempts to restore the system to a healthy state.

Containers 2

Docker Infinit acquisition

With Infinit, the promise for Docker is the ability to provide its users with new storage capabilities. Docker has long supported storage systems through an extensible API, though it has not had a comprehensive, embedded storage capability of its own.

The acquisition of Infinit by Docker is similar in some respects to Docker’s May 2015 acquisition of Software Defined Networking (SDN) vendor SocketPlane.

Prior to the SocketPlane acquisition, Docker’s networking integrated capabilities were limited. The SocketPlane acquisition led to Docker’s development of the libnetwork module, which provides full container networking capabilities.

“Infinit will serve as the batteries included but swappable, distributed storage solution for Docker Engine, providing a full stack for applications requiring persistent storage,” David Messina, Senior Vice-President of marketing and community at Docker Inc., told eWEEK.

“This is exactly what we did with our networking acquisition SocketPlane, the team that worked with the Docker community to provide libnetwork.”

Swappable concept

The ‘batteries included but swappable’ model is a core principle for Docker overall. With that approach, the goal is to provide Docker users with a directly integrated set of capabilities that fully enable container development and deployment.

While Docker provides the integrated capabilities, with the so-called ‘batteries included’ approach, users can easily swap out the components and choose other options as well, thanks to the extensible API.

As to why Docker Inc. decided on acquiring Infinit as opposed to a different Software Defined Storage vendor, Messina said that Infinit was selected because it addresses a core principal of the Docker platform.

Messina noted that a key criteria that Docker always considers when integrating technology is if it helps to deliver on the promise of democratizing complex technology.

With Inifit, the complex technology in question is distributed storage for Dockerized applications. Messina said that in Docker’s view, Infinit does help to democratize container storage, providing developers with a fast path to working with persistent storage as they build and test their applications.

In Messina’s view, Docker’s integration with Infinit will serve to increase the opportunity for Docker’s ecosystem and storage partners.

“It enables developers to become more familiar with persistent storage solutions out of the box, enabling developers to gain experience with legacy stateful applications in containers,” Messina said. “This in turn accelerates the need for persistent storage solutions for applications in production.”

Originally published on eWeek

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