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2023 was a great year for Portworx and the category we serve, given the tremendous growth and adoption of Kubernetes and containers as the de-facto standard for building the next generation of applications including Kubernetes based apps, modern databases, AI/ML, IoT and CI/CD pipelines.

Not only did we see great market traction of cloud native storage within Enterprises from all verticals, but we also saw the validation of the Container Data Management category in IDC’s inaugural MarketScape for Worldwide Container Data Management, which highlighted the value of running Data on Kubernetes. The report spotlights the importance of container data management – and solutions like Portworx – as a critical component in unlocking the full potential of Kubernetes, allowing companies to rapidly innovate, deploy, and scale these modern applications.

But like Kubernetes, the Container Data Management market is just getting started.

So what are the key trends we see drive this market even higher in 2024? We see three key drivers with the strong potential to make this a banner year for Container Data Management and Portworx. Let’s explore these trends.

Rise of Platform Engineering

According to Gartner, “Platform Engineering is an emerging trend intended to modernize enterprise software delivery,” a trend that Gartner says by 2026 will lead to “80% of large software engineering organizations [establishing] platform engineering teams as internal providers of reusable services, components and tools for application delivery.”

The emergence of this new discipline has largely been driven by enterprises looking to maximize developer productivity through operational efficiencies across their Internal Developer Platforms, leveraging the promise of Kubernetes to build a consistent, scalable, and self-service path for developers to build on. The key philosophies around platform engineering include treating the platform as a product and their developers as their customers. Therefore, platform engineers need to be prepared to build a platform that addresses key roadblocks developers face with Kubernetes storage and data management.

How does Portworx help?

Portworx provides a consistent container data management platform that extends the automation of Kubernetes to the storage and data layer, helping Platform Engineering teams to create golden paths with their IDP.

infrustructure providersNot only have we helped Platform Engineering teams across the Global 2000, but we have followed our own advice, implementing Portworx as the foundation for our own IDP.

Modern Virtualization

The release of KubeVirt 1.0 in June 2023, coupled with the uncertainty related to the Broadcom acquisition of VMware, has caused many enterprises to take a closer look at the cost pressures, platform risk, and operational overhead that exists in their application development environment today. In fact, according to Forrester’s Predictions 2024, “Twenty percent of VMware enterprise customers will escape the VMware stack”

While KubeVirt provides virtualization functionality on container platforms, as a newer technology there is a requirement for multiple technologies to work together to achieve feature parity as compared to VMware. For example, the capability to migrate running virtual machines between Kubernetes worker nodes exists with KubeVirt (Live Migration), which is similar to vMotion in a VMware environment. However, some advanced features such as cluster DRS, which provides the ability to dynamically balance running virtual machines across ESXi nodes using vMotion, does not exist yet.

As organizations continue to modernize their applications to containerized and microservices architectures, modern virtualization technologies such as KubeVirt combined with proven container ecosystem partners provide an opportunity to consolidate onto modern infrastructure stacks which drive efficiencies in infrastructure deployment, management, and maintenance operations.

How does Portworx help?

By providing a storage and data platform that supports both VMs and containers running side by side on Kubernetes, Portworx by Pure Storage offers customers an off-ramp from traditional virtualization and a clear pathway to a modern application development platform – eliminating the operational overhead associated with traditional virtualization and reducing the overall cost of app development. Many enterprises, like a large US media company, have partnered with Portworx and Red Hat to implement this modern application development platform and kickstarted their modernization efforts.

Storage is a critical piece of any functioning VMware environment, and Portworx fills the gap for customers looking for enterprise storage and data protection feature parity in KubeVirt by providing support for Live Migration, multiple replicas of VM disks, automated capacity management and VM disk growth, synchronous and asynchronous replication for disaster recovery, storage I/O throttling, VM backup and restore, volume encryption, and migration of virtual machines and their associated volumes. When combined with an enterprise grade containerization and modern virtualization platform such as Red Hat OpenShift, Portworx provides customers with many of the same features they are used to with VMware environments.

Kubernetes powered AI/ML Apps and pipelines

Across every industry, AI has become the key technology trend shaping decisions in every boardroom and within every IT organization. Whether your company is using Predictive AI or Generative AI, Kubernetes has become a key foundational element to building successful AI/ML workflows. Even ChatGPT, the blue-chip GenAI standard is architected on Kubernetes – here’s the OpenAI blog describing their use of K8s to power ChatGPT.

How does Portworx help?

With newer language models getting closer to each other in terms of performance, the true differentiation will come from building data-centric AI solutions. Enterprises will rely on proprietary data hosted on premises or behind a firewall to deliver innovative experiences to their end users, instead of sending their data to third party AI companies. Portworx enables organizations to fine-tune open-source language models on Kubernetes or build retrieval augmented generation (RAG) architectures using Vector databases, helping them deliver better customer experience. According to IDC, “Organizations that are running or looking to run mission-critical applications, databases, CI/CD tools, or *AI/ML workloads in containers* will want to consider Portworx by Pure Storage.”

workloads in containers

At Portworx, we allow organizations to deliver self-service experience to their developers, while avoiding wasted GPU resources and improving database performance, by running Data on Kubernetes! Many enterprises including a UK-based Financial Services company, have partnered with Portworx to build sophisticated financial models while maintaining the performance, resilience, and topology awareness required to power these models. In addition, we’ve supported key CNCF projects like KubeRay and KubeFlow, to provide the foundation for these workloads.

These trends show that the growth of Kubernetes and Cloud-native storage and data management will only accelerate this year. As a key building block of the K8s ecosystem, we are looking forward to the tsunami of market and customer interest, adoption and success in 2024.

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About Us
Portworx is the leader in cloud native storage for containers.

Murli Thirumale

Murli Thirumale

VP and GM of Portworx
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