December 5, 2017
Enterprise container usage: It’s real and it’s not just for stateless apps
Today Portworx announced a major milestone in our company’s history. Since launching PX-Enterprise just over a year ago, we’ve acquired more than 30 paying customers — eight of them from the Fortune Global 500 — for our cloud-native storage solution, which we designed from the ground up for containers. Each one of these customers is entrusting us with the most important part of their application, their data, and we take that responsibility extremely seriously. We couldn’t be prouder.
To celebrate this milestone, we asked some of our customers what they thought about Portworx, and we’re posting their quotes here. We’ve also provided some specific use-case details from several of our larger customers, so you can get a flavor for how some of the world’s largest users of containers are successfully running databases like Cassandra, message queues like Kafka and Big Data applications like Hadoop in containers today.
The best part of working at a startup is the thrill of solving a customer problem. The last year has been full of thrills, and we’re looking forward to even more in 2018. If we can help you, please let us know. We’d like to meet you.
Enterprises using containers: Customer Quotes
NIOis a next-generation car company specializing in electric and autonomous vehicles. Amongst other amazing vehicles, the NIO EP9 broke the existing Electric Vehicle record at Nürburgring’s Nordschleife and has been proven to be the world’s fastest electric car.
“There are a few critical areas in your stack where you cannot afford a failure. Storage is one such area. We evaluated open-source options for cloud-native storage, but they were not as stable for our high-performance use case. We chose Portworx because it is a stable, mature, container-native storage option with one of the most responsive engineering and support organizations I’ve ever worked with.” – Satya Komala, head of autonomous vehicle cloud and enterprise architecture, NIO
GE Digital is the software arm of GE. Among other things, it makes Predix, an application platform for the Industrial Internet of Things (think jet engines, not toasters).
“Platforms like Predix represent the latest in cloud engineering — and operate in some of the largest distributed cloud configurations in the world. Portworx helps address our complex DevOps challenges by allowing us to enable data affinity solutions for containers rapidly, while improving data availability and scalability. Portworx provides infrastructure-agnostic features — such as volume persistence, high availability, data security and automation — that are valuable to a business like GE Digital.” – Darren Haas, head of cloud engineering, GE Digital
“The biggest challenge that we as platform operators and architects face is making the platform highly available. The way Mesos gives you a unified fabric of compute, Portworx provides a unified fabric of storage. We can then have end users not worry about how to consume an HA application.” – Balajee Nagarajan, director of software Engineering, GE Digital
Vertiv, designs, builds and services critical infrastructure.
“Portworx has been great to work with as we deploy Elasticsearch with Kubernetes in the cloud. Portworx features like CloudSnap make it easy to back up our container volumes to object storage, and the Portworx support team has been fantastic.” – Chris Hoffman, senior technologist, Vertiv
Beco delivers real-time space analytics to the commercial real estate industry.
“We are rapidly scaling our containerized, micro-service-based infrastructure and required a production-ready cloud-native storage solution that would offer us the reliability and scalability we could count on. That’s why we chose Portworx. Portworx is a battle-proven, highly reliable storage solution that scales with our increasing demand and enables our development team to focus less on storage and more on building new software services.” – Jeffrey Zampieron, CTO, Beco
Jeffrey was kind enough to sit down with us for an interview that appears in our Architect’s Corner series, where we dive deep into the technical aspects of running modern applications with those who are doing the work. You can read the interview here.
Lix helps students save up to 60 percent on textbooks by cutting out bookstores and selling digital versions of college textbooks directly to them. Another plus for students – no more heavy backpacks.
“You don’t want to mess around with the data layer for your containerized application. We picked Portworx because it saves us precious time managing our mission-critical databases and lets us focus on the areas where we differentiate. Portworx is exactly what we needed for our Kubernetes deployment: a stable, performant, cloud-native storage solution with a great support team we can call if there is ever a problem.” – Simon Stender Boisen, CTO, Lix
Enterprise container use-cases: Cassandra, Elasticsearch, Big Data and more
Use Case #1: Fortune 500 cable provider keeps its customers entertained thanks to Portworx
With on-demand services replacing pre-scheduled content as the preferred way for consumers to access their favorite shows and movies, providing a reliable, always-on way to stream content to homes across the U.S. is a requirement for this Fortune 100 cable provider. To make on-demand video a reality, this company uses Portworx as the data layer for containerized Elasticsearch and ArangoDB, managed by their Kubernetes-based platform. Currently, the customer runs Portworx on-premises but is building its solution to run in any environment, including multiple clouds. The company picked Portworx because it requires the ability to run Elasticsearch on local storage for performance reasons but does not want to pin Elasticsearch containers to single hosts. That limitation removes the automation benefits of Kubernetes and leads to resource contention, since Kubernetes cannot make scheduling decisions based on overall cluster capacity. Now the customer can let Kubernetes schedule Elasticsearch anywhere in the cluster because Portworx provides a cluster-wide data layer to ensure hyper-convergence, blazing performance and availability.
Orchestration platform – Kubernetes
Data services – Elasticsearch, ArangoDB
Operating environment – on-premises with plans for multi-cloud
Use Case #2 : Fortune 500 movie studio delights audiences thanks to applications built using Kubernetes and Portworx
This Portworx customer makes some of the world’s best-loved movies and television shows. With increased competition from studios across the world, the customer has invested heavily in developing a movie-making pipeline that lets it fly through the stages of production faster than the competition, matching the studio’s artistic vision and talent with a modern DevOps culture. As the customer standardized on OpenShift Kubernetes, it faced the challenge of finding a cloud-native data layer that would allow it to take advantage of Kubernetes automation without using a centralized storage solution such as a SAN or Ceph, which it considers an anti-pattern for most databases. With Portworx’s distributed block-storage solution, the company was able to run databases such as Cassandra, PostgreSQL and InfluxDB on direct-attached storage and still get the benefits of scheduler-based automation. In addition, Portworx enabled a simple and robust DR solution for PostgreSQL.
Orchestration platform – OpenShift Kubernetes
Data services – Cassandra, PostgreSQL, InfluxDB
Operating environment – on-premises
Use Case #3: Leader in the autonomous-driving vehicle industry stores and processes 12-15 terabytes of video data per car, per day with Portworx
No one doubts that autonomous driving vehicles will be the norm in the future, but the technical hurdles of making these vehicles safe and reliable are gargantuan. One challenge is how to stream and process the unbelievable amount of video data each car produces on a daily basis. This 12-15 terabytes of data per car, per day, holds great value for machine-learning algorithms that can improve safety, and it must be preserved and stored according to the regulations governing this budding industry. This customer turned to Portworx as a data layer for its Kafka-based streaming engine as well as the storage engine for its batch and machine-learning jobs running in the datacenter. Prior to purchasing Portworx, the customer evaluated popular open-source storage systems including Ceph and Gluster but found they were difficult to manage, consumed too many compute-host resources and lacked the deep and stable scheduler integration that would make these systems easy to use in a containerized environment. Ultimately, the customer chose Portworx due to the stability, ease of use, efficiency, and Kubernetes and DCOS integration the platform provides.
Orchestration platform – Kubernetes and DCOS
Data services – Kafka, Cassandra, HDFS, Elasticsearch, MongoDB, MySQL
Operating environment – edge cloud and on-premises