Introduction to Storage for Containers

Monday, February 25, 2019 - 9:00 am12:30 pm

Vasily Tarasov, Dimitris Skourtis, Ted Anderson, and Ali Anwar, IBM Research


Containers and related technologies allow to manage computational resources at fine granularity, increase the pace of software development, testing, and deployment, and at the same time improve the efficiency of infrastructure utilization. Recognizing these benefits, many enterprises are upgrading their technology by incorporating containers in their infrastructure and workflows.

As containerization technologies enter enterprise market they meet new functional demands. Providing and managing persistent, highly-available, yet nimble storage is a particularly important requirement. A number of new and existing companies and open-source projects are aggressively entering this arena. We expect that in the coming years the demand for professionals who are fluent in storage for containers will rise dramatically.

In our tutorial we plan to cover all major topics of storage for containers. We will first describe the structure of Docker's layered images, its local CoW-based storage, and Docker registry. We will then present the concept of persistent volumes and dynamic provisioning in Kubernetes. As part of the tutorial, we will use the insights and examples that we accumulated while working on adapting IBM's Spectrum Scale for containerization environments.

Vasily Tarasov, IBM Research

Vasily Tarasov is a Research Staff Member at IBM. His current research projects include storage for containers and high-performance file systems as a service. Vasily worked extensively on storage, file systems, data deduplication, performance and workload analysis. Vasily is an author of numerous academic papers, regularly serves on PC in major scientific conferences, and gave many presentations to large audiences.

Dimitris Skourtis, IBM Research

Dimitris Skourtis is a Research Staff Member at IBM. His current work is around cloud orchestrators and persistent storage for containers. Prior to IBM, he worked on resource management at VMware, where he prototyped and shipped SIOCv2, a policy-driven storage scheduling solution, as part of vSphere 6.5. Dimitris received his Ph.D. focusing on flash storage and predictable performance at UC Santa Cruz.

Ted Anderson, IBM Research

Ted Anderson is a Senior Software Engineer with IBM Research. Ted has extensive experience with several distributed file systems, most recently Spectrum Scale/GPFS. His recent work utilizes concurrency, caching, and delegation that guarantee correctness using distributed coherency protocols to maximize the performance of parallel applications.

Ali Anwar, IBM Research

Ali Anwar is a research staff member at IBM Research. He received his Ph.D. in Computer Science from Virginia Tech. In his earlier years he worked as a tools developer (GNU GDB) at Mentor Graphics. Ali's research interests are in distributed computing systems, cloud storage management, file and storage systems, and intersection of systems and machine learning.

@conference {230034,
author = {Vasily Tarasov and Dimitris Skourtis and Ted Anderson and Ali Anwar},
title = {Introduction to Storage for Containers},
year = {2019},
address = {Boston, MA},
publisher = {{USENIX} Association},
month = feb,