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Common Challenges with Container-Based Storage

Container-based storage platforms are gaining increased interest as of late. As they are capable of providing greater mobility, efficiency, and accessibility than ever before, it's easy to see why they've become such a popular trend. According to recent reports from Gartner, more than half of all businesses will use containers in one form or another by 2020.

It's a trend that's taking the niche of data storage by storm – but it's not without its faults. As such, it's important to understand some of the challenges associated with container-based storage and how your company can overcome these obstacles.

What is Container Storage?

To put it simply, a container is a bundle of software as well as its related databases, libraries, and dependencies. In order to minimize its overall system footprint, containers do not maintain any kind of persistent storage. If the container is ever stopped or rebooted – either purposefully or otherwise – all of the user data it contains is lost.

According to a recent report, title Container Infrastructure – What You Need to Know in 2018 – is quoted as stating: "Containers have exploded in popularity because enterprise developers, IT, and even business leaders have learned something the cloud builders like Google discovered long ago: containers can significantly improve infrastructure and application efficiency, agility, and reliability."

Understanding the Challenges and Benefits of Container-Based Storage

One of the biggest challenges of container-based storage is inherent in its very nature – the lack of persistent storage. While this ultimately keeps the size of your system's containers at a minimum, it also provides an immediate obstacle to overcome.

But a lack of persistence storage isn't the only problem faced by those who are looking to embrace modern containers. Additional challenges include:

Data management: Unfortunately, containers don't include much in the way of data management tools. Without a clear means of accessing and working with the data within, some companies are still shying away from the technology.

System inefficiency: Although it's often touted for improved performance and system efficiency, some container usage can have the opposite effect. This is especially true when working with modern database systems and tier-1 applications on your network.

Lack of support for database structures: The lack of persistent storage re-emerges here, ultimately making containers incompatible with most of today's database frameworks. Given the reliance on digital databases in the Information Age, most companies are too invested in big data and analytics to give up their database access.

Despite these obstacles, container-based storage does provide many benefits in the 21st century. Apart from requiring less system resources than traditional hardware-based and VM-driven environments, containers offer greater portability, increased consistency between operations, and full support for agile and DevOps development initiatives.

With that in mind, companies are currently using containers to ease their system migration into the cloud, to provide support for distributed applications and microservices, to streamline IT deployments, and even to develop container-native applications for internal use. To this extent, the versatility and flexibility of modern data containers simply cannot be denied.


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