DataCore Bolt strikes at enterprise Kubernetes

DataCore Software’s 2021 acquisition of MayaData enabled the company to bolt to market with new Kubernetes storage software.

DataCore Bolt, the company’s new product, enables stateful, container-native storage for Kubernetes across both on-premises and cloud storage environments. Features of the new software include storage provisioning, support for the NVMe-oF/TCP protocol and portability of storage services by removing kernel and OS dependencies.

DataCore Software announced the general availability of DataCore Bolt during this week’s KubeCon and CloudNativeCon Europe 2022 conference, held virtually and in person in Valencia, Spain.

DataCore Bolt builds on the open source OpenEBS persistent container storage software previously developed by MayaData.

The buyout and quick turnaround for a new product echoes the strategy other storage companies have adopted to bring a Kubernetes-focused storage product to market quickly, according to Dave Raffo, a senior analyst at Evaluator Group. In 2019, IBM similarly acquired Red Hat for OpenShift, Red Hat’s Kubernetes hybrid computing platform, Raffo said.

The challenge for DataCore will be in spreading awareness of the new brand beyond DevOps and application developers to other IT customers and how DataCore’s products intersect with the DevOps experience on the former MayaData platform, according to Raffo.

“The DevOps community is already familiar with [MayaData],” he said. “It came out of that world. Developers are familiar with it. The [issue is] will the IT ops people be familiar with it?”

Mutual development

DataCore and MayaData banded together, pooling both resources and funding, to start development of OpenEBS in 2020. Datacore provided funding, technology licensing and its container team to MayaData.

DataCore Bolt builds on the OpenEBS base and will eventually funnel those improvements into the open source product, according to Dave Zabrowski, CEO at DataCore Software. Pricing for DataCore Bolt is based on the number of Kubernetes nodes under management.

“You can think of it as three years in the making,” Zabrowski said.

The OpenEBS product combines DataCore’s container storage interface so that it can integrate Kubernetes containers into existing on-premises infrastructure; previously, OpenEBS targeted cloud container deployments.

The Bolt product’s improvements will include what Zabrowski sees as enterprise-standard components such as minimum SLAs, testing capabilities and year-round customer support services.

It’s still an early enough market that I’m not sure if you can say there’s a clear leader [for Kubernetes].
Dave RaffoSenior analyst, Evaluator Group

“Most of the companies that we talk to that have serious applications, they want the comfort of an enterprise product,” he said.

Zabrowski estimated that about 400,000 Kubernetes storage volumes are provisioned per week using OpenEBS. Bolt will enable those customers to continue using the OpenEBS technology they’re familiar with alongside the new improvements, and new updates and features should come to the product fairly frequently, he added.

“We’ll be adding features on a [Scrum] sprint-by-sprint basis,” he said.

Future market

The continued popularity of the Kubernetes container orchestration platform, essentially the lingua franca of container orchestration, means that storage vendors will attempt to shore up their products and catalogs for enterprise vendors, Raffo said.

The open source roots of Kubernetes mean more vendors will attempt to have their own products catch on among DevOps and ITops, such as Astra from NetApp or Kasten K10 from Veeam, but the overall Kubernetes orchestrator of choice remains to be seen.  

“It’s still an early enough market that I’m not sure if you can say there’s a clear leader,” Raffo said.

Tim McCarthy is a journalist living on the North Shore of Massachusetts. He covers cloud and data storage news.