Ionir is software-defined storage that runs inside of Kubernetes to provide storage for containerized applications.
Ionir launched its container-native storage in late 2020, using technology its founders developed for their previous storage startup Reduxio. Ionir set out to build a block storage system that enables metadata to freely move between nodes inside a Kubernetes cluster.
Container Native Storage (CNS) is software-defined storage (SDS) that’s embedded in a container cluster, providing a virtualized pool of storage using devices internal to each host. This is similar to the way SDS is embedded in a hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) cluster, except that CNS software runs in a container instead of as a VM. CNS in a container orchestration platform (like Kubernetes) is similar to VMware vSAN running as a service in vSphere, creating a scale-out compute environment.
The benefits of CNS with Kubernetes are also similar to those of HCI. A CNS eliminates the need for external storage systems to support containers and can scale with the K8s cluster. As a storage layer, CNS is integrated into Kubernetes, simplifying management compared with an external storage system.
Ionir software operates in and is orchestrated by Kubernetes. It runs as a set of microservices. Ionir pools physical storage from nodes and presents logical volumes to applications that require storage capacity. It uses continuous data protection to enable instant restores to any point in time. It also can instantly copy data to any location, apply global deduplication and automatically tiers data by measuring how often bytes are accessed.
The Ionir Kubernetes platform generates a hash value from every incoming write. That hash serves as the data’s name or tag, and Ionir creates a timestamp to address the data by time as well as name. Instead of treating volumes as containers of data, Ionir stores data as big buckets with tags and associates name, physical location and time with each piece of data. When a second piece of data generates a hash with the same value as the first data, Ionir will store new metadata rather than the data itself. Instead of overwriting a block, it stores different information with the same block number tag. This works as a form of deduplication because it avoids having to store data in multiple volumes.
The timestamp added to the metadata address allows users to access data at any point in time. It enables users to represent data at the moment it existed before other blocks of data were written.
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