Kubernetes / Storage / Sponsored

Portworx Autopilot Wants to Cut Cloud Storage Costs with Automated Capacity Planning

19 Nov 2019 12:13pm, by
Portworx booth at KubeCon San Diego 2019

Portworx sponsored The New Stack’s coverage of KubeCon + CloudNativeCon in San Diego.

The New Stack’s recent poll indicated that 10% of companies think storage is a top area Kubernetes needs to improve. And even if you’re not worried about getting storage to work with Kubernetes, period, you might be losing sleep about the chunk of your budget going towards cloud storage.

“In the cloud, there’s this tagline: You only pay for what you use,” Michael Ferranti, vice president of product marketing at Portworx, said. “That’s actually not true. You pay for what you provision. If you provision an EBS volume, you pay for it, even if you don’t use it.” 

The cloud, of course, still requires underlying infrastructure. As Kubernetes scales, eventually you run out infrastructure. And adding storage to an existing server on any of the cloud service providers requires application downtime. It’s also often done manually. That means running out of storage can also cause downtime.  

As a result, most companies over-provision storage. “Whereas I might only need one terabyte of storage, I’m going to provision two or three to get some headroom,” Ferranti said. “Which means I’m paying two or three times what I need.” 

To address this challenge, container-native storage company Portworx has released PX-Autopilot for Capacity Management, a tool that provisions more storage when it detects that an application running on Kubernetes is running low on storage capacity. The idea is to give customers a way to let Portworx manage not just the application storage, but also the underlying storage infrastructure, with automation. 

Autopilot is a policy engine that automatically adds EBS volumes or resizes application volumes when consumption hits a pre-determined threshold. This makes it possible for companies to dramatically reduce the “headroom” on their storage provisioning — they can make sure the available storage always stays ahead of consumption without worrying that the admin on call will sleep through the page or be out on vacation. Autopilot also completely eliminates downtime from resizing or adding storage to a server. 

“Based on calculations we did with some early-access customers, we estimate that the average customer can cut their cloud storage costs in half with Autopilot,” Ferranti said. Given that a large company would often spend hundreds of millions of dollars annually on cloud storage, even a 25% reduction in storage costs would be significant. One early user has been mapping software giant ESRI, which has been deploying Autopilot to automate provisioning and resizing when predetermined thresholds are met.

Autopilot is generally available as of Nov. 19 — customers can sign up during KubeCon. The product, Ferranti says, can dramatically reduce cloud storage costs, but only if companies a running applications on Kubernetes. 

“It’s a mutually beneficial cycle,” Ferranti said. “The rest of the Portworx platform solves the business requirements, like DR and backup and data security, preventing apps from running on Kubernetes. Once the apps come over to Kubernetes, we can cut your storage costs.”

KubeCon + CloudNativeCon and Portworx are sponsors of The New Stack.

Photo of the Portworx booth at KubeCon + CloudNativeCon San Diego 2019.