Empower Kubernetes admins and storage admins with 360-degree container storage visibility.

Today Pure Storage® introduced the Pure Service Orchestrator Explorer, a web-based user interface that provides insight and analytics on the storage usage for containerized applications. It allows platform owners, system administrators, and storage administrators to easily access and view key performance indicators, such as performance, capacity, and volume growth characteristics for their container environment. PSO Explorer provides a greater level of understanding of the storage usage for cloud-native applications. By giving team members easy access to the information they need and providing valuable insights for container experts, PSO Explorer bridges the gap between development and operations for DevOps environments.

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The Shift to DevOps

Organizations are moving towards DevOps and infrastructure-as-code to increase agility and embrace digital transformation. More often than not, the journey towards DevOps is combined with the adoption of cloud-native technologies such as containers. Pure Storage has been leading the way by providing not just a CSI driver for container platforms, but also a full-fledged storage orchestrator for provisioning and managing storage in container environments. 

Called the Pure Service Orchestrator or PSO, this solution enables you to provide storage-as-a-service for your container platforms, both on-premises with Pure’s FlashArray and FlashBlade® storage appliances, and in public cloud with Pure Cloud Block Store™ for AWS and Azure. Developers have the freedom to provision containers, and the accompanying persistent storage, directly from Kubernetes in the way they’re used to. On the backend, PSO makes sure that the load is intelligently placed on the correct storage backend by assessing available capacity, performance, health metrics, and policy tags to minimize provisioning failures. All this happens without any manual intervention, tuning, or tweaking, so that your infrastructure can provide tens of thousands of persistent volume claims per day to a highly fluid container infrastructure.

While Kubernetes is a great platform for developers, it can sometimes be daunting for system administrators or storage administrators to provide the same level of support for these new style applications. Getting the right visibility into the platform and connecting the dots between the cloud-native container applications and the underlying compute and storage infrastructure can be a challenge for IT support teams. This can slow down adoption of container technologies, and in turn, the implementation of DevOps and the ability to reach your transformation goals. PSO Explorer helps bridge this gap by providing a simple, visual tool that k8s admins, application owners, and storage/infrastructure admins can all use to collaborate seamlessly on container storage.

Screenshot of provisioning and managing storage in container environments

360-degree Visibility Into Storage Usage

PSO Explorer gives you 360-degree container storage visibility in an easy-to-consume manner by offering key performance and capacity metrics to IT operations around the usage and growth of the storage on the Kubernetes environments. Administrators can view performance statistics per volume or capacity utilization per project (namespace), application (deployment or statefulset), or even for individual containers and jobs.

Let’s take a quick look at some of the features. The main dashboard provides some high-level metrics about the number of volumes deployed in the environment, the used-storage capacity in the cluster, a top-10 list of fastest-growing volumes, and a glance at the cluster-level storage performance characteristics.

The Analysis section provides more details for the storage usage of the statefulsets, deployments, pods, and jobs in the cluster, with links to the actual volumes, as shown below for an Elastic Search environment.

Details for the storage usage of the statefulsets, deployments, pods, and jobs in the cluster, with links to the actual volumes

The Storage section offers detailed information of the storage arrays configured in the cluster providing support for FlashArray, FlashBlade, and Pure Cloud Block Store for both on-premise and public-cloud environments. The volume view provides capacity and performance details on an individual volume level with direct links for management to the volumes objects on FlashArray, FlashBlade, or Pure Cloud Block Store.

Volume view provides capacity and performance details on an individual volume level

All views are searchable for all fields, so it’s simple to find the correct volume, pod, or deployment by name, label, or any other detail you’re looking for. In addition, the information shown can also be accessed as a JSON file to allow processing by third-party tools.

Finally, the Settings section provides an overview of the configured settings for PSO, including direct searchable access to the log files for troubleshooting. Also, the Kubernetes nodes are shown with details like the conditions (e.g., memory pressure or taints), along with details like the podCIDR IP address ranges being used for the nodes.

Deploy It Today

PSO Explorer is available now as an open-source, community-maintained and supported solution. You can deploy it in a few simple steps as explained on the GitHub repository. PSO Explorer will automatically detect the existing Pure Service Orchestrator (PSO) configuration and use those settings to provide an instant view into the environment¹. No configuration or management is required to start using the solution.

PSO Explorer is designed to work with Pure Service Orchestrator and should not be used with other orchestration tools.

Conclusion

With organizations moving to a DevOps way of working and cloud-native technologies like containers, there’s a growing need to bridge the knowledge gap between developers and operations departments through insight and tools that support these new style applications in a production environment. With PSO Explorer, you get immediate and simple access into your container environment, making it easier for operations departments to support these new initiatives.

See how to deploy PSO Explorer now.

  1. PSO Explorer is designed to work with Pure Service Orchestrator and should not be used with other orchestration tools.