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Orka Overview Part 1: Storing macOS Images with Orka

Mac VMs scaled with Orka virtualization

Storage is one of those things that everyone needs, but no one really wants to spend a long time dealing with it. In the Kubernetes-based Orka, image management is amazingly simple because the architecture enforces best practices for network-based storage.

In most networking storage for macOS, a large move happens at some point. Usually, the full image gets copied or placed onto a local node hard drive, and that should be done before a user calls the VM. This has lead to approaches that favor “pre-staging” of VMs for quick use by customers.

Orka seeks to reverse that trend, favoring on-demand infrastructure. This has the advantage of being highly customized so that on-demand, a user can select a Catalina image, then assign 8 cores (or a Mojave image and assign 12 cores, etc.). This flexibility comes from the remote mount feature of Docker.

Again, with Orka, MacStadium installs Linux on the Apple hardware with custom drivers. This means Docker and Kubernetes can be loaded and work as expected with the full feature set (unlike “Docker for Mac,” the Docker option most iOS devs are accustomed to).

The remote mount means a minimal data set gets copied, and all new data writes to local SSDs on the nodes. When the image is saved (or committed) back to the network storage, the new data gets moved for save keeping. This is represented in a flow diagram like:

The commands are amazingly simple. For a quick summary, see the Quick Command Summary at the top of our Base Images page on the Orka Docs (take a closer look at the docs for code snippets and screenshots of expected outcomes).

At MacStadium, we believe in enabling virtualization for macOS the right way and are happy to incorporate best practices in an easy-to-use fashion.  Keep your eye peeled for more installments in our Orka walkthrough series, coming soon! And if you haven’t played around with our Orka demo, what are you waiting for? The Orka demo is ready for you - with a 20-minute walkthrough and up to two hours to explore.

Ready to hit the ground running? One of our sales engineers would be happy to help you get started with Orka or any of your other Mac cloud infrastructure needs. Contact us now at sales@macstadium.com or by filling out the form here.

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