Persistent storage management for Kubernetes

Data Logistics

Commercial Open Projects

Of course, commercial offerings are also at hand. Portworx [6], recently acquired by Pure Storage, is very successful. The software equips any Kubernetes environment with professional functions for data backup: For example, Portworx backs up volumes from container environments to the cloud and makes application-consistent snapshots. Pure Storage has assured that the Portworx business model will be continued as before, at least for the time being.

Kasten [7], specializing in Kubernetes backup, was recently acquired by backup vendor Veeam, completing Veeam's portfolio of securable infrastructure environments through container landscapes. Other examples of commercialized CNCF projects include:

  • Trilio, a solution for protecting Kubernetes, OpenStack, and Red Hat virtualization environments, can create point-in-time snapshots of the corresponding environments.
  • Ionir, with its Data Teleport technology, ports data and persistent volumes between different cloud platforms reportedly in less than 40 seconds without manual intervention. Other features include global deduplication, compression, and data recovery. Different infrastructure pools can be merged into a unified, cross-managed data environment. The prerequisite, however, is that the data resides in Kubernetes environments.
  • Robin Cloud Native Storage (CNS) from makes it possible to deploy applications such as big data, databases, or artificial intelligence (AI)/machine learning (ML) on cloud platforms very quickly with just a few clicks with its hyperconvergent Kubernetes platform. The time-consuming setup of the entire container environment for the respective application is completely eliminated. Customers log on to the Robin platform, click on the desired application, and define its parameters with an interactive configuration interface. The Robin environment does the rest. Included are functions such as cloning of data, metadata, and configuration; replication; migration; and snapshots. Robin CNS is CSI compliant and can therefore communicate directly with native Kubernetes tools.

VMware: Farewell to the VM-Only World

Here, I present some examples of how large infrastructure providers implement and manage container storage. VMware manages both containers and virtual machines (VMs) and corresponding stateful services with a virtual storage area network (vSAN) and vSphere. VMware Cloud Foundation [8], meanwhile, is equipped with a CSI interface. VMware drops a policy layer on top of vSAN, virtual volumes (vVols), and Virtual Machine File System (VMFS)/NFS, followed by separate file and block interfaces. The next layer in the stack is the central cloud-native storage control plane. Kubernetes and the persistent volumes defined there can access the control plane through the CSI interface.

The vSAN Data Persistence Platform is essential for stateful services on both a container and VM basis. It provides a docking point for application partners, which include Cloudian, DataStax, Dell, and MinIO. The VMware Cloud Foundation services also let users access container infrastructure in the cloud and VMs with Kubernetes and RESTful APIs. Integration with vSphere is planned. Stateful services from partners can now be managed from partner-built dashboards in vCenter.

Red Hat and NetApp

OpenShift Container Storage [9] is purely software-defined and optimized for the Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform. Files, blocks, and objects are supported. The platform is a part of Red Hat Data Services. The goal is to provide a consistent user experience regardless of infrastructure. Persistent and highly available container storage can be dynamically provisioned and released on demand.

The software is suitable for databases, data warehouses, automating data pipelines, and highly active data in continuous deployment development models. Other application areas include AI, ML, and analytics, which particularly benefit from Kubernetes and microservices-based data services.

Red Hat claims accelerated application development and deterministic database performance as a foundation for data services are benefits of Red Hat Container Storage. Other benefits include simplified storage handling for analytical applications and protection and resilience for persistent volumes and namespaces.

Finally, NetApp deserves a mention. The company seeks to provide users with platform-as-a-service environments with complete management for data tasks within provider infrastructure clouds. Recently, the manufacturer presented two new services that complement Ocean [10] intended for stateless apps in the Kubernetes environment: Astra and Wave.

Astra for Kubernetes protects applications and includes migration and recovery. No software needs to be downloaded, installed, managed, or updated. Features include snapshots for local backup and recovery on the same Kubernetes cluster; application-based disaster recovery, even in another region and on another cluster; and active cloning of applications, along with their data, for migration purposes to another Kubernetes cluster, regardless of its location.

Wave, for more analytical environments, implements a managed Spark environment on AWS and will do so on Azure, Google, and other cloud platforms in the near future. It uses the version of Spark the customer wants to use, along with key tools for streaming data into Spark and for managing queries against Spark data. NetApp has made other announcements in the area of persistent data management in Kubernetes.

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