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Technical Insight: Protecting Kubernetes Applications with Dell PowerProtect Data Manager

Challenges with Protecting Kubernetes Environments

An ever-growing number of applications, including data-intensive applications, are being rearchitected for, and being built on, container architectures. In Evaluator Group’s recent study, Hybrid Cloud Matures: Pragmatism in a Post-COVID-19 World, a large majority of respondents (84%) are adopting or plan to adopt containers, with 29% having a goal of moving most, if not all, of their workloads to containers, and 18% already having moved most if not all of their workloads to containers. Only 16% had no interest in transitioning to containers.

Clearly, for today’s enterprise, if containers are not a part of the present, they are a part of the near-term future. This means that they need to be protected, just like their physical and virtual counterparts. However, they do have a number of unique considerations beyond traditional data protection requirements that need to be factored in.

Firstly, the shift to container architectures drives a shift from few large scale-up databases to multiple scale-out databases – making centralized oversight and protection by IT more difficult. At the same time, protection must happen in a way that does not impede the agility of DevOps teams when developing and updating software. Backups must happen in an automated and seamless way, and DevOps teams do not have time to wait for IT if they need to roll an application back to a previous point in time.

Another challenge facing IT operations is that while Kubernetes is established as the most popular container orchestration tool, the Kubernetes distribution, management and storage ecosystems are inconsistent and very much still maturing. Enterprises can choose from a variety of open-source and vendor-specific implementations, making it difficult to be definitive about data protection requirements.

Enterprises are taking a variety of approaches to working with Kubernetes. Some are using PaaS platforms that support Kubernetes, such as Red Hat OpenShift, or they are retrofitting PaaS platforms on Kubernetes, such as CloudFoundry, which does not yet support Kubernetes natively. Cloud-based Kubernetes services such as AWS Kubernetes Service (EKS), Microsoft Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS), and Google Kubernetes Service (GKE) are also being adopted. Meanwhile, other enterprises still are using the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) ecosystem itself to build their own.

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March 21, 2022

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