CFD 11 – Day 3 – No one cares about backups

Until you experience data loss.

If you don’t care about good backups, you should start. Someone is going to make permanent that thing you thought was temporary, or make important that thing you thought wasn’t.

They are also going to store important data somewhere you thought important data didn’t belong – like Kubernetes.

But those are all stateless workloads, right? Surely there’s a snapshot of the data somewhere in S3, bi-directionally triple replicated with 20 9’s of durability.

Sorry, there isn’t. Not unless you put it there.

When I was first exposed to the “it’s not designed to be backed up, your important data should be elsewhere” logic regarding K8S, I wondered to myself how long THAT would last.

And now that the folks over at Veeam have moved into the adjacent market of Kubernetes data protection through their acquisition of Kasten, we can now say that phase lasted about around 5 years 🙂

It makes sense. Today’s datacenters are highly, if not exclusively, virtualized. Targeting the virtualization layer for backup makes the most sense, in most situations. And containers are just another form of virtualization.

The cloud? Using virtualization, too. But the underlying hypervisor is no longer exposed and available to capture backups directly from, so an adjustment in approach is needed. There are more efficient means of capturing data anyway – at the container level.

Image credit: Kasten

Kasten deploys directly into your generic Kubernetes environment, and from this layer it is able to interact with containerized workloads on a granular basis. And as a result of this approach, Kasten is able to both protect and restore data to a wide variety of K8S distributions, whether they be located on-premises or in the public cloud.

The disaster recovery implications are particularly important because there is no shortage of complex, active/active, disaster-tolerant reference architectures for a customer to choose from. But for customers with less aggressive recovery timelines, a recovery strategy that involves restore from backup can make more sense, and the options in this area have been lacking to this point.

Being able to utilize the same data protection tool, should your on-premises K8S distribution differ from the one you utilize in the cloud, is also a significant benefit. Having to weave together a series of solutions to meet your backup requirements isn’t a good time. Neither is dealing with a separate set of restore procedures when disaster strikes.

It’s encouraging to see vendors start to offer more mature data protection solutions for Kubernetes. Because, as we expected, yes – that data is going to need to be backed up (even though you said it wasn’t important).

Special thanks to Gestalt IT for assembling another great Cloud Field Day, and thank you to all the presenting sponsors. Until next time!

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