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Using tools like Red Hat OpenShift and Red Hat OpenShift Container Storage, organizations are developing and deploying more stateful applications and microservices at an accelerating pace. According to a recent Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG) research study, 41% of companies currently use containers for production applications. Another 33% use containers for dev/test and pre-production only but plan to use containers for production applications in the next 12 months.1

What’s the issue with traditional backup paradigms?

As organizations rely on cloud-native computing to develop, deliver and manage enterprise applications, data services such as data security, governance, discovery and resiliency become more important. Many applications have built-in redundancy, but architecting a resilient deployment is essential to delivering high availability.

Traditional backup strategies typically include a server, application state and storage backup, but that has also evolved. In a Kubernetes environment, live applications run in containers with related data services running in persistent storage classes. In order to recover from logical failures, user errors, etc., a backup solution must protect relevant data in context with applications and containers to have useful recovery capabilities. 

According to Enrico Signoretti at GigaOm, "Traditional backup paradigms and processes don’t work with Kubernetes applications. The speed of change and the diversity of components involved require a new approach, especially when the data protection solution is also a mechanism for enabling data mobility and advanced data services."2

Red Hat OpenShift: data protection solutions for Kubernetes applications

This is precisely the challenge that Red Hat addresses with Red Hat OpenShift in conjunction with many industry backup leaders. Container Storage Interface (CSI) snapshot functionality, provides customizable, point-in-time snapshots of persistent data volumes that can be used by enterprise backup solutions to create an application and persistent data backup image, but this is just the beginning.

In order to correctly restore data from applications that run in container pods, backup tools need cluster resource context so that when applications are restored, they are able to find the namespaces associated with their persistent data. 

This is accomplished through APIs that provide an application consistent backup image, complete with metadata describing cluster resources along with the persistent data volumes. These APIs also deliver application portability across clusters and cluster versions, so that backups can address not only local application failures, but can also restore to alternate Red Hat OpenShift clusters should the entire cluster fail. 

Kubernetes-native data protection solutions typically have built-in APIs to provide application awareness in the cloud-native era.  Still, some other solutions are standardized for data protection across the enterprise. Customers want choice, and the ability to adopt specialized Kubernetes solutions and extend existing data protection solutions they are familiar with to this new cloud-native paradigm. As a solution, Red Hat developed the OpenShift API for Data Protection (OADP) that enables our partners to integrate their data protection solutions with Red Hat OpenShift. 

Recovery solutions from Red Hat partners

Working closely with industry thought leaders3 that deliver data protection solutions across virtual machines and cloud platforms, Red Hat provides the platform and data services to enable leading cloud-native backup and recovery partner solutions, easily installed and configured with OpenShift Operators. Here are some of the first solutions to be tested and integrated with Red Hat OpenShift:

  • IBM Spectrum Protect Plus: IBM is one of the first enterprise data protection vendors to accelerate availability in the cloud-native space and is recognized as a Gartner Magic Quadrant leader for data center backup and recovery software. IBM Spectrum Protect Plus is an end-to-end, modern data resilience solution that unifies data recovery, retention, and reuse for physical, virtualized, and container-based workloads. Working with CSI Snapshots delivered with Red Hat OpenShift Container Storage, and the OpenShift API for Data Protection, IBM has delivered a data protection solution that works with Red Hat OpenShift.

  • Kasten by Veeam: As Veeam is known in the industry for data protection for virtual machines, Kasten extends this knowledge to cloud-native data protection for Kubernetes and has been recognized as a leader by GigaOm. Kasten K10 works with Red Hat OpenShift to deliver resilience and durability, performing durable backups of Red Hat OpenShift Container Storage storage classes, metadata, and local persistence of the backup to minimize restore time. Customers have publicly shared their experiences of using Kasten K10 with Red Hat OpenShift in on-premise and public cloud environments to help protect their Kubernetes applications.

  • TrilioVault for Kubernetes: Well known for Red Hat OpenStack data protection with Red Hat Ceph Storage, and Red Hat Virtualization environments, Trilio has worked to deliver data protection for Red Hat OpenShift. A Red Hat-certified innovator on OpenShift Operator Hub and a featured data protection solution in Red Hat Marketplace, Trilio continues to deliver Kubernetes-native data protection solutions for customers’ edge cloud platforms.

You can find more on these partners' solutions on the "Business continuity for containers: backup and recovery" topic page, and you can even view demos on how to use these products in our Data Protection playlist on YouTube.

Red Hat continues to develop our ecosystem of data protection partners to deliver choice to customers deploying rich, critical applications with Red Hat OpenShift. Several solutions are in the works, so please continue to talk with your Red Hat representatives and look for updates on our blog channel. For more information about Red Hat Data Services for OpenShift, visit our Red Hat OpenShift Container Storage 4 solution page.

3 Source: GigaOm Report: GigaOm Radar for Kubernetes Data Protection, 2020.

About the author

Michael St-Jean is a Principal Product Marketing Manager for Red Hat Storage. His responsibilities include content development and delivery, technical marketing, competitive analysis, and sales and partner enablement. He is an evangelist for Software-Defined Storage projects focused on Red Hat Ceph and Gluster Storage.

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