CxO Decision Brief: Kubernetes Data Protection

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Solution Overview

Ephemeral Kubernetes environments demand new approaches to data protection. CloudCasa by Catalogic protects both Kubernetes applications and cloud-native workloads that meet the agility and flexibility needs of DevOps, platform engineering, and site reliability engineering (SRE) teams. It addresses the security and scalability needs of enterprises of all sizes.

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Tuned to distributed microservices environments, CloudCasa is easy to adopt and manage, and scales to hybrid or multicloud scenarios. It offers cost control via pay-as-you-go, capacity-based subscriptions; enhanced data protection processes across Kubernetes and cloud-native services; and improved application security and compliance.

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Containers, Kubernetes, and cloud-native technologies pose a challenge to traditional data protection solutions. Failure to adapt can increase security and compliance risk, recovery time, and management tasking, resulting in a higher cost of operation.

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CloudCasa’s free tier allows DevOps teams to build a canary deployment at no cost, boosting technical familiarity before broad adoption. There are no agents or complex server environments to manage. Complexity comes from maintaining another backup environment for traditional applications

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Adoption risk is limited. Over time, most users must find an enterprise backup solution for their Kubernetes applications. The SaaS model with capacity-based pricing and free tier enables a bottom-up approach that starts with small and secondary applications.

1. Solution Value

Microservices are now a common and critical component of enterprise applications. In just a few short years, we have moved from stateless, microservices-based applications residing in the front end to complex stateful apps incorporating databases and other valuable data. These container-based applications scale up and down quickly and work as a single distributed entity.

Traditional backup approaches can’t keep pace with the complexity, volatility, and velocity of change in these container-based microservices environments. Solutions like CloudCasa meet this emergent need, providing end-to-end environmental awareness and data protection and migration features that work with Kubernetes and cloud-native services that would otherwise be at risk.

2. Urgency and Risk

Enterprises with critical Kubernetes applications in production must protect them or face the significant risk of prolonged downtime, which can be disastrous to the business. Traditional backup methods simply are not adequate. Effective solutions must support APIs, multitenancy, and self-service, as well as provide tools to speed up creation of dev/test environments starting from backup copies. Delaying proper data protection for Kubernetes applications results in increasing costs for daily operations and heightened risk of not meeting service level objectives (SLOs).


The risk of deploying a solution like CloudCasa is limited, especially when efficiencies for infrastructure and DevOps teams are factored in. The CloudCasa solution is notable because it supports a wide range of Kubernetes distributions and managed services alongside public cloud services, Container Storage Interface (CSI), and Network File System (NFS) storage. Furthermore, deployment of the solution doesn’t require additional infrastructure, while the user-friendly subscription model allows for progressive adoption with limited initial commitment.

3. Benefits

Kubernetes-native data protection offers compelling efficiency, scalability, and ease of use compared to traditional approaches. Some of the most impactful benefits of the CloudCasa implementation include:

  • Enhanced security posture: CloudCasa performs security checks on protected platforms, enhancing the security posture of applications and data no matter where they are deployed.
  • Adoption flexibility: CloudCasa’s free tier will appeal to small businesses and small test and development teams that embrace open source. A cost-effective capacity-based subscription is available for larger organizations.
  • Support for public cloud: CloudCasa integrates with public clouds to provide full-stack, cross-cloud migration and recovery and is actively growing support for additional database cloud services and data volume snapshots to improve and simplify data protection of complex hybrid applications.
  • Extended open-source data protection: Projects such as Velero are common among DevOps teams but lack enterprise features and support. By supporting the Velero pluggable framework, CloudCasa helps users transition from community-based to enterprise support.

4. Best Practices

CloudCasa is generally well-received by DevOps teams, while its SaaS license model and user-friendly design make it easy to implement. The solution is ideal for a bottom-up approach where new technology is tested heavily, adopted by developers first, and fully embraced by the entire IT organization later. Regardless, the management team should evaluate a few important aspects when considering adoption of this type of solution:

  • Build confidence: DevOps teams should gain confidence in the solution by testing it in their environment using APIs and CLI interfaces. At the same time, system administrators need familiar GUI and automation tools to get full visibility on this part of the infrastructure.
  • Step-by-step adoption: While the SaaS product doesn’t require installation and setup, it would be best to start with a backup of one or more secondary applications to test the full backup/restore process.
  • Additional capabilities: Beyond Kubernetes data protection, CloudCasa can be used to restore and migrate applications across different environments, both in the cloud and on-premises. This capability enables teams to simplify migration processes and the creation of dev/test environments.
  • Security aspects: CloudCasa offers interesting security features for Kubernetes environments and applications. The security team should be involved during the initial adoption phase to take advantage of these capabilities and contribute to policy definition.
  • Storage options: While offered as an end-to-end solution, CloudCasa supports use of a separate, private backup target. This approach benefits those with specific regulatory and compliance requirements, as well as organizations that have obtained aggressive pricing from a cloud provider.

5. Organizational Impact

A Kubernetes data protection deployment will first impact roles engaged with applications and data protection. In small organizations, DevOps teams typically take care of this aspect. For larger organizations, a traditional and more conservative platform engineering approach is usually the rule.

CloudCasa offers multitenant capabilities and enables several teams to operate independently under the supervision of a system administrator. At the same time, the product offers multiple reporting capabilities to increase visibility for managers, application, and business owners.

People Impact

The learning curve for DevOps teams and system administrators adopting new tools for Kubernetes data protection can be steep. In the case of CloudCasa deployments, organizations can expect applications to be fully protected within a short time after the initial onboarding. Larger enterprises, however, face additional considerations:

  • System administrators usually have control over data protection operations; however, CloudCasa provides auto-discovery capabilities that help identify and protect all necessary components, data, and recovery functionality that automatically sets up the target environment for the user. These combine to dramatically reduce workload while still affording control over the environment.
  • Security teams should be involved to take full advantage of the product capabilities, and they should work with DevOps and system administrators to get visibility about potential cyber threats identified by CloudCasa.
  • Application and business owners should be notified via reports available from the software about the compliance of their applications with projected SLOs.

Investment Outlook

Most solutions in the market employ subscriptions instead of traditional perpetual licenses. Subscriptions allow for an OpEx approach that organizations usually prefer. Unfortunately, the subscription schemes are based on different models, making them hard to compare.

CloudCasa offers a free tier appropriate for users with minimal requirements and for proof-of-concept deployments. For more demanding users, a subscription offering based on capacity of data saved on CloudCasa’s systems is available. There is also a bring-your-own-storage (BYOS) option, which allows large enterprises to take advantage of existing deals with their cloud provider.

The pay-as-you-go licensing model requires no initial investment, while the simple and user-friendly subscription model offers predictable cost. As with many cloud services, users must carefully plan backup and retention policies to avoid excessive cloud spending.

6. Solution Timeline

Most of the products in this category are relatively easy to test, deploy, and use. SaaS solutions are even easier to adopt because they don’t require planning for backup server or control plane components.

Initial product testing and onboarding is quick and doesn’t even require a product purchase. The autodiscovery features available in the CloudCasa platform let inexperienced users get started quickly and obtain immediate results. Some enterprise features and long-retention storage for backups require a full-fledged subscription, which can be added without losing backups or their policies.

Plan, Test, Deploy

The most effective way to adopt a Kubernetes data protection solution is to let the DevOps and infrastructure teams use it for secondary applications or test environments and then commit to a full deployment when there is confidence in its functionality. CloudCasa is a SaaS solution, so the preliminary activities necessary for initial installation and deployment of a test environment are limited.

Plan: Select teams and applications to start the testing—development and test environments are the most common candidates. For applications, focus on those hosted on major service providers, which will simplify testing of advanced features such as entire-cluster recovery.

Test: This phase addresses basic backup and restore procedures as well as migrations and self-service operations. Users need to build familiarity with the solution. Also, work to a thorough test of security features and reporting.

Deploy: When the testing is completed, the most important step is to define backup policies, verify SLOs, and keep costs under control through quality reports and dashboards.

Future Considerations

The Catalogic roadmap for CloudCasa is compelling, with expanded support for more database and multicloud services expected. This will provide more options for end-to-end protection of applications hosted in hybrid and cloud environments. Catalogic’s investments in data and application security promises to increase the ROI of the CloudCasa product in the medium and long term.

7. Analyst’s Take

The adoption of microservices-based applications and container-based environments has changed the rules around data protection. Organizations must move quickly to address gaps in their protection of Kubernetes applications and data or court significant risk.

CloudCasa by Catalogic already excels as a user-friendly and cost-conscious solution compared to other offerings in the Kubernetes data protection sector. Its SaaS deployment model is a winning factor that eases adoption, limits lock-in, and offers key security advantages. An ideal solution for small and medium organizations, CloudCasa’s aggressive roadmap and expanding feature set also make the solution worth consideration for enterprise use cases.

8. About GigaOm

GigaOm provides technical, operational, and business advice for IT’s strategic digital enterprise and business initiatives. Enterprise business leaders, CIOs, and technology organizations partner with GigaOm for practical, actionable, strategic, and visionary advice for modernizing and transforming their business. GigaOm’s advice empowers enterprises to successfully compete in an increasingly complicated business atmosphere that requires a solid understanding of constantly changing customer demands.

GigaOm works directly with enterprises both inside and outside of the IT organization to apply proven research and methodologies designed to avoid pitfalls and roadblocks while balancing risk and innovation. Research methodologies include but are not limited to adoption and benchmarking surveys, use cases, interviews, ROI/TCO, market landscapes, strategic trends, and technical benchmarks. Our analysts possess 20+ years of experience advising a spectrum of clients from early adopters to mainstream enterprises.

GigaOm’s perspective is that of the unbiased enterprise practitioner. Through this perspective, GigaOm connects with engaged and loyal subscribers on a deep and meaningful level.

9. Copyright

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