Table of Contents
- Market Categories and Deployment Types
- Key Criteria Comparison
- GigaOm Radar
- Vendor Insights
- Analyst’s Take
- About Joep Piscaer
The adoption of cloud-native, container-based architectures and application modernization continue to fuel demand for persistent storage on Kubernetes platforms. Organizations understand that the benefits of cloud-native workloads in terms of performance, scalability, and portability are key enablers for achieving business goals.
Many enterprises already run cloud-native workloads and realize the advantages of more agile and flexible architectures, including application portability that enables frictionless workload movement from the data center to the cloud, and even across clouds. This provides greater flexibility and responsiveness to business requirements than using legacy technologies.
Data storage solutions for Kubernetes environments have evolved since our last report, especially in the realm of migration and mobility, as well as in security features for maturing enterprises, advanced data services, and an enhanced developer experience.
A common pattern in adopting persistent storage solutions for Kubernetes is the reuse of existing enterprise storage solutions. This is considered a safe bet for the first couple of deployments, but these systems weren’t designed with the ephemeral nature of containers in mind. Often, older arrays can’t cope with the sheer number of backend operations required by Kubernetes at scale. However, vendors are quickly removing bottlenecks from their architectures to support containers at scale and stretching their product portfolio to include cloud storage services for multicloud use cases.
Compared to other types of storage systems, Kubernetes-native storage offers a more DevOps-friendly environment, helping to build a hardware stack that can be controlled by the operations team while enabling developers to allocate and monitor resources quickly when necessary. This is a major boon for enterprise IT organizations looking for the smartest way to evolve their processes and align them with the latest business and technology requirements.
Organizations can now consider more factors than ever before when choosing where their applications and data should run—and they want the freedom to decide where that should be. The public cloud is known for its flexibility and agility, but on-premises infrastructures are still better in terms of efficiency, cost, and reliability.
With widespread adoption across cloud, edge, and on-premises, Kubernetes is instrumental in executing the vision of portable, flexible, and agile hybrid cloud strategies, making applications and their data portable and cloud-agnostic—for the most part. It needs the right integration with infrastructure layers—such as storage—to complement its still-maturing native support for stateful data storage.
It’s still a significant task to select and implement a Kubernetes storage solution for persistent data that makes the most of Kubernetes’s application mobility and data portability capabilities.
With Kubernetes now supporting business-critical applications and services, requirements have become more stringent. Scalability, performance, resilience, security, and other non-functional requirements are the order of the day, and Kubernetes needs to do it all to ensure a consistent level of throughput without service disruptions. These requirements drive the demand for enterprise-class stateful data services, solid security controls, mature multitenant performance management—like quality of service (QoS) and bandwidth throttling—and thorough alerting, reporting, and monitoring.
Lastly, enterprises do not want to be locked into any single vendor’s ecosystem as they reap the benefits of Kubernetes’s portable and agnostic promise, so they’re looking for a storage solution that works with feature parity across on-premises and cloud infrastructures.
This GigaOm Radar for cloud-native Kubernetes data storage will focus on Kubernetes-native storage systems. These storage solutions are built as cloud-native microservices, running on top of and tightly coupled with the container orchestrator while providing storage services to Kubernetes clusters, including the cluster they are deployed on. These storage systems allow organizations to deploy Kubernetes-optimized persistent storage capabilities to Kubernetes clusters and are mostly suited for new projects or the process of replacing general-purpose enterprise storage systems. These are architectures specifically designed to address the needs of cloud-native applications without compromising on performance or scalability. They are usually not engineered to co-exist with other workload types, such as virtualization.
This is our fourth year evaluating the Kubernetes data storage space in the context of our Key Criteria and Radar reports. All solutions included in this Radar report meet the following table stakes—capabilities widely adopted and well implemented in the sector:
- CSI compatibility
- Snapshot functionality
- Operational and data security
- Cloud and platform support
This GigaOm Radar report highlights key cloud-native Kubernetes data storage vendors and equips IT decision-makers with the information needed to select the best fit for their business and use case requirements. In the corresponding GigaOm report “Key Criteria for Evaluating Kubernetes Data Storage Solutions,” we describe in more detail the capabilities and metrics that are used to evaluate vendors in this market.
How to Read this Report
This GigaOm report is one of a series of documents that helps IT organizations assess competing solutions in the context of well-defined features and criteria. For a fuller understanding, consider reviewing the following reports:
Key Criteria report: A detailed market sector analysis that assesses the impact that key product features and criteria have on top-line solution characteristics—such as scalability, performance, and TCO—that drive purchase decisions.
GigaOm Radar report: A forward-looking analysis that plots the relative value and progression of vendor solutions along multiple axes based on strategy and execution. The Radar report includes a breakdown of each vendor’s offering in the sector.