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 continues 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 of 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 maturing enterprise features for security, 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 architected 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, enterprise storage is highly scalable and secure, aiming to satisfy even the strictest requirements. Often, these systems are operated by trained storage administrators. However, this scenario has been slowly shifting to a self-service on-demand model, with developers requiring more direct access to storage operations to deploy and manage storage for their applications. 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, including financial and business issues, 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 infrastructure is 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 remains 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 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, and they’re looking for a storage solution that works with feature parity across on-premises and cloud infrastructures.
This GigaOm Radar for enterprise Kubernetes data storage will focus on general-purpose enterprise storage systems that include support for Kubernetes-based container environments in addition to supporting virtualization, bare metal, and other use cases. These general-purpose enterprise storage systems allow organizations to leverage existing deployed storage platforms to deliver persistent storage capabilities to Kubernetes without having to architect new solutions. These solutions are mostly suited to customers who are already running these storage arrays and are looking to add Kubernetes support for mixed-workload environments or large data centers with a sizable investment in storage infrastructure.
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 enterprise 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.