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The ways applications are developed and deployed are changing rapidly, pushing the storage industry to evolve quickly as well. Applications are moving to containerized environments, and containers—and thus Kubernetes—are becoming more prevalent. Businesses are rearchitecting their applications to fit this new model, and storage solutions that support containerized environments are in high demand.
Kubernetes adoption has accelerated to the point where it is now the dominant container orchestration tool. Enterprises are still transitioning, but the adoption of Kubernetes has grown exponentially. Because of the increasing interest in container-based application development, IT organizations began working on proofs of concept, which then moved to development and test platforms. During the pandemic, many of these companies fast-tracked their Kubernetes environments into production, building these environments on top of the existing infrastructure.
During that accelerated transition, those initial small Kubernetes infrastructures running fairly simple applications with limited data storage needs developed into environments that support the livelihood of the organization. Soon, more and more stateful applications began migrating to these platforms, requiring additional resources and performance.
At the same time, enterprises of all sizes began embracing hybrid cloud strategies that are becoming more complex and structured. We are moving quickly from a first adoption phase, when data and applications are distributed manually and statically in various on-premises and cloud environments, to a new paradigm in which data and application mobility is the key to flexibility and agility.
These days, enterprises want the freedom to decide where applications and data should run. The public cloud is known for its flexibility and agility, but on-premises infrastructures are still better in terms of efficiency, cost, and reliability. More and more companies do development and testing on the public cloud, with production on-premises, in the cloud, or both, depending on the business, regulatory, economic, and technical needs of the particular enterprise.
Kubernetes has become instrumental in executing this vision, but it needs the right integration with infrastructure layers, such as storage, to work. Persistent and reliable data storage, along with data management and security, are vital factors to consider when evaluating and implementing Kubernetes deployments in enterprise environments today. These factors expand the scope of the orchestrator to a broader set of applications and use cases across different types of on-premises and cloud infrastructures. The goal is to provide a common data storage layer that is abstracted from physical and cloud resources, with a standard set of functionalities, services, protection, security, and management. At the moment, many enterprise storage solutions are reasonably compatible with Kubernetes, but they don’t work with the public cloud. This is a limitation you should always take into account when evaluating this technology, especially if you are planning a hybrid cloud environment.
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.
Solution Profile: An in-depth vendor analysis that builds on the framework developed in the Key Criteria and Radar reports to assess a company’s engagement within a technology sector. This analysis includes forward-looking guidance around both strategy and product.