GigaOm Radar for Kubernetes Data Protectionv4.0

Table of Contents

  1. Executive Summary
  2. Market Categories and Deployment Types
  3. Decision Criteria Comparison
  4. GigaOm Radar
  5. Solution Insights
  6. Analyst’s Outlook
  7. About Joep Piscaer

1. Executive Summary

Kubernetes data protection encompasses data backup and recovery solutions that safeguard Kubernetes-based applications in the cloud and on-premises by creating (incremental) copies of data to store in a separate storage target.

Kubernetes is the de facto container storage orchestration platform for cloud-native applications, including those with stateful data. It is also gaining a foothold as the platform for traditional enterprise applications running both in the cloud and on-premises.

Applications and (stateful) data are inseparable, so organizations need data protection solutions for applications running on Kubernetes to protect against losing their data.

This includes traditional backup/recovery leveraging incremental snapshot technologies and policy-based management, as well as disaster recovery workflows, ransomware protection (and other data integrity features), and increasingly, data copy and migration management to aid the copying of data across a multicloud landscape.

Data protection solutions for Kubernetes-based workloads are applicable to any organization that runs applications with valuable (stateful) data on Kubernetes-based platforms and are usually deployed and managed by central IT teams that are responsible for an application’s recovery time objective (RTO) and recovery point objective (RPO).

Many of these solutions include more than just data protection, with other data management features, such as data integrity and security, disaster recovery, and heterogeneous data migration capabilities. There’s some overlap among data storage solutions, data protection solutions, and data management solutions in the cloud-native space, with each category offering some adjacency in terms of features.

We have seen a particular focus on ransomware and other data integrity and security features in the last year, with vendors developing protective measures against different kinds of attacks, including ransomware, abuse of misconfigured cloud resources, and more. The companion Key Criteria report dives into the capabilities we expect to see in this space—namely, cloud-native data storage, protection, security, and migration.

The market for cloud-native data protection is growing rapidly, with both incumbent vendors and challengers in the market competing for completeness of features across the four key pillars. Differences can be observed among those targeting more traditional infrastructure alignment and those targeting fully cloud-native environments.

We continue to see the lines blurring between container-based workloads running on Kubernetes and other cloud services (like using cloud-native services for storage and databases), meaning data protection solutions increasingly must support these cloud services in addition to Kubernetes. The key differentiator observed in this year’s report is, paradoxically, the ability to back up KubeVirt-based virtual machines, and the wider ability to back up application data as a whole across technologies, including VMs, containers, databases (running in a VM, container or as a cloud service), and storage (across a variety of on-premises, container, and cloud technologies). We expect this trend to continue with many organizations looking to unify management of containers and virtual machines under a single umbrella.

This is our fourth year evaluating the Kubernetes data protection space in the context of our Key Criteria and Radar reports. This report builds on our previous analysis and considers how the market has evolved over the last year.

This GigaOm Radar report examines seven of the top Kubernetes data protection solutions in the market and compares offerings against the capabilities (table stakes, key features, and emerging features) and non-functional requirements (business criteria) outlined in the companion Key Criteria report. Together, these reports provide an overview of the category and its underlying technology, identify leading Kubernetes data protection offerings, and help decision-makers evaluate these solutions so they can make a more informed investment decision.


The GigaOm Key Criteria report provides a detailed decision framework for IT and executive leadership assessing enterprise technologies. Each report defines relevant functional and non-functional aspects of solutions in a sector. The Key Criteria report informs the GigaOm Radar report, which provides a forward-looking assessment of vendor solutions in the sector.

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