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Key Criteria for Evaluating Kubernetes Data Protectionv2.0

An Evaluation Guide for Technology Decision Makers

Table of Contents

  1. Summary
  2. Data Protection for Kubernetes Primer
  3. Report Methodology
  4. Decision Criteria Analysis
  5. Evaluation Metrics
  6. Key Criteria: Impact Analysis
  7. Analyst’s Take

1. Summary

Enterprise IT organizations are embracing new DevOps methodologies and promoting the development of applications architected as microservices. This has led to the adoption of containers and the use of Kubernetes to deploy and manage these applications.

However, as these containerized cloud-native applications moved to production and became more important and even mission-critical, organizations discovered critical limitations in day-2 operations around data storage and data protection. In fact, in the beginning, container and Kubernetes enthusiasts underestimated the importance of persistent and reliable data storage. Though the problem was recognized a while ago, the development of solutions capable of properly addressing data storage and data protection for Kubernetes took some time. In some cases, solutions are still immature. Moreover, traditional (virtual machine-based) data protection methods have been inefficient and ineffective.

The difficulties were exacerbated by the evolution of multi-cloud strategies, which introduced additional challenges, and users are now asking for solutions that can work seamlessly across different environments and provide data migration and disaster recovery functionalities as well as additional security features to address threats such as ransomware attacks. Luckily, a new generation of container-native solutions is finally kicking in.

We covered data storage for Kubernetes in a recent report (GigaOm Radar for Data Storage for Kubernetes). But to get a full picture and build enterprise-grade, business-critical infrastructures and services, it is necessary to look at all aspects of data management, including backup and recovery, disaster recovery, and security. Kubernetes is still immature in some of these areas, even as users are becoming more aware, demanding a comprehensive data management strategy that can cope with large enterprises’ business, operational, security, and compliance requirements, such as those shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1. Cloud-Native Data Storage and Protection for Kubernetes Converge in Data Management Solutions

With this in mind, solutions focused on data storage or data protection integrate or evolve to become data management solutions. Most of these solutions already abstract the storage access and protection layers from physical resources. They offer advanced data services beyond the basic functions of data storage or backup and recovery and provide a consistent user experience across multiple cloud platforms.

Traditional backup platforms are quickly adapting to offer solutions for Kubernetes as well. Their main advantage comes from the fact that they are already protecting the rest of the infrastructure and can be quickly adopted for Kubernetes clusters. However, most of these solutions are not originally designed to cope with the sheer number of variables and operations necessary to manage a complex Kubernetes environment; they lack the flexibility and efficiency to work with highly dynamic microservices-based applications. Furthermore, most of these solutions were designed to work on-premises rather than in multi-cloud environments, which are becoming more common today. That said, traditional solutions are closing the gap and most of the differentiation is now visible in the level of sophistication of data management features.

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.