Data storage management for Kubernetes — 5 movers and shakers

Kubernetes has changed the entire application development landscape. The term “Kubernetes” has become synonymous with containerization and microservices since it landed on the scene. It’s hard to imagine managing containerized applications without Kubernetes. Kubernetes makes managing containers a breeze by abstracting the physical machine from the developers. Developers have to select the amount of memory and the computing power they need, and Kubernetes takes care of all the heavy lifting. Kubernetes helps to scale your application in either direction with ease while also letting you create portable Docker images that can be reused in any environment without changing the underlying code.

Even though Kubernetes provides portability, scalability, and easier management of containerized applications, it doesn’t store state. This is extremely important because most applications are stateful and require external storage. Containers are quite dynamic in nature and get created and destroyed constantly. This makes storing the state inside them impossible because once a container gets destroyed, so does the state. Stateful applications are not portable because the storage will always end up being limited to a specific platform. However, various cloud-native offerings are available to choose from that take care of both data storage and management for containerized applications. Let’s take a look at some of these offerings.

Five data storage management tools Kubernetes

Data storage in the cloud

Robin

Robin is a cloud-native, software-defined storage solution for containerized applications. Robin is CSI-compliant and provides enterprise-grade storage for K8s orchestrated workloads. Robin comes packed with incredible features like automated provisioning, point in time snapshots, backup and recovery, cloning, data rebalancing, volume rebuilds, and hotspot detection, among several others. Robin can be provisioned and managed via Kubectl, Helm, and Operator framework as it leverages standard APIs. With Robin, you get app-aware storage, which means it stores the state of the entire app along with various data management operations and configurations employed at various steps of the application development lifecycle. This ensures that the app is up and running quickly, even if the storage is migrated to a completely different platform.

Robin places data in the most optimal locations so that it can be leveraged easily, thereby ensuring guaranteed SLAs. This solution also scales up and out as the storage requirements change to considerably reduce storage costs. Robin takes app-level snapshots containing the information about various pods and their configurations, so it’s easy to migrate the storage without changing any underlying configurations. Robin helps you protect your mission-critical workloads with features like built-in replication and reliable backup and recovery to ensure high availability in case of an error or failure. Robin also promotes collaboration among developers as you can simply clone the entire application environment and share it across the team for simultaneous development, which helps reduce time to market. With Robin, you get Bare-metal performance to ensure that your mission-critical apps meet their high-performance requirements guaranteeing the QoS.

Kubera by MayaData

MayaData’s Kubernetes data storage and management solution is built on top of its cloud-native, open-source storage solution called OpenEBS. Similar to Robin, MayaData helps avoid team silos and vendor lock-in. This is extremely important when working with CI/CD projects. Kubera allows you to store data on local disks as well as various cloud platforms based on the application requirements. With Kubera, you save almost 75 percent on your storage costs as it allocates storage dynamically to the project. Operation teams can get precise insights into the storage capacity via reporting and dashboards. Kubera can also alert teams when the storage reaches a defined threshold. Kubera automates the maintenance of the application environment, which helps alleviate the pressure from the DevOps teams as they can focus on more important tasks.

Data storage management

Kubera takes care of tasks like upgrading the infrastructure, disaster recovery, compliance checks, capacity management, and logging. With Kubera, you can move data whenever you want and wherever you want on a per team and per workload basis. Currently, Kubera is available in three different versions — Basic, Standard, and Enterprise.

Ionir

Ionir has emerged as a disruptor in the Kubernetes data storage market. Ionir provides a software-defined storage solution that makes sure that your data doesn’t become limited to a particular platform. The team behind Ionir understands that for containerized apps to be stateful and portable at the same time, the application data needs to be hosted by a container instead of an external silo. With Ionir’s DataTeleport technology, you can move or copy any amount of persistent volume between the K8s cluster and various cloud platforms in less than 40 seconds. This speed allows developers to migrate quickly as soon as the business requirements change. Ionir comes with other enterprise-grade storage features like global deduplication, compression, and data recovery. Ionir’s DataTeleport allows you to have a single data cloud for all your data management and storage needs across various infrastructure pools. Ionir also provides name-based metadata that focuses on what the data is rather than where it is stored to eliminate any manual intervention while switching platforms.

Portworx

Portworx provides an end-to-end storage and data management solution for Kubernetes workloads. Portworx helps you make your mission-critical applications available everywhere and provides enterprise-grade security to keep your application data safe from bad actors. Portworx helps you use any cloud or on-premise hardware of your choosing into a single, cluster-wide data pool for better availability. Portworx allows you to optimize storage performances from the container-granular level. With Portworx, you can migrate your application data between different platforms using a single kubectl command. Portworx creates fully independent copies of your application environment for testing and consistent development across teams. This solution also provides container level encryption to protect the data at a granular level. Portworx scales up and down based on the workload, thereby reducing overhead considerably. With its dynamic memory allocation and scalability, Portworx can cut the cloud storage costs by half. Other features include continuous and incremental backups and efficient disaster recovery, which help eliminate the risk of app outage.

Kasten

Veeam’s Kasten K10 is another rising end-to-end K8s storage platform. Kasten focuses on the applications as a data management unit, which means it stores and manages the application data, consisting of the application state, database, and the various configurations. Kasten is Kubernetes native and can be installed and deployed using a single Helm command. K10 supports marketplace integration with various Kubernetes offerings. K10 offers a single pane of glass to easily visualize the storage capacity and to control the data management easily. It also integrates natively with K8s and runs on your cluster with the same namespace, which allows it to automatically discover all the applications running on the cluster.

No compromising with mobility

The cloud-native ecosystem is expanding rapidly. As new use-cases emerge, newer tools and platforms are bound to pop out to target specific requirements. The aforementioned tools help with the same use case of storing application data to make cloud-native applications stateful without compromising on mobility. Teams looking to add these tools to their workloads will have to carefully decide which tool works best with their specific applications. With the pace at which the trends change and tools evolve in the cloud-native market, it’ll be exciting to see how the various complexities of the cloud-native architecture are addressed going forward.

Featured image: Pixabay

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