Containers have created a revolution in software development. With the advent of tailored tools like Kubernetes (K8s), organizations can now deploy and manage containers at scale. Enterprise IT teams now have a common platform for business applications across multiple clouds. This reduces complexity and management costs and increases consistency and agility.
Kubernetes has allowed us to reinvent the concept of infrastructure. Everything is a resource, with no notion of fixed assets. Resources are fluid, transportable, orchestrated, and automated. As Cheech Martin might say, “Yeah, that’s heavy, man. It’s like the same thing, only different.”
There’s only one issue. Data is a different type of resource. Data exists. It’s very heavy, hard to move, and easy to lose, corrupt, or destroy. Data doesn’t float around in the cloud; it must be stored somewhere. But old approaches to storing, protecting, copying, and accessing data-approaches developed over decades in monolithic, old school IT infrastructure – won’t work in this new environment. Just like all the other resources now moving to the cloud and being orchestrated by Kubernetes, data and data services must be reinvented.
Orchestration and automation work because everything is now ethereal. When anything goes wrong, Kubernetes is designed to kill and/or restart the offending process or container and ensure a smooth failover. When a container is killed, its data is lost. Maybe that’s ok if the data is static and easily replenished – like the contents of a webpage for instance. But if the data is active and valuable – like a customer purchase order – losing data creates big problems. So, at a bare minimum, we must have data persistence. Losing a process or a container mustn’t cause loss or destruction of the underlying data.
There are a few ways to ensure persistence, but the predominant favorite, and the one that makes sense in both the short and long term, is employing Container Native Storage (CNS). This new storage paradigm ensures that data persists even if the container doesn’t. Any stateful app that requires data to persist (transaction apps, for example) benefits from a CNS platform.
Let’s explore five key benefits of a robust CNS solution for enterprises.
1. All types of cloud infrastructure, one IT platform
With Kubernetes, apps run wherever it makes the most sense, and moving them only takes a few seconds. Kubernetes plays a major role in the data management of public, private and hybrid cloud infrastructures.
A CNS platform deployed in both the public and private clouds within an enterprise enables a consistent IT environment with a common set of management workflows, reducing overall IT costs and complexity, all the while increasing flexibility in provisioning and deployment of resources.
2. Freedom from data gravity
Moving data is costly and wastes valuable time. Unlike transporting apps, in cloud environments transporting data takes hours or days, and can create massive egress charges. Data gravity threatens the entire value proposition. CNS solutions pool local physical media capacity and present virtual volumes to applications. However, advanced CNS eliminates data gravity by enabling instant movement of data to and from any cluster anywhere and providing instant access to any point in time.
These solutions offer data the freedom to move as fast and easily as applications. Full volumes, regardless of size or amount of data, can be instantly transported across time or across the world.
3. One method for data storage and management
Data needs to be easy to locate, restore and replicate. Research shows that by 2022, enterprises will modernize over 50% of their existing applications to cloud-native services. There’s a growing demand for enterprises to digitize their infrastructure to keep up with their competitors and maximize the efficiency and growth of the business as a whole. Kubernetes Native Storage allows enterprises to manage their growing data storage more effectively in a simple and inexpensive way.
While accidentally deleting an important piece of data is undesirable, what’s worse is not being able to locate and restore it. Advanced CNS solutions better protect data by providing IT professionals with the ability to instantly restore data to any point in time with one-second RPO across hybrid and multi-cloud deployments.
4. Faster, more secure scalability
Data storage limitations can stunt an organization’s growth. Kubernetes enables IT teams to scale containers to a desired state and manage their life cycles as it automatically monitors and maintains container health. Kubernetes Native Storage accelerates app delivery and instantly moves data from development to production with instant scaling and movement between clouds. This ensures real-time movement of data to the edge for scale and availability, and from the edge for analysis. With Kubernetes Native Storage, workloads scale with the business as it grows.
Because of its ability to automate complex application processes, Kubernetes has become very popular among enterprises since its inception in 2014. However, it can be challenging to implement — especially for non-developers — and requires extensive knowledge and training. Attempting to add old school storage and data protection to this already tricky configuration and set up is a recipe for disaster.
Kubernetes Native Storage is simple. An automated install takes a few minutes. It runs alongside application containers, more advanced microservices architecture ensures resilience and seamless extensibility. This new data services platform instantly adapts to the workload. It’s managed by the same tools used to manage other Kubernetes applications and resources. DevOps teams don’t need to rely on operations or bring in storage experts; they can do this themselves. And despite all that inherent simplicity, this new data services platform offers enterprise-grade capabilities previously available only on traditional, expensive, and monolithic storage appliances. Enterprises can instantly access data at any point in time, clone and copy with a single click.
Managing storage well
In an era in which data is the new oil, organizations can’t compete if they can’t store and move data in an agile manner. Container Native Storage is a necessity if enterprises want to remain competitive, ensuring data persists even if the container doesn’t. Consider the above benefits of using Kubernetes Native Storage and the best practices for doing so before choosing a solution to undergird your organization’s storage agility.
Written by Kirby Wadsworth.
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