Kubernetes Storage

Data Protection for Persistent Data Storage in Kubernetes Workloads

Enterprise workloads typically have a strong requirement for reliable data storage. When dealing with Kubernetes storage, persistent volumes can be provisioned using a variety of solutions. However, ensuring that the data is easy to backup and restore, always available, consistent, and durable in a Kubernetes workload DR (Disaster Recovery) situation or any other failure is the responsibility of end users and administrators.

In this article, we’ll look at how containerized applications in Kubernetes can take advantage of the enterprise data protection features of Cloud Volumes ONTAP by provisioning persistent volumes through NetApp Trident. This solution can help meet all the data protection requirements of production Kubernetes workloads transparently and with ease.

Read on below as we cover:



Data Protection for Kubernetes Storage


Stateful applications in production environments, such as database services, require access to redundant and highly available data storage. Most stateless applications make use of stateful services in order to fulfill client requests, and therefore have an indirect dependency on robust data storage services as well. Kubernetes provides a lot of flexibility when it comes to persistent data storage provisioning, however, each solution uses its own specific mechanisms for protecting data, which may also have limitations.



What Is Persistent Data?

Persistent data is non-transient, business critical information that requires robust and durable storage to ensure that this data is always available to client users and applications. Kubernetes caters for persistent data storage through persistent volumes, which have a life-cycle that is independent of any particular container and that can be provisioned using a diverse range of storage platforms.

How do different storage solutions protect that data differently? For example, persistent volumes can be provisioned using Amazon EBS, which provides some level of data redundancy within an Availability Zone; however, this is not sufficient protection for all organizations where end users are expected to build their own solutions to protect data across Availability Zones, or across regions. When it comes to Kubernetes workload DR requirements, investing in this type of data protection is not only mandatory for business continuity and regulatory requirements, it also pays huge dividends in the long run.

Another important requirement for protecting persistent data storage is the ability to create and restore backups. Examples of why you’d take regular backups include ensuring that previous versions of the data are available in case of user error and providing your deployment in Kubernetes security against malicious access, such as ransomware attacks. Due to the large size of production datasets, an efficient procedure is required not only to create backups, but also to restore them consistently.

Get More Protection for Kubernetes Persistent Storage with Cloud Volumes ONTAP

NetApp Trident is a fully-supported, open-source provisioner for Kubernetes that allocates data storage in the cloud using Cloud Volumes ONTAP for AWS, Google Cloud, or Azure, or on-prem with any NetApp ONTAP system. This allows pods and containers within Kubernetes to take advantage of the enterprise data protection capabilities of NetApp storage services no matter which type of environment, or environments, you use.

Cloud Volumes ONTAP data storage is resilientWith Cloud Volumes ONTAP, Kubernetes users can find the resources they need in order to:
  • Create Instant, Space-Efficient Backup Copies
    ONTAP Snapshots can be used to instantly create space-efficient backups for Kubernetes storage of any size. Using NetApp SnapCenter®, application-aware snapshots can be created by temporarily freezing I/O write operations in order to guarantee that the data is in a consistent state before a snapshot is taken. Snapshots can also be instantly restored back to the original source volume or to a new volume. Users can even access the snapshot directly as a read-only view of the source data at the point in time the snapshot was created.
  • Preserve Business Continuity
    Cloud Volumes ONTAP HA is a high availability solution that automatically mirrors storage volumes to a secondary instance of Cloud Volumes ONTAP, which may be placed in a different Availability Zone or Availability Set. These two instances can be deployed in either an active-active or active-passive configuration, with the ability to failover and failback between the nodes without affecting client applications that are actively using the storage. Should a planned or unplanned failover be required, Cloud Volumes ONTAP HA provides an RPO=0, i.e. zero data loss, and an RTO of less than 60 seconds.
  • Easily Recover from Disaster Scenarios
    Setting up a Kubernetes workload DR site in another region can be easily accomplished using NetApp SnapMirror®, which provides efficient, block-level data replication between ONTAP storage environments. After creating an initial baseline copy, all further synchronization occurs on an incremental basis, copying over only the data that has changed. Cloud Volumes ONTAP can also be used to failover storage to the destination volume, and efficiently re-synchronize in the reverse direction in order to failback. As well as mirroring storage for DR purposes, NetApp SnapMirror can also be used to create a repository for long-term backups and data archiving.
  • Reduce Overall Spending for Data Protection
    Thanks to the combined efforts of the capabilities listed above, organizations that use Cloud Volumes ONTAP to help enhance their clusters’ data protection are able to reduce the overall costs to protect that data. But there are even more savings when Cloud Volumes ONTAP’s storage efficiencies are factored in. These efficiencies ensure that the data being stored is deduplicated, compressed, compacted and thinly provisioned. Data tiering makes sure that cold data, such as backup data, doesn’t consume space on costly high-performance disks.


Protect Your Kubernetes Storage Without the Hassle


Cloud Volumes ONTAP builds on the native compute and storage resources of the cloud to deliver a comprehensive range of data management features, which are made readily available to Kubernetes through NetApp Trident. The data protection features supported by Cloud Volumes ONTAP ensure that persistent data storage in Kubernetes is resilient against local, site-wide, and region-wide failures, which is a must for critical enterprise workloads.

Learn more about how Cloud Volumes ONTAP supports Kubernetes Persistent Volume provisioning and management requirements of containerized workloads, and how Cloud Volumes ONTAP helps to address the challenges of containerized applications in these Kubernetes Workloads with Cloud Volumes ONTAP Case Studies.



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Michael Shaul, Principal Technologist

Principal Technologist

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