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Kubernetes Environment Maturity Influences Backup Choice

One can almost feel the buzz around Kubernetes. Most enterprises plan to implement cloud-native architectures in the coming years using Kubernetes as a foundational technology to do so. As enterprises move down this path, they must protect both their Kubernetes environment and the applications and data in it. Selecting the right backup solution to perform these tasks may well hinge upon the maturity of one’s Kubernetes environment.

The Kubernetes Buzz

Kubernetes stands poised to fundamentally change how organizations operate. Cloud technologies have already laid the foundation for digital transformation. Kubernetes builds on that foundation by providing a platform on which enterprise may run and manage applications in any cloud.
Kubernetes logo 2This explains why over 75 percent of enterprises have already made Kubernetes a central part of their cloud strategy. It also justifies the decisions of many public and private cloud providers to deliver their own Kubernetes platform.
Yet before enterprises move their applications out of development and into production, they face an important decision. They must identify a backup solution that meets their specific needs.
Making the best backup decision will initially hinge upon the following variable: correctly identifying the maturity of their Kubernetes deployment.

Differences in Kubernetes Backup Capabilities

While more solutions back up Kubernetes environments, they do not all offer the same backup capabilities for Kubernetes. The capabilities of backup solutions broadly fall into two camps:

  1. Back up applications and data hosted in the Kubernetes environment.
  2. Back up both Kubernetes applications and data and the Kubernetes control plane.

Backup solutions differ in their capabilities in backing up Kubernetes for the following reason: enterprises are at different stages in adopting and implementing Kubernetes.

Stable Kubernetes Deployments

Some enterprises have more mature Kubernetes deployments. In these environments, they have written scripts and automated the deployment of Kubernetes in their environment. As a result, they do not need to regularly perform backups of their underlying Kubernetes control plane and infrastructure. They may use their existing scripts and templates to recreate these components of their infrastructure. They only need a backup solution that backs up the applications and data they host in their Kubernetes environment.

Emerging Environments

In contrast, enterprises that have more recently adopted Kubernetes have not created these scripts to recreate their Kubernetes control plane. More likely, they have just finished constructing their Kubernetes infrastructure together and got it operational. Further, they remain unsure if their current Kubernetes infrastructure is exactly what they want going forward.
Since they may still tweak and refine it, they need to regularly back up their Kubernetes control plane. During this period, they need a backup solution that protects both the Kubernetes control plane and the applications and data hosted in it.

Maturity Matters

The choice of a backup solution for an enterprise’s Kubernetes environment may come down to their environment’s maturity.
Enterprises with more mature Kubernetes environments may need a less robust backup solution. They primarily need it to protect their Kubernetes applications and data. This does not preclude them from selecting a more robust solution. They simply may not use the backup solution’s features that protect the Kubernetes control plane.
Enterprises still in the early stages of adopting and implementing Kubernetes should identify backup solutions that protect all Kubernetes elements – the control plane, the data, and the applications.
Enterprises that are unsure where they sit in their Kubernetes maturity curve should opt for the more robust backup solution. While they may end up with more functionality than they want, they know they have the features they need.

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