Cloud-native applications are rapidly being deployed in full production. To manage cloud-native data, organizations are turning to Kubernetes-friendly storage platforms.
However, with these apps supporting real-world use cases, organizations need to plan beyond general data storage by deploying cloud-native backup and recovery software to protect these key applications and their data.
Defining Cloud-Native Backup and Recovery
First, it’s important to define what “cloud native” means, as the term has been stretched to include apps that aren’t truly cloud native. The Cloud Native Computing Foundation describes cloud-native apps as “scalable apps in modern, dynamic environments, such as public, private, and hybrid clouds.” This means that cloud-native applications are highly distributed, easily scalable, containerized apps that are managed using Kubernetes.
At a high level, cloud-native backup simply refers to backup of data used in cloud-native environments. Because cloud-native apps are managed by Kubernetes, backup software and data are also managed by Kubernetes and use persistent volumes (PVs). In these environments, Kubernetes configuration data (such as resource definitions) is very important and also needs to be backed up. This contrasts with traditional app environments, where configuration data may not be regularly backed up.
Overall, cloud-native backup essentially works the same as traditional backup. The key difference is that cloud-native backup runs in Kubernetes environments using persistent volumes and supports configuration data.
As noted above, cloud-native apps are designed to be readily distributed across many locations and to grow easily. Because it’s Kubernetes-based, cloud-native backup and recovery software provides both portability and scalability, allowing organizations to quickly back up cloud-native apps across many different environments. For example, enterprises can effortlessly take backup data from a private cloud and extend it to a public cloud.
As Cloud-Native Apps Move to Production, Organizations Must Protect Them
Cloud-native apps are no longer being deployed exclusively in DevOps environments — they are now increasingly being used in full production. This includes both stateless and stateful cloud-native apps. With more cloud-native apps supporting real-world use cases — especially stateful cloud-native apps — organizations need enterprise-grade backup and recovery software to protect these critical apps and their data.
In addition, most organizations operate cloud-native environments using a pay-as-you-go, utility-based model. The computing and storage resource requirements of backup and recovery software tend to be highly variable, making a highly elastic and scalable cloud-native environment a great fit to support this model.
It’s particularly important to back up cloud-native data that is highly portable. This includes transaction log data, machine learning data and Kubernetes configuration data. For example, consider an edge device collecting massive volumes of data, some of which will be used to help build ML algorithms. Cloud-native backup software can create copies of that data in the public cloud, and that backup data can be employed to train those ML models.
Backup and recovery software is also important for protecting cloud-native data against ransomware attacks. Cloud-native apps and data are vulnerable to ransomware just like traditional apps and data. In DevOps environments, these apps aren’t much of a priority for cybercriminals, but that changes when they’re deployed in enterprise environments to support mission-critical use cases. As organizations continue to put more of their cloud-native apps into production, they need enterprise-grade backup and recovery software to safeguard their cloud-native environments from ransomware, today’s greatest cybersecurity threat.
Enterprises leveraging modern cloud-native apps are benefiting greatly from increased business agility. This adoption isn’t just transforming how organizations develop and operate apps, it’s also impacting their choice in IT infrastructure. To manage cloud-native apps, enterprises need cloud-native storage systems that offer portability, scalability, consistent performance and high availability. But in evaluating storage options, they also must consider backup and recovery solutions that are built specifically to support cloud-native apps and data. Cloud-native app data is susceptible to the same risks and threats as traditional app data – and it must be protected just the same.
Gary Ogasawara is Cloudian’s Chief Technology Officer, responsible for setting the company’s long-term technology vision and direction. Before assuming this role, he was Cloudian’s founding engineering leader. Prior to Cloudian, Gary led the Engineering team at eCentives, a search engine company. He also led the development of real-time commerce and advertising systems at Inktomi, an Internet infrastructure company. Gary holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of California at Berkeley, specializing in uncertainty reasoning and machine learning.