Guest Column | July 27, 2021

Kubernetes Native Storage: 5 Advantages For The Enterprise

By Kirby Wadsworth, Chief Marketing Officer, ionir


Software development is experiencing a renaissance thanks to containers. Organizations make use of Kubernetes and other tools to set up and manage containers at scale. This enables IT staff with a common platform for business applications that they can use across multiple clouds. Having a common platform improves consistency and agility while simultaneously reducing management costs and complexity. Container orchestration has nullified the old paradigm of infrastructure, turning everything into a resource; the idea of fixed assets is no more.

The challenge here is that data isn’t like other resources: it’s quite 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.

Since everything has become digitized and ethereal, orchestration and automation work well. 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 acceptable if the data is static and easily replenished, like the contents of a web page, for instance. But if the data is active and valuable – like a customer purchase order – losing data is not acceptable. So, at minimum, we must have data persistence. Losing a process or a container mustn’t cause loss or destruction of the underlying data.

Though there are several ways to guarantee persistence, the prevailing method is 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. This paradigm makes sense in both the short and long term, too.

Let’s examine five primary advantages of a CNS solution.

1. Simplicity: Kubernetes has gained popularity because of its ability to automate complex application processes. 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.

With an automated install that takes just a few minutes, Kubernetes Native Storage is simple. It runs alongside application containers; its 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. 

2. A single approach to data storage and management: 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. Kubernetes Native Storage allows enterprises to manage their growing data storage more effectively, simply and inexpensively.

Data must be easy to locate, restore and replicate. 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 enabling IT professionals to instantly restore data to any point in time with a one-second recovery point objective (RPO) across hybrid and multi-cloud deployments.

3. One IT platform for all types of cloud infrastructure: Kubernetes plays a major role in the data management of public, private, and hybrid cloud infrastructures. With Kubernetes, apps run wherever it makes the most sense, and moving them only takes a few seconds.

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 while increasing flexibility in the provisioning and deployment of resources. 

4. Goodbye, data gravity: Data gravity threatens the entire value proposition of containers, because unlike transporting apps, in cloud environments, transporting data takes hours or days and can create massive egress charges. 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.

5. Scalability that is faster and more secure: Growth may stall due to data storage limitations. Kubernetes enables IT teams to scale containers to a desired state and manage their life cycles as it automatically monitors and maintains container health. CNS 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 CNS, workloads scale with the business.