Red Hat Adds Data Protection to Container Storage Platform

Red Hat today announced its OpenShift Container Storage software now includes data protection capabilities.

Pete Brey, marketing manager for hybrid cloud storage at Red Hat, says version 4.6 of Red Hat OpenShift Container Storage software has been updated; it now enables IT teams to take point-in-time snapshots of persistent data volumes and includes the ability to clone those volumes. IBM, Trilio and Kasten have already certified support for the latest release of Red Hat OpenShift Container Storage in their respective backup and recovery platforms.

Red Hat is also making available an open application programming interface (API) through which providers of data protection platforms will be able to more easily associate data running in a specific Kubernetes pod with a namespace.

Brey says these capabilities are part of a set of Red Hat Data Services for Kubernetes environments that are compatible with the Container Storage Interface (CSI) defined by the Technical Oversight Committee (TOC). The TOC is the governing body overseeing Kubernetes development under the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF). While the TOC has defined storage interfaces for Kubernetes, Brey notes it will be up to IT vendors to create de facto standards to address storage tasks, such as data protection, in Kubernetes environments.

Red Hat has no interest in selling a data protection platform, Brey says. Rather, the goal is to extend Kubernetes in a way that provides IT teams with a consistent approach to managing data protection across Kubernetes clusters, regardless of what underlying storage platform is employed, Brey says.

As the number of stateful applications deployed on Kubernetes clusters steadily increases, the need for a more consistent approach to data protection is becoming more acute, Brey says. A recent survey published by the CNCF found 55% of respondents have now deployed stateful container applications in production. Another 11% plan to deploy them within the next 12 months, while 12% said they are still evaluating them. The survey results suggest IT organizations are finally moving beyond running only stateless applications in containers and Kubernetes.

Brey says Red Hat views data protection as an extension of its Kubernetes security efforts. Earlier this month, Red Hat announced it is acquiring StackRox, a container security platform designed to run natively on Kubernetes. The goal is to create an integrated portfolio through which a ransomware attack against a Kubernetes cluster would automatically trigger a data protection process to make sure data was not encrypted by a malicious actor, Brey says.

It’s not clear whether these changes mean data protection will be added to IT administrators’ or DevOps teams’ responsibilities. However, it’s safe to say that, as processes are automated, the days of dedicated backup and recovery personnel that manage these processes are coming to an end. In many instances, it will be simpler for IT teams to automate backup and recovery on a new platform, such as Kubernetes, than it currently is in legacy IT environments.

Regardless of approach, however, data protection will continue to be important as the amount of data running on Kubernetes nodes steadily increases.

Mike Vizard

Mike Vizard is a seasoned IT journalist with over 25 years of experience. He also contributed to IT Business Edge, Channel Insider, Baseline and a variety of other IT titles. Previously, Vizard was the editorial director for Ziff-Davis Enterprise as well as Editor-in-Chief for CRN and InfoWorld.

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