Fairwinds Adds Open Source Interface for Kubernetes Backup and Recovery

Fairwinds, a provider of managed IT services, has launched an open source project that layers a user interface on top of the VolumeSnapshot application programming interface (API) that is available in beta on the latest release of Kubernetes.

Robert Brennan, director for open source at Fairwinds, says Fairwinds Gemini will make it easier for IT administrators to automate backups on a customizable, fine-grained schedule as well as making it easier to restore specific backups and delete stale backups. As the number of snapshots an organization creates increases, it’s relatively simple for those snapshots to pile up over time, he notes.

Given the ephemeral nature of containers, there’s a desire to run snapshots more frequently to capture the application environment at a specific time. However, the cost of those snapshots can add up in cloud computing environments, he says.

The VolumeSnapshot API is an extension of the Container Storage Interface (CSI) through which IT teams attach external storage systems to Kubernetes clusters. As databases are deployed more frequently on Kubernetes clusters, it becomes more important to automate the backup and recovery of that data in the event a Kubernetes cluster suddenly becomes unavailable.

IT teams should also remember to test their ability to recover backups because there are any number of reasons why a backup file may become corrupted, including the injection of malware that encrypts the data organizations are expecting to be pristine to recover from a ransomware attack.

Interest in deploying stateful applications on Kubernetes clusters is rising because IT teams are looking to streamline the management of stateless and stateful applications on the same platform versus relying on legacy external storage systems to capture the state of an application that may be running stateless on a Kubernetes cluster.

Fairwinds Gemini is the fifth open source project launched by Fairwinds pertaining to Kubernetes. The other four are Nova, a tool for monitoring Helm charts; Astro, a tool for managing instances of Datadog monitoring tools for Kubernetes clusters; Pluto, a tool for discovering deprecated Kubernetes APIs; and Polaris, a tool that evaluates Kubernetes configurations based on best DevOps practices.

Despite the downturn in the economy brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, interest in deploying cloud-native applications on Kubernetes clusters is on the rise. Organizations want to build and deploy applications today that will stand the test of time rather than continuing to build monolithic applications that eventually would have to be modernized anyway. The issue many organizations have today is they lack the internal expertise required to build and deploy those cloud-native applications, notes Brennan.

During an economic downturn, the adoption of open source technology rises. IT organizations would rather reduce commercial license fees than cut IT headcount. The challenge they all face now is managing the rate of open source innovation, which is now occurring faster than many of them can absorb on their own.

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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