Tuesday, 19th October 2021
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Will the rise of Kubernetes pose challenges for data protection?

The popularity of containers first emerged with Docker in 2013, although the system as we know it was established in the 1970s. Container orchestration tools, such as Kubertenes, are revolutionising the deployment and development of applications for businesses. By Florian Malecki, International Product Marketing Senior Director, StorageCraft.

Kubertenes allow developers to concentrate on delivering value and creating software. It would not be an exaggeration to say that containers are triggering a transformation in the software development industry.

A container is an application that groups entire libraries, dependencies, and configuration files into a single package. The bundling makes it simpler to spin up new container instances and move containers with ease from one computing environment to another.

There are significant advantages of using containers for businesses. For example, containers are used commonly when migrating from a physical machine to a virtual machine that is cloud based, and they can do this with ease. Containers are also typically used when developers want to move an application from a testing environment (such as their laptop for instance) to a live production environment.

The additional benefits of containers is that they are not slowed down by different operating systems, which is highly convenient in various scenarios. They are also not deterred by different software versions, which is convenient for modern day businesses, that typically operate on several softwares. Containers are both portable and flexible, making them a seamless fit for many cloud-based applications. Computing and storage are increasingly moving to the cloud, and therefore containers will become a crucial piece of technology for every contemporary organisation.

However, while container orchestration tools like Kubernetes are convenient due to their scalability and portability, they can fall short when it comes to data protection. If businesses are willing to embrace containers into their operations, they must also be willing to adapt to the growing issues around data protection.

Why is data protection for Kubernetes potentially problematic? To begin with, a Kubertenes architecture is exceptionally fluid and dynamic. Just as quickly as containers are spun up, they can be torn down depending on the developers’ specifications, and overall goals. That means that, essentially, containers are temporary and have a relatively short lifespan.

This has various implications for data protection. In short, it means that data protection will become an increasingly important issue as more businesses begin to adopt containers. Unexpected things can happen to data during migration and deployment and is becoming apparent to the growing number of organisations now using containers in their testing environment before deploying new applications.

As organisations increase their use of containers, more and more data will be created that will need to be backed up and stored. As mentioned earlier, because containers tend to be used for testing and development, the lifespan of the containers themselves is usually

shorter than the data they create. Still, for compliance and other reasons, that data needs to be stored and protected long after a particular container is destroyed or decommissioned.

The primary takeaway here is that backing up data is absolutely essential for businesses —and will only become more critical in the months and years ahead.


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