Three golden rules for building the business case for Kubernetes

By Dan Middleton, Veeam Regional VP for UK & Ireland

Organizations are starting to wake up to the potential of Kubernetes. 66% of UK organizations are already using containers in production, with 29% planning to do so in the next twelve months, this according to Veeam’s Data Protection Trends Report 2022.

The modern enterprise is highly digitized. IT is the bedrock of both day-to-day operations as well as what’s giving them market-leading innovation and insights. To satisfy client and consumer needs, businesses continue to demand the availability of new services and data in an ever-faster way. All of this rests on the ability of technology to deliver not only high performance, but stability and flexibility.

What has complicated matters even more is that today’s enterprises are often relying on a complex IT estate with myriad environments and resources to manage, protect and operate. Traditional IT applications aren’t able guarantee the same levels of performance and functionality across all of these. This is why Kubernetes-based environments have taken off, because by deploying applications in this way allows multiple containers to be run within the same operating system, which are easily migrated to any cloud and modified. This rapidly accelerates the time needed to deploy new software.

Better service, but at what cost?

Which brings us to the three golden rules. Cost, customer service and efficiency are the three typical considerations any business weighs up when it comes to making new investments. Will a new initiative reduce costs in the long run, and be worth the initial expense, is a question decision makers weigh up all the time. Kubernetes does this because it addresses the challenge that comes in managing the potentially thousands or tens of thousands of containers a large enterprise might have deployed. It provides the ability to automate these management operations and save IT teams’ time on more value-added tasks.

The second consideration is whether the investment will mitigate the risk of losing a customer. Is the ability to serve their needs improved as a result of the changes? Again, Kubernetes meets the criteria here. By taking a microservices approach to applications, it allows them and the underlying resources they need to be scaled up or down, based on the current needs of the organization. If customer demand suddenly peaks, for example, Kubernetes is able to automatically request new resources to be allocated to the applications running the service. If it drops off, it can also scale it down. Services are suitably responsive when customers need them, regardless of whether demand has suddenly spiked or not.

Improving agility

The third and final consideration is whether the new technology or initiative will improve the ways the business operates. What might it achieve that a business couldn’t do before? In the case of Kubernetes, it can help businesses realize the promises of hybrid cloud environments – namely the ability to use the best environment for the job, whether it’s public, private or native cloud, or on-premise infrastructure. This comes without functional or performance losses. In short, it makes the IT capabilities far more agile and responsive to the wider needs of an organization.

The benefits of deploying Kubernetes is clear. What’s less discussed however is the data protection requirements which accompany it. While there are admirable gains to be made by adopting containerisation and orchestration, it doesn’t change the threat landscape, nor bridge any cybersecurity gaps. The Modern Data Protection needs are the same as that for any other type of data on any other type of platform.

Over the coming years, more businesses will get to grips with the benefits of deploying Kubernetes – while the growth of Anything-as-a-Service (XaaS) proves organizations are demanding simpler ways to deploy IT through the cloud. Kubernetes will be no exception, and this will be the major driving force in making Kubernetes into an established enterprise technology.

When it comes to data protection, Kubernetes brings the infrastructure closer to the applications they’re running. Data backup must change to accommodate this because it works differently for Kubernetes than virtualized environments. Whether they’re deploying it themselves, or find the likes of Kubernetes-as-a-Service (KaaS) more accessible for them, businesses must seek the advice of data resilience, protection and recovery experts. The data in containerised environments is no less important than the data stored elsewhere, and equivalent care must be taken. To eliminate gaps that can be exploited by cybercriminals, misconfiguration or even accidental deletion, organisations must be equipped with Modern Data Protection solutions to ensure their data is fully protected across physical, virtual, cloud, SaaS and Kubernetes environments

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