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Data / Kubernetes / Security

Intelligent Data Protection Policies for Kubernetes Productivity

Kubernetes presents new challenges, requiring intelligent policies that automatically and proactively tackle complex data protection scenarios.
May 10th, 2023 8:32am by
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The story of distributed computing over the past 50 years has been an exercise in complexity. From the on-premises days to the rise of virtualization to cloud computing and now the rise of cloud native computing, the power and business value of technology is matched only by its increasing complexity.

The current technology generation is the open source Kubernetes container orchestration platform. Kubernetes, and cloud native computing broadly, represent a paradigm shift in the way organizations build, implement and manage the massively scalable infrastructure that supports dynamic software deployment at scale.

Data Protection Evolves

Data protection technologies and processes have evolved apace. On-premises data protection centers on backing up storage volumes and databases. Virtualization raises the bar on data protection, as virtual machines are more dynamic and complicated than physical servers, and therefore more difficult to back up and restore.

Cloud computing provides new data protection options while complicating the challenge further. Cloud providers offer comprehensive abstractions that deliver both infrastructure and database as a service, requiring increasingly intelligent data protection policies that address various levels of abstraction.

Today, Kubernetes represents an entirely new set of challenges for data protection, necessitating intelligent policies that simplify the work of practitioners while automatically and proactively tackling complex data protection scenarios.

Intelligent Policies for Kubernetes Data Protection

At the heart of Kubernetes is a control plane that enables the management of all aspects of the cloud native infrastructure as a matter of policy. Kubernetes supports different formats for such policies, including YAML, Helm charts and others, enabling both hands-on control as well as the construction of visual dashboards that provide visibility into any aspect of the deployment, including data protection.

Such policies, however, are static. They don’t provide for the inherently dynamic control that Kubernetes deployments require. The static nature of such policies is particularly limiting for data protection. Given the dynamic context for cloud native deployments, Kasten has implemented new, intelligent data protection policies that deal with changing circumstances to improve on these standard Kubernetes policy constructs. These policies are a level of abstraction above individual, static configuration-based policies, and as such, allow for necessary change while maintaining compliance with the policies in question.

Kasten’s intelligent policies implement a separation of concerns, empowering development teams to manage data protection capabilities without visibility into the underlying credentials or storage infrastructure.

Static vs. Intelligent Policies

In summary, Kasten enables two tiers of policy:

  • Static policies: The base policy tier might specify specific access control policies or the choice of where to store particular data. An example of a static policy might be to run a particular backup at a particular time.
  • Intelligent policies: An intelligent policy, by contrast, considers resource constraints, compliance restrictions and other factors to adjust backup times as needed.

Kasten’s intelligent policies focus on the automation of processes that involve specific configuration choices. For example, intelligent policies can stagger the start times of backups across multiple applications and manage various rate limitations that different cloud providers enforce. Practitioners can use the intelligent policy tier to specify organizational policies, service-level agreements and compliance policies without requiring visibility into the base tier.

The infrastructure automatically and proactively complies with such policies, and practitioners can work with data protection policies when they need to, without having access to sensitive information or security configurations. In this way, intelligent policies can boost an organization’s workforce productivity, helping it realize the operational benefits of cloud native technology by automating several inherently dynamic data management tasks.

The Intellyx Take

Intelligent data protection policies have necessarily evolved from the on-premises era to virtualization to the cloud and now to cloud native. With increasing complexity comes the need for simplicity, abstracting the technology details in order to give practitioners the ability to do their jobs without getting bogged down by the details of the infrastructure.

The move from base policies via increasing automation to intelligent policies supports an organization’s data protection priorities. For Kubernetes environments, the benefits of intelligent policies are twofold: improving the productivity and efficiency of the team while enforcing policy consistency and therefore providing protection for increasingly dynamic, complicated data environments.

Cloud native infrastructure is both dynamic by nature and abstracts application behavior from the data that supports it. In this environment of constant, unpredictable change, data protection is more important than ever before, and the policies that control it must be even more intelligent.

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TNS owner Insight Partners is an investor in: Pragma.
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