GCP receives triple redundant NAS and integrated Kubernetes backup

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The recent introduction of Filestore Enterprise and Backup for Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE) on Google Cloud Platform relied on high-end NAS file access storage with synchronous replication and data protection for the Kubernetes container environment in a virtual appliance, which radically reduced the administrative tasks should simplify.

Filestore Enterprise provides NAS with improved geographic access and replication across three GCP cloud storage zones within a region.

“The idea behind these services is to simplify everything about using cloud storage,” said Matt Eastwood, senior VP of Cloud Infrastructure at analyst IDC. “Even if the cloud is introduced very quickly, its optimal use is slowed down by a lack of knowledge on the part of customers about the technologies of the new platforms. I welcome this step by Google, which contributes to the rapid democratization of services for critical use cases. ”

GCP’s object storage service does not benefit from the same kind of synchronous replication between multiple regions, but the cloud giant also announced “turbo replication,” which enables an entire volume of object storage to be replicated to another region in 10 minutes or less.

As the successor to the simple NAS Filestore Basic and Filestore High Scale, which are geared towards high-performance computing applications, Filestore Enterprise is based on a highly redundant infrastructure that is replicated synchronously in three zones on the same continent. This type of redundancy is required by companies that want to run business-critical applications.

US-based Saber, a provider of reservation systems for airlines, plans to use Filestore Enterprise as online storage for its SAP applications.

“Our IT modernization strategy is to take our data centers out of operation and run our virtualized and containerized applications from SAP NetWeaver in the public cloud,” said Patrick Uckermark, Infrastructure Director at Saber. “But that means we need storage in order for these applications to be reliable, so that we can keep rolling up new copies and ensure that reservation services are never interrupted. Filestore Enterprise offers this. ”

Saber announced last year that it would use GCP services to host its infrastructure. The move was originally based on the introduction of Google’s Persistent Disk, a block storage access service that can be used by SAP databases and has a high level of redundancy.

Google Enterprise will be available in October at rates between $ 0.67 and $ 0.72 per GB per month, depending on the region.

Backup for GKE automates a number of tasks that customers would normally have to perform manually. Previously, for data protection reasons, containers had to be stored in a data-free state on the NAS storage device, while their work data was recorded at regular intervals by scripts and copied elsewhere.

The problem with this way of working is that the recovery of containers with certain data types and especially states can be complex to orchestrate. But it’s a task that needs to be done on a regular basis every time customers provision new clusters of containers, either for redundancy purposes or for testing purposes.

With the new Backup for GKE service, customers can simultaneously create rules for regular container backups for applications, data and the status of the cluster from one console. The console enables all of these elements to be restored regardless of location in terms of region or continent.

France-based consulting firm Atos has pre-tested the service. “According to our calculations, Backup for GKE has drastically reduced the effort required to protect our Kubernetes clusters,” says Jaroslaw Gajewski, Digital Cloud Services Architect at Atos.

“This service fits in perfectly with our introduction of Infrastructure-as-Code, which is automated by programming the provision of critical cloud services by our customers.”

Chris Schilling, Head of Storage Products at Google Cloud Platform, said, “Integrated backup is key to the type of infrastructure that is massively adopted right now. SQL database editors can now live to be 20 years old. Virtualization environments can be a decade old. Now customers can benefit from their functionality on Kubernetes. ”

Schilling claimed that GCP is the only provider that offers backup built into Kubernetes and that it is only available as a third-party offering elsewhere, citing PX backup from Portworx or Kasten from Veeam.

Analyst firm Synergy Research Group estimates that GCP has a share of around 9% of the cloud storage market, behind AWS (33%) and Microsoft Azure (18%). According to analyst Dave Raffo, storage services are critical to customer choice of public cloud provider, and GCP relies on building excellence in areas that stand out from its competitors.

“The problem is that there are tons of NAS storage services out there among its major competitors and specialist providers,” Raffo said. “In other words, attracting customers with new, high-performance storage services is not enough. It’s about getting them to leave the storage services that they are already using elsewhere. ”

For example, AWS offers numerous NAS storage services, including those based on NetApp hardware and others based on the Luster file system for HPC use cases. Nasuni, Ctera, and Panzura are also major specialist providers with products tailored to corporate workloads.

“Having such a choice is a good thing for customers,” said Raffo. “But that too requires an effort in evaluating all options. In most cases, companies stick with the cloud or storage provider they already know and with whom they feel most comfortable. ”

However, the analyst believes that GCP plays well with Backup for GKE. “Kubernetes is mostly used by developers who are not familiar with backup software,” says Raffo. “Therefore, it is preferable for them to rely on a Kubernetes that provides this functionality internally instead of using third-party software.”

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