The global cloud-managed services market size is set to top $82 billion by 2025, according to a study by Grand View Research.
As business-critical workloads continue to shift in huge volumes to the cloud, the demand for digital transformation experts shows no sign of let-up.
Conversely, the need for physical infrastructure and the manpower to run it will decrease significantly.
When refactoring applications to run on a public cloud, whether that is Azure, AWS or Google, organisations no longer look to build them in virtual machines. Instead there is a growing interest and rapid adoption of containers.
Running containers in production, though, requires a steep learning curve due to technology immaturity and lack of operational know-how.
Organisations need a way of deploying and managing cloud applications – and Kubernetes has become the default method for doing this.
Those rushing to utilise Microsoft’s Azure Kubernetes Services (AKS) will need backup to recover fully stateful applications in the event of accidental deletion, ransomware, misconfiguration or upgrade errors – not only to meet business needs, but to fulfil compliance requirements.
This represents a massive opportunity for cloud service providers.
Here we outline the five key elements CSPs and Azure consultancies need from a Kubernetes backup solution to add real value to customers’ digital transformation initiatives.
1. Prove overwhelming cost effectiveness
Digital transformation is more urgent than ever to stay ahead of the competition. From huge enterprises to small start-ups, organisations of all sizes are moving toward the cloud.
Businesses shifting to the cloud usually do so because they expect to make huge savings. That only occurs, though, if the CSP focuses on new automation services and embeds them in its processes. A good service provider will utilise DevOps for better performance, cost reduction and reduced time to market for customers.
An enterprise requires continuous innovation, testing, and implementation to drive digital transformation. The cloud should enable faster prototyping by providing organisations with a platform where they can easily build, test, and deploy apps on different platforms throughout the transformation phase, without setting up complex infrastructure.
With the right backup for Kubernetes, an organisation should be able to:
accelerate time to market for container projects
reduce infrastructure costs
enable and protect databases and popular data services
By enabling data availability, data security, backup, and disaster recovery for Kubernetes-based applications, organisations can dramatically increase developer productivity and operational efficiency while eliminating downtime and data loss, and reducing storage and infrastructure costs.
2. Simplify customers’ data management and compliance challenges
Cloud-centric data protection enables organisations to get to grips with tasks that are becoming complex amid data growth and fragmentation.
When organisations choose a CSP to work with, possibly the most critical consideration will be how much extra automation they are likely to achieve.
One of the most significant reactions to the pandemic was investments in technologies/providers that enable automation of IT resources and business processes.
However, underinvestment in equipping IT/Sec/DevOps teams with the correct solutions and skills will condemn many IT automation efforts to delays or outright failure – hence the need for the right CSP with the right tools.
One of the best ways a CSP can enhance its cloud offering and differentiate from the competition is by offering a service that mirrors the simplicity of whatever cloud platform an organisation is using.
For example, a single, simple-to-manage, Microsoft-aligned solution to protect VMs, Kubernetes clusters and Microsoft 365 is going to translate to low overheads – especially if the deployment and ongoing management of Kubernetes backup is simple and requires no scripting, a process that is often complex and highly prone to error.
3. Ensure the systematic adoption of the cloud at speed
The need to develop new cloud management skills is a major hurdle for mid-market organisations. Cloud service providers and their customers require solutions that are easy to roll out and manage.
If service providers are to avoid the levels of operational attention and maintenance that were previously necessary to manage on-prem deployments, they need SaaS solutions that are smart, intuitive, automated and highly scalable.
Why risk depending on a solution that needs a high level of Kubernetes expertise if an inability to bring in skilled workers will slow down its overall development, reduce business impact and may even lead to unnecessary risks?
When deployment and ongoing management is simple and requires no scripting, CSPs will find minimal training is needed and it will be easier to add customers to their portfolio.
You do not want to be waiting on highly technical IT administrators to set up or manage a customer’s Kubernetes backup.
The technology you choose needs to be simple and easily accessible to regular IT admins as well as being DevOps friendly.
4. Benefit from modern, data-protection capabilities in the cloud
Malware and ransomware is growing in scope and sophistication. CSPs need to be able to offer next-generation, infrastructure security, encryption and automation. For example, artificial intelligence can now be used to improve security by delivering ways to detect and remove malware from backups.
If data is stored in-house, there is always the risk of losing critical information due to unexpected system shutdown or data breaches.
Enterprises can mitigate for this by moving to cloud hosting with the capability to create multiple backups of their data in a secured medium.
Organisations need point-and-click recovery of Kubernetes applications with role-based access control for secure user access.
A service should also update and scale automatically so that CSPs can manage multiple customer accounts easily.
Ideally they should be equipped with a single, multi-tenanted control centre so this can be done anywhere and on any device.
5. Demonstrate the financial value of shifting from infrastructure capital expenditure to a consumption-based pricing model
Cloud technology offers a wide range of benefits such as rapid deployment, automatic software updates, disaster recovery, elastic capacity, and pay-per-use.
However, the cost and operational challenges of cloud adoption will be a daily reality.
A dedicated cloud service provider will only be able to ease the cloud-transition journey with solutions that bring agility and flexibility by providing requisite platforms, infrastructure, and computing resources, without investing in different IT infrastructure or third-party storage set-ups.
For example, there may be commercial benefits to storing Kubernetes backup in an existing Azure infrastructure if it triggers dividends and rebates.
When ditching traditional backup solutions for the agility benefits of Kubernetes, organisations will justifiably be unwilling to sacrifice the reliability and data protection capabilities they have previously enjoyed.
In the event of accidental deletion, ransomware or misconfiguration, Kubernetes backup must deliver fast recovery for entire applications, including their data and configuration.
Ideally you want to be able to recover customer applications quickly, without resorting to reconstructing all Kubernetes objects manually.
Injecting data back into an existing cluster in the event of an issue should be as quick and easy as redeploying pods.
The next step
The data protection landscape is shifting as applications rapidly transition to containers and microservices.
Redstor offers an easy-to-use, scalable, and secure system for Azure Kubernetes backup with unparalleled operational simplicity.
The provision of data protection for container-based applications, built in Kubernetes environments, underlines Redstor’s commitment to deliver smart data management.
Purpose-built for Microsoft cloud partners and their users, Redstor is designed for quick, mass deployment by utilising existing technology investment in Azure to deliver application and data protection for Kubernetes.
With set-up times taking less than 15 minutes and intelligent automation, Redstor simplifies onboarding and minimises ongoing management overheads.
As well as protecting container workloads, Redstor will continue to support virtual machines, physical servers, SaaS applications and cloud workloads, providing all organisations with a single platform for modern data protection.
For more details, check out www.redstor.com, email [email protected] or call (0)118 951 5200.