Data Protection Trends and Strategies for Containers

The demands of DevOps and continuous development have helped to accelerate the update containers. Indeed, Kubernetes and other containers are set to become the preferred production deployment technology within the next two years.

Containers present a new challenge for developers – and the data protection team responsible for ensuring they are properly backed up. So as your business accelerates container adoption, what do you need to consider?

Existing strategies and technologies probably won’t work

Unsurprisingly, traditional data protection strategies are focused on corporate data. But there is a problem with this approach; container-based applications cannot be protected in the same way that individual applications are. Backing up data alone will not restore the containers in the event of a system outage.

Anecdotal evidence suggests that this misunderstanding is not uncommon. This means that some businesses are operating a data protection strategy that will probably not meet their RPO objectives. There is a significant risk of permanent data loss if the data protection strategy is not adjusted to the realities of the new containerised environment.

Orchestration is essential

Because we have been doing the same thing for many years, attitudes and approaches to backup have become ingrained. Research conducted by the Enterprise Strategy Group suggests that many businesses are ignoring orchestration as part of their data protection strategy because they deem it irrelevant.

But as the containerised environment becomes more complex, managing backup and recovery will become too resource-intensive to complete using current tools. Orchestration offers a way to automate many low-level operations during a data loss incident. You will be able to accelerate recovery options, maintain operations according to SLAs and reduce the risk of permanent data loss too.

Re-assess data protection provisions

The hybrid cloud model has already complicated data protection. Many IT professionals are still grappling with the challenge of properly backing up data held in cloud platforms and SaaS silos; containers will further complicate matters.

It is essential to realise that current tools and techniques are not properly aligned with the needs of the containerised cloud. An urgent review of the data protection strategy is required, along with a reappraisal of the tools that are currently in use.

This review should also investigate the various specialist tools available that are specifically designed for backup and recovery of containerised applications. For maximum protection and flexibility, you will need a toolset capable of operating at Kubernetes-level and lower – including cluster-level, pod-level, namespace-level and tag-level.

Speak to an expert

As an emerging technology space, data protection for containers is not well understood – the necessary skills are hard to come by. Rather than hoping for the best or trying to re-engineer your existing strategy with unsuitable tools, you should seek third party expertise.

To learn more about protecting your containerised data and applications, please give the WTL team a call and we will guide you through your options.


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