Kubernetes backup with advanced cluster recovery for SUSE Rancher clusters

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SUSE Rancher includes a rancher-backup operator to easily backup, restore or migrate Rancher as well as the ability to backup and restore a Kubernetes cluster. However, for broad, ecosystem wide backup and disaster recovery, SUSE’s software development partners step in with application, data and workload-centric solutions addressing the needs of an entire Kubernetes computing landscape. Catalogic Software, a SUSE One Gold Innovate partner, delivers CloudCasa, a Kubernetes Backup and DR as a Service offering, and we’ve invited Catalogic to author a guest blog so you can learn more about their solution. ~Bret

SUSE guest blog authored by:
Mike Miracle, Chief Strategy Officer, Catalogic Software

Kubernetes backup with advanced cluster recovery features for your SUSE Rancher clusters

While Kubernetes is extremely valuable for automating cloud application deployment lifecycles and the scaling of application services, it still has many management gaps. That’s where SUSE Rancher steps in to address the operational gaps and security challenges of managing multiple Kubernetes clusters across any infrastructure.

What SUSE Rancher and Day 2 management products don’t provide is enterprise data protection and recovery for your persistent volumes and cloud databases. And while Kubernetes storage solutions can provide data protection for the storage they manage, they don’t cover the rest of your persistent data, including other data stores such as cloud databases. However, that’s not an issue given the SUSE One partner program enables additional tools and solutions from partners to be certified as SUSE Rancher Ready and deployed through the SUSE Rancher Apps & Marketplace. Let’s explore how that works for CloudCasa, Catalogic’s Kubernetes and cloud database protection service.

Why backup and recovery for Kubernetes?

While Kubernetes is designed to provide high availability, service interruptions can happen, as well as human and programmatic errors and of course the dreaded ransomware and cyber-attacks. Further, IT operations in most businesses require advanced data governance and compliance features including immutability and legal hold.

To protect and easily recover your stateful Kubernetes applications and cloud databases from the inevitable loss of data, traditional data protection methods, including snapshots, recovery points, and multiple backup copies, need to be employed. Snapshots and backup copies not only act as a form of insurance when disaster strikes, they can also be useful in the CI/CD process to provide datasets for application testing and reporting.

Get your backup app from the SUSE Rancher Apps & Marketplace

SUSE Rancher gives users the flexibility to manage their containers across any certified Kubernetes distribution and address the operational and security challenges of managing Kubernetes clusters in the data center, in the cloud and at the edge. This provides unified and consistent cluster operations, including provisioning, which SUSE has extended to partner applications in the Rancher Apps & Marketplace. This partner ecosystem makes Rancher Ready partner applications easily accessible, and it also provides a level of operational consistency and assurance that they work with Rancher.

The management of Kubernetes deployments is currently dominated by developers and DevOps engineers who don’t normally deal with data protection solutions and their governance and compliance requirements. Being able to easily access and deploy a backup and recovery application from a marketplace helps accelerate application development and deployments.

Catalogic is pleased to have the CloudCasa backup agent certified as SUSE Rancher Ready and available via a Helm Chart in the SUSE partner software catalog, and through the SUSE Rancher Apps & Marketplace as shown in the screenshots below. The Helm chart for CloudCasa orchestrates installation of the CloudCasa backup agent containers on Rancher managed clusters and connection to the CloudCasa data protection service.

SUSE Rancher users can now easily deploy the CloudCasa agent and activate the CloudCasa service to backup and restore clusters and persistent volumes via CSI snapshots. If you are using Rancher to manage Kubernetes cloud services such as EKS, AKS, or GKE, your application may also be using one or more cloud databases. Recognizing that this is a popular data persistence option for cloud native applications, CloudCasa also supports the protection of cloud databases starting with Amazon RDS.

Why CloudCasa for Kubernetes backup?

CloudCasa is a powerful and easy to use Kubernetes and cloud database backup service for DevOps and IT Ops teams. With CloudCasa, one doesn’t need to be a storage or data protection expert to backup and restore your Kubernetes clusters. Just install the CloudCasa agent from the Rancher Apps & Marketplace on your clusters and let CloudCasa do all the hard work of protecting your cluster resources and persistent data. Whether it’s a single cluster or you are managing a large, complex multi-cluster, multi-cloud, or hybrid environment, you can scan your clusters, set backup policies and perform advanced recovery of all your Kubernetes data and clusters from one enterprise console as shown in the dashboard below.

And the great news for developers is they can start with the free service plan for CloudCasa that has no limits on the number of snapshots, worker nodes or clusters! The free service plan provides up to 30 days of local snapshot retention, and free storage of cluster configuration and resource data on secure, encrypted storage. CloudCasa also pushes the boundaries of traditional data protection by offering Kubernetes configuration and security scanning as well as backups to ensure your data is safe and protected.

Premium service plans enable persistent volume backups to CloudCasa’s secure cloud storage, available locally in most AWS and Azure regions, or to your own object storage. Premium plans also include unlimited retention times, immutable recovery points, API access, and premium support. Plans are priced based on the amount of data you protect, not on the number of clusters you have or the number of worker nodes running.

Advanced cluster data migration and recovery use cases

CloudCasa enables advanced migration and recovery use cases to allow organizations to easily restore data across clusters, regions, cloud accounts and cloud providers. This is important for disaster recovery scenarios, for cluster migration, and replication of production environments for Dev/Test.

Some highlights of CloudCasa’s advanced capabilities are:

  • Cross-cluster restores are supported with no user intervention as long as matching storage classes exist on the target cluster. When restoring to a cluster other than the original cluster, CloudCasa allows users to browse the available storage classes in the destination cluster and remap storage classes.
  • For cross-account Kubernetes restores in AWS, CloudCasa automatically handles changing volume IDs for Persistent Volumes. Even better is the ability to automatically create Amazon EKS clusters on restore, and customize the IAM role, subnet group, security group etc. to use in a new account or region. This minimizes the need for user intervention and allows “bare metal recovery” like functionality.

Summary

With CloudCasa, we have your back! The CloudCasa service leverages Catalogic’s many years of experience in enterprise backup and recovery, including supporting advanced disaster recovery and data migration uses cases. From the SUSE Rancher Apps & Marketplace, you can easily access and deploy CloudCasa to your clusters to provide the same level of application-consistent data protection and disaster recovery for your cloud native applications that your IT department provides for their virtual and physical server-based applications today.

Watch this short video on how to install CloudCasa from the Rancher Apps & Marketplace. Learn more about CloudCasa and sign up now for our free service plan, that now also comes with free security scans, at CloudCasa.io/SUSE-Rancher-backup-promotion.

Mike Miracle is the Chief Strategy Officer for Catalogic Software and CloudCasa, its new Kubernetes venture. Mike is a strategy, marketing, and corporate development executive with extensive experience in storage, virtualization, and cybersecurity. Some previous fun jobs include leading M&A and investments at VERITAS Software during its high growth years, and Unix kernel development at AT&T Unix Labs, Novell, and HP.

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Bret Dayley
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Bret Dayley

Bret has spent 30+ years in high tech roles with various software companies. A fan of open source and all things good, Bret enjoys making things happen and having a good time while doing it. While fascinated with technology, on the weekends you’re likely to find Bret enjoying the great outdoors on a dual sport moto… with some gadgets along for the ride.