Advanced Computing in the Age of AI | Monday, August 8, 2022

Microsoft Embraces Kubernetes for Cloud Backup 

Microsoft is collaborating with Kubernetes specialist Heptio on a backup and disaster recovery tool for the Azure cloud as well as using the startup's Ark platform to move Kubernetes container orchestrator applications between datacenters and the Microsoft cloud.

Heptio distribution of Ark, a utility for managing cluster disaster recovery and aimed primarily at Kubernetes clusters and persistent volumes, also will be used by Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) ensure that backups hosted on Azure are secure, company founder Craig McLuckie explained in a blog post last week announcing the cloud partnership.

Ark works through the Kubernetes API to developer a "snapshot of the user's intent," McLuckie explained, restoring the state of new clusters to move workloads between on-premise computing environments to the cloud. "You can do this with stateless applications today, and we are also working to provide the ability to migrate stateful workloads between environments," he added.

The partnership will allow Azure customers to backup and restore content into the Azure Container Service with encryption of data at rest.

Seattle-based Heptio also is working with Amazon Web Services (NASDAQ:AMZN) on a managed Kubernetes container orchestration capability as part of the Amazon Elastic Container Service. AWS claims to have more customers running Kubernetes clusters than any other public cloud. The Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) estimates that 63 percent of Kubernetes clusters are hosted on its Elastic Compute Cloud.

Heptio said in late November it was advancing an open source project called Authenticator for AWS that allows developers to use AWS credentials to authenticate to a Kubernetes cluster. The goal is to merge identity and access management tooling between AWS and the Kubernetes cluster orchestrator, the partners said.

Heptio's partnerships with large public cloud vendors underscore how Kubernetes technology is making steady advances in pushing cloud native applications into production. (McLuckie and Heptio co-founder Joe Beda co-developed Kubernetes while at Google.)

CNCF estimates that 77 percent of members surveyed said Kubernetes was their preferred container management platform, well ahead of computing platforms such as Docker Swarm, Apaches Mesos and OpenStack. "Containers are being used across a variety of development stages, with a vast majority of companies continuing to increase their use of Kubernetes for development and testing where we’ve seen huge growth over the last year," the industry group noted.


About the author: George Leopold

George Leopold has written about science and technology for more than 30 years, focusing on electronics and aerospace technology. He previously served as executive editor of Electronic Engineering Times. Leopold is the author of "Calculated Risk: The Supersonic Life and Times of Gus Grissom" (Purdue University Press, 2016).

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