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Storware vProtect backup supports OpenShift and CloudForms

Storware updates its vProtect data protection software for open platforms, adding backup support for Red Hat OpenShift containers and the latest version of CloudForms.

Storware, which pitches its data protection software as complementary rather than competitive to its large rivals, is going after Red Hat containers with its latest release.

Storware vProtect 3.7, also known as "Multiverse," now protects Red Hat OpenShift containers and the latest version of CloudForms. The addition to the vProtect backup line is part of Storware's strategy to protect as many open virtualization platforms as possible. OpenShift is Red Hat's open source container platform, and CloudForms is a management layer for virtual machines.

Marcin Kubacki, chief software architect at Storware, said the backup vendor targets less mainstream deployments, focusing on platforms such as persistent data in containers and open VMs. Its products include vProtect and Kodo, which protects Office 365 and Box data.

Storware vProtect backs up data on hypervisors, including Nutanix AHV, Citrix XenServer, Oracle VM, Proxmox and KVM, as well as Red Hat.

Poland-based Storware sells its software in the United States through Catalogic Software, a data protection vendor that has an equity stake in Storware.

Kubacki said vProtect integrates with backup platforms from other vendors, such as Dell EMC Data Domain and NetWorker, Veritas NetBackup, and IBM Spectrum Protect. The goal is to allow customers to keep their existing platforms and use vProtect backup to fill in any gaps their primary vendor doesn't protect.

"I believe our integration is one of our key features. We are able to connect with customers' current platforms," Kubacki said. "That's a huge advantage, because they don't feel like they are paying again for yet another system."

I believe our integration is one of our key features. We are able to connect with customers' current platforms. That's a huge advantage, because they don't feel like they are paying again for yet another system.
Marcin KubackiChief software architect, Storware

Kubacki said Storware adds integration based on customer demand, which is now pointing at Red Hat and containers. When vProtect 3.7 launched in November 2018, it added Kubernetes support, and now it protects OpenShift. However, Kubacki said Storware currently has no intention to protect simple containers running on plain Docker.

"We know that OpenShift and Kubernetes environments are gaining more and more attention, so it's an area that will definitely grow," Kubacki said. "In most cases, if you have a properly built application, you probably don't need to back up containers, just the databases inside it. But we understand that there are some customers that already have deployments with persistent volumes that need to be protected."

Storware's customers include enterprises in the finance, banking and media industries, as well as some managed service providers that offer backup for their customers. Fredrik Hemmingsson, founder of Swedish MSP vMar Software AB, said he became a vProtect customer because it was among the few options backing up KVM.

"We didn't find many good options for protecting virtual servers running on KVM," Hemmingsson said. "VProtect makes that job easy for us and helps us to protect the servers efficiently."

Hemmingsson said his MSP started using vProtect backup in February 2019, running it alongside IBM Spectrum Protect and IBM Spectrum Protect Plus. Although he is mostly satisfied with vProtect, Hemmingsson said he wished it would support VMware and Microsoft Hyper-V hypervisors.

Screenshot of vProtect
VProtect protects a wide variety of virtual environments.

Kubacki said vProtect started with Citrix protection and moved to other platforms because the VMware and Hyper-V markets were saturated. Rather than directly competing with established vendors, Storware wanted to gain a foothold through the less-popular open virtualization platforms first. However, Kubacki said Hemmingsson is not the only customer who has requested that vProtect backup support VMware and Hyper-V, so he may add them to the roadmap.

"We didn't want, at that time, to fight with the big players already in there. On the other hand, we saw Citrix, Red Hat, et cetera, were not covered at all, so we focused on open virtualization platforms," Kubacki said. "That doesn't mean we're not looking at VMware and Hyper-V. We are working on that."

Kubacki said Multiverse is a small, incremental update, so it retains the 3.7 version number. However, he added that the 3.8 "Nebula" release is on its way, with support for AWS and EC2 instances.

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How are you backing up your persistent volumes in Kubernetes or OpenShift, if at all? Why would or wouldn't you back that up?