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Catalogic CloudCasa charges for Kubernetes backup storage

Catalogic introduced paid subscription tiers for customers using its CloudCasa Kubernetes backup-as-a-service platform to store persistent volume backups.

Catalogic CloudCasa has started charging rent for its Kubernetes persistent volume backups.

This week, Catalogic rolled out capacity-based subscription for customers looking to put backups of Kubernetes persistent volumes into cloud storage on the CloudCasa backup-as-a-service platform. The vendor will continue to offer a free tier with up to 100 GB of storage, but customers will have to pay $699/month for 5 TB in the Starter tier or $1,499/month for the 20 TB Pro tier. An additional Enterprise tier is available for customers looking to store more than 50 TB of persistent volume backups, but no pricing information is available for it.

Catalogic introduced CloudCasa's persistent volume backup capability into early access in its June update. Customers could store up to 5 TB for free, but Catalogic was clear this would become a paid feature once the early access trial period was over. At the time, the newly introduced feature was billed as a supplement to CloudCasa's Kubernetes snapshotting capability, enabling customers to protect their containers with both rapid snapshots and portable backup copies.

Catalogic made other improvements to CloudCasa in this week's update, as well. Backups on the platform are secured by new multifactor authentication and immutability through SafeLock, a feature that prevents backup copies from being modified or deleted. SafeLock is enabled by setting retention policies for backup copies in CloudCasa, which stores backups in AWS or Azure and in the region of the customer's choosing. Once enabled, no APIs or user input can tamper with the protected backups.

"Stuff like this is becoming popular because of ransomware," said Bob Adair, product manager of CloudCasa at Catalogic.

Notably, SafeLock's immutability is set at the CloudCasa software level and not at the storage back end. A bad actor looking to undo the immutability would need extensive knowledge of a customer in order to impersonate them and have Catalogic make changes. The degree of social engineering needed to get around this security layer would deter most cybercriminals, Adair said.

The update also included new automation features. CloudCasa can automatically discover Kubernetes clusters in customers' Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service environments and prompt the backup admin to configure a backup policy. Additionally, Catalogic introduced application hooks and API support to CloudCasa, enabling customers to create integrations with other applications in their backup and recovery workflow.

Kubernetes still mostly stateless

During the early access period of CloudCasa's persistent volume backup capability, most customers weren't hitting the 5 TB capacity limit even though it was free, according to Adair. While some of this may be attributed to customers holding back to avoid committing to a free service they would eventually have to pay for, Adair believes most customers' Kubernetes environments are still stateless.

Customers absolutely should be thinking about backing up their Kubernetes persistent volumes.
Krista MacomberSenior analyst, Evaluator Group

"My guess is we're not seeing huge amounts of persistent data sitting in Kubernetes yet," Adair said.

Kubernetes applications are designed for high availability, but high availability focuses on application performance and not data protection, said Krista Macomber, senior analyst at Evaluator Group. Snapshots are a method of data protection, but they aren't substitutes for full backup copies stored geographically separated from production environments. These backups are required for data protection, migration and reuse, Macomber said.

"Customers absolutely should be thinking about backing up their Kubernetes persistent volumes," Macomber said.

The Kubernetes data protection market is still nascent, Macomber said. Dedicated Kubernetes backup products from Trilio, Kasten and Portworx (the latter two were acquired by Veeam and Pure Storage, respectively) emerged before Catalogic entered the fray. Additionally, backup vendors such as Commvault and Druva have added Kubernetes protection to their products' capabilities.

"It's still too early to tell which vendors customers will prefer working with, and which approaches to data protection they will prefer," Macomber said. "There is plenty of time for vendors to stake their ground."

Johnny Yu covers enterprise data protection news for TechTarget's Storage sites SearchDataBackup and SearchDisasterRecovery. Before joining TechTarget in June 2018, he wrote for USA Today's consumer product review site Reviewed.com.

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