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CloudCasa offers bring-your-own storage for Kubernetes backup

The latest update for Catalogic's CloudCasa Kubernetes backup service offers new features to improve cloud security and enables users to bring their own choice of storage.

CloudCasa, Catalogic Software's SaaS Kubernetes backup service, now enables users to bring their own storage for backups alongside a handful of other new features, including security posture review capabilities and cross-cloud Kubernetes cluster restorations.

The new features, now generally available, complement a collection of updates made late last year to help solidify CloudCasa for enterprise Kubernetes users.

Despite the newness of CloudCasa to the market, the rapid pace for feature development and improvements marks a commitment by Catalogic to support Kubernetes for the long haul, according to Enrico Signoretti, an analyst at GigaOm.

"CloudCasa, like any solution in this space, is adding feature after feature," Signoretti said. "Catalogic is more enterprise-focused than before."

Kubernetes and the cloud

Catalogic first launched its CloudCasa product more than a year ago and has transitioned the entire focus of its backup business into cloud and Kubernetes backups. The company sold its flagship ECX copy data management software to IBM in May to focus entirely on the cloud and CloudCasa.

The service takes container storage interface snapshots and stores them in object storage, enabling users to recover a specific cluster state along with associated certificates and metadata. CloudCasa also allows for full container backups as well, offering recovery from cyberattacks with a virtual air-gapped copy.

The service will continue to offer storage managed by Catalogic, but users can now bring their own compatible on-premises and hybrid cloud storage as a backup repository.

Enabling users to bring storage they're already familiar with avoids some security and privacy concerns raised by enterprises, said Sathya Sankaran, chief operating officer at Catalogic.

"There is some apprehension about your data being handled by a SaaS provider, so I think this helps us increase our target user base by allowing them control over their backups," Sankaran said.

As part of the new February update, users can now use Microsoft Azure along with already-supported S3-compatible storage including AWS, Google Cloud Storage, DigitalOcean, Backblaze and Wasabi.

CloudCasa pricing tiers are based on the total volume of persistent data backed up, not nodes or clusters. A free tier is available for up to 100 GB with free snapshots, a 30-day retention period for snapshots and unlimited backups for clusters, databases and nodes among other features.

"In the long run, capacity-based pricing will be the more value-added model and what customers will adopt," Sankaran said.

The cross-cloud compatibility in this update also extends to Kubernetes cluster restoration features, enabling customers to restore in entirely different environments, such as AWS to Azure, with granular restoration of resource, Sankaran said.

The ability to shift across clouds protects Kubernetes configurations as organizations shop around for the best price or fastest access, according to Krista Macomber, a senior analyst at Evaluator Group.

"Cross-cloud, cross-cluster migration is necessary," she said. "Applications might need to be moved from a test or developer environment into production, across cloud providers as pricing and features change and because Kubernetes distributions are updated frequently."

CloudCasa users can also take advantage of new organizational support features and policies such as enabling shared policies and resources across an organization and cloud accounts to simplify storage provisioning and backup protocols.

Security checklist

A new security posture review feature, available to all CloudCasa customers as an open beta in the update, enables users to scan Kubernetes containers and cluster configurations as well as the organization's network environments for cybersecurity vulnerabilities.

"Back in the day, restores were primarily due to hardware failures," Sankaran said. "Now, the most common request for restores is because [customers] believe they're part of a cyber attack. The best practices are very fluid because it's a new and fledgling ecosystem."

Proactive Posture Management attempts to find potential exploits and attack vectors from container contamination, networking ports open to the public internet and cluster misconfigurations against the Center for Internet Security's Kubernetes benchmark.

Kubernetes environments are going to become more popular targets for ransomware as they move into production.
Krista MacomberSenior analyst, Evaluator Group

The update also includes AWS Security Posture Management, providing an enterprise checklist for best security practices and capabilities. Users can scan across AWS regions and services to find vulnerabilities, mark additional assets for backup and clarify the severity of security alerts.

The posture management feature set, according to Macomber, touches upon what many IT administrators would need to consider for security in a Kubernetes environment.

"It's very comprehensive, and especially important in this market," Macomber said. "It is very important to shore these up and mitigate the potential attack surface because Kubernetes environments are going to become more popular targets for ransomware as they move into production."

Catalogic plans to add similar posture management features for Azure and Google Cloud Platform in forthcoming updates.

Tim McCarthy is a journalist living on the North Shore of Massachusetts. He covers cloud and data storage news.

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