This content is part of the Conference Coverage: KubeCon + CloudNativeCon 2022 news coverage

Catalogic updates CloudCasa for Azure Kubernetes Service

Catalogic's CloudCasa software now includes backups for Azure Kubernetes Service along with other enterprise functionality such as role-based access control and multi-tenancy.

The latest release of Catalogic Software's CloudCasa opens the door to Azure Kubernetes Service users while also hardening its technology foundation for further enterprise growth.

Catalogic announced CloudCasa's new features during this week's KubeCon and CloudNativeCon Europe 2022 conference, held virtually and in person in Valencia, Spain.

The new version adds automated data backup and cluster management policies defined by a user's Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) account, complementing the company's recently added support of Microsoft Azure storage.

The update also brings in role-based access control (RBAC), allowing organizations to define which users can set Kubernetes policies and support for multi-tenancy in Kubernetes through a new partnership with Clastix and its Capsule open source software. 

These new features, along with the company's expanded support for on-premises and cloud storage features in recent updates this year, show that Catalogic is seeking further inroads into enterprise Kubernetes users and becoming a partner vendor with numerous cloud providers and managed infrastructure services, said Dave Raffo, a senior analyst at Evaluator Group.

The stateless, ephemeral nature of Kubernetes infrastructure can vex enterprises looking to keep Kubernetes applications in their operational workloads, Raffo said. Interconnecting with managed services such as AKS not only helps maintain steady Kubernetes operations according to organization policies, but also ensures data backups follow similar protocols.

"Some of [Catalogic's] customers are saying they want to back up their [Dell EMC] Data Domain, [so Catalogic] has to support existing backup products," Raffo said.

Azure support

CloudCasa is Catalogic's SaaS Kubernetes backup service and has become the vendor's flagship product during its pivot to Kubernetes services within the past few years.

The service takes storage interface snapshots from containers 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 cyber attacks with a virtual air-gapped copy.

Some of [Catalogic's] customers are saying they want to back up their data domain, [so Catalogic] has to support existing backup products.
Dave RaffoSenior analyst, Evaluator Group

Feedback from both analysts and users helped shape features in this latest update, said Sathya Sankaran, chief operating officer at Catalogic. Issues highlighted in feedback for CloudCasa included support for RBAC and other self-service capabilities as well as greater integrations with Azure and Google Cloud Platform.

"We have to cover as many workloads running as possible," Sankaran said. "This is going from [cloud hyperscaler] market leader No. 1 to market leader No. 2."

CloudCasa's AKS support mirrors many of the features found in CloudCasa's Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS) backup capabilities. AKS and EKS integrations bring cluster management capabilities and user-made policies to enable faster recovery times from data backups in CloudCasa without the need to recreate clusters from scratch.

The new RBAC objects addition enables administrators or supervisors to limit control of user network access based on employee roles or other parameters through a web UI, making that information available immediately instead of managing permissions in a command line.

"Kubernetes itself struggles with this," Sankaran said. "[RBAC] really allows a combination of IT ops and DevOps and [to] have clear lines of control."

CloudCasa is free to start with Kubernetes, and cloud database backup pricing is based on the total Kubernetes persistent data volumes backed up to the service. Prices start at $199 per month for 1 TB and go up to enterprise plans for backing up more than 50 TB.

Other partnerships

The new partnership with Clastix adds support for the company's open source Capsule software, adding a new multi-tenant abstraction layer to Kubernetes clusters.

This software enables users to manage access to a cluster across teams or departments. Additionally, Capsule can connect with the RBAC feature to allow users to perform recoveries and backups without additional oversight.

While the company continues to look for partners, Catalogic didn't indicate an immediate interest in following up on support for Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE).

CloudCasa looks for partnerships with companies developing Kubernetes technologies that may lack a backup technology, Sankaran said.

Google has invested in its own backup technology. It purchased disaster recovery vendor Actifio in late 2020 and spun the vendor's technology into its own catalog as Actifio GO for Google Cloud, a first-party disaster recovery product in the Google Cloud Marketplace.

Last year, Google said it would continue to develop Actifio's technology into its own products, but hasn't said much since, according to Raffo.

"Google has been very quiet about its plans for Actifio," he said.

CloudCasa supports Google Cloud storage as a destination for backups alongside other cloud storage services such as AWS, Azure, Backblaze, Wasabi and DigitalOcean. Users can also bring their own on-premises storage as well.

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

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