Project Astra is NetApp’s vision – a shared vision – to deliver on the promise of true portability and rich, high-performance workloads. And it’s going to be game-changing.

From its home-brew history at Google to its ascendency today, Kubernetes has come a long way in a few short years. Now the standard for automating next-gen application deployment, scaling, and management, Kubernetes stands out as a critical force, alongside cloud, influencing how IT thinks and acts in 2020.

 

In other words, in a world where our focus is around building systems that are immersive and responsive and that can be updated quickly, Kubernetes is king.

 

It is no surprise then, that organizations everywhere are adopting Kubernetes. Gartner predicts that 70 percent of organizations will be running three or more containerized applications by 2023 – a stat that doesn’t surprise us at NetApp. After all, we’ve been an early adopter of container technologies for years, and NetApp Trident already manages petabytes of container data for customers.

 

However, despite the rapid adoption, we need to acknowledge that a fundamental gap exists in the state of Kubernetes today.

The Issue Facing Kubernetes Today

The popularity of Kubernetes orchestration has out-paced vendor ability to deliver data management capabilities that have become core to how companies thrive in the cloud. Many organizations are adopting Kubernetes and achieving application portability. However, they are also realizing that the associated data and data services – storing, governing, protecting, and replicating data – are not easy to consume and not portable. Thus, the promise of data-rich workloads isn’t as achievable as organizations might think.

 

This issue needs to stop being something we “deal with” as practitioners, and start being something we work together, as a community, to solve.

 

The promise of stateful applications in Kubernetes is the ability for an application, its data, and the data services associated with it to be moved across multiple public and private clouds. It means being able to develop and deploy applications anywhere and being able to change these applications over time. It’s an environment that brings together IT operations and application development so teams can more rapidly innovate and deploy to production.

 

And this is what NetApp, working with the Kubernetes community, will solve with Project Astra.

Improving Kubernetes with Project Astra

Project Astra is an in-development preview of a software-defined platform that will deliver robust storage, easy-to-consume data services, and application and data portability to Kubernetes developers and operations managers. The goal is to improve data visibility of cloud native apps by automating discovery of applications and application data, cataloging data and backups, reporting on data usage, and much more.

 

Astra will allow practitioners to easily run data-rich services and rapidly backup full application data and recover Kubernetes applications, easily migrate to new clouds or repatriate data back on-prem. Ultimately, Project Astra will further simplify operations with as-a-service delivery that is always up to date with the latest capabilities and will scale from the smallest apps to the largest enterprise workloads.

Working Together

Our announcement today represents the continued growth of NetApp’s cloud native development, the maturation of the top data operating system in the world and our data fabric strategy (which thousands of organizations have embraced to thrive in a hybrid multicloud world), and is complemented by my own experience guiding Kubernetes development.

 

With Project Astra, we are inviting Kubernetes developers, ops teams and the larger community to work with us to develop better patterns for container data management. Together, we’ll raise the standard of data management with Kubernetes across any environment.

 

Project Astra is NetApp’s vision – a shared vision – to deliver on the promise of true portability and rich, high-performance workloads. And it’s going to be game-changing.

 

Want to get involved? Register for our Project Astra event to join our discussion.

Eric Han

Eric Han is a VP of CDS Product Management for NetApp’s cloud portfolio. Prior to NetApp, Eric ran product management at a container-native storage company Portworx where he was employee five. Eric was responsible for the product roadmap and early customer development taking the team from pre-product to over 120 customers with 45 in the Global 2000. Eric started his container journey as the founding product manager for Kubernetes at Google where he also co-founded Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE) service. While at Google and Kubernetes, Eric was also responsible for ecosystem development. Eric began his career at Microsoft in the product teams for Windows Server and Core Networking working on distributed systems and network management.

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