Project Astra - KubernetesAs companies turn to NetApp’s Project Astra and Red Hat OpenShift to innovate with Kubernetes, it becomes important to provide a unified experience and architecture for our joint customers. This is especially true when it comes to managing application and data as in the case with Kubernetes Backup and Disaster Recovery. This can be more challenging when dealing with Kubernetes, due to the sprawl of microservices and new access patterns created by container environments.


That’s why NetApp and Red Hat are working together to meet these emerging customer needs and solve Kubernetes data management and protection for OpenShift and Project Astra customers, starting with backup and disaster recovery.


“Kubernetes offers a clear path to the cloud-native future, with Red Hat OpenShift providing a more consistent platform for enterprises to embrace containerization and microservices across the open hybrid cloud. The next challenge for IT teams will be to manage the data and applications running on OpenShift at scale, a need that NetApp is helping to address with the hybrid data management capabilities of Project Astra,” says Joe Fernandes, vice president, Products, Cloud Platforms Business Unit at Red Hat. “With these solutions, users can move data rich workloads onto OpenShift and take advantage of the industry’s leading enterprise Kubernetes platform paired with the power and scale of NetApp’s backup and disaster recovery solution.”


Today’s collaboration brings together a consistent hybrid cloud control plane for Kubernetes with OpenShift that can be deployed in data center, public cloud or edge environments, and a consistent hybrid data management plane for Kubernetes with NetApp’s Project Astra. Together, we are addressing how customers can move all their data rich workloads into Kubernetes and take advantage of backup and disaster recovery in a seamless and integrated experience.

What Makes DR & Backup in Kubernetes Different?

Enterprise organizations are rapidly modernizing traditional multi-tier applications to distributed microservices architectures and building new cloud native applications, while adopting containers and Kubernetes to deploy and manage these applications. Microservices break the classic three-tiered application pattern into dozens of Kubernetes abstractions or objects. Thus, as Kubernetes grows in production, an environment can see the number of storage volumes grow into the thousands, and expand to be many multiples of the number of servers.


As Kubernetes becomes mainstream for enterprises, IT teams are being asked to support business critical applications in Kubernetes that require persistent data. At the same time, they have to stay nimble to address the unforeseen consequences of adopting containers and build next-level data capabilities.

How are we Addressing These Challenges?

Enterprises have relied on NetApp for storage for their most demanding workloads and for their next generation of Kubernetes applications. NetApp’s approach with Project Astra mirrors OpenShift’s focus on automation across hybrid cloud environments.


The critical capabilities our teams are addressing for Kubernetes customers improves the ease of use and completeness for backup, DR, and hybrid, solving the challenges of backing up and protecting applications and data as microservices sprawl across servers and introduce new Kubernetes-based access patterns.


Key benefits for customers of the collaboration include:

  • Backup protection that unifies control for managing applications with data, as well as helping ensure that application and data restores are seamless and more secure.
  • Disaster Recovery protection where one Kubernetes cluster can failover to a second Kubernetes cluster in an automated manner with applications and data protected.
  • Always on data protection between two OpenShift clusters. This is important as IT teams need a way to ensure that data and applications can be replicated and protected across sites.
  • Automation of failover at the storage and application layer that is integrated into OpenShift experience. IT teams want the ability to ensure that once set, automation provides that protection and failover are seamless for their customers.

As storage is increasingly consumed using Kubernetes, IT teams want a consistent way to protect data in those microservices, which understands Kubernetes abstractions and simplifies operations.


NetApp’s work with Red Hat focused on OpenShift demonstrates the need for organizations to embrace consistency in Kubernetes experiences and access integrations to allow the seamless management of container data.


As part of this collaboration, NetApp will leverage the Kubernetes Operator Framework. A Kubernetes operator is a domain -specific controller that extends the Kubernetes API to manage the life cycle of an application, taking human operational knowledge and encoding it into that application. This will be certified in the coming months under the Red Hat OpenShift Operator Certification Program.


Just like NetApp is a leader in enterprise storage solutions, Red Hat is a leader in enterprise Kubernetes. Having Project Astra offered as a service on Red Hat OpenShift just seems like the right thing to do for everyone.


To request early access to the integration, please reach out via

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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