Navigating the K8s journey

Every person and company needs a guiding star to keep them on course so that they reach their desired destination. One of my favorite sayings comes from Sir James Matthew Barrie’s most famous work, Peter Pan: “Second star to the right, and straight on till morning…” To me, it’s more than a quaint saying; it was the first time as a child I looked up to the stars and saw more than lights in the sky. I saw a new path and my perception of the world changed forever. I think it was thoughts like these that inspired name of Kubernetes, which as most of you know was based on the nominative ancient Greek “κυβερνήτης” – aka Kubernetes… meaning “helmsman or pilot.”


As a past developer (I lost sight of my guiding star and joined marketing, don’t hold that against me), I know that often developers identify with the night and navigate by their inspriation because we are explorers at heart. Let’s face it…we’re up late at night because the night is quiet, it minimizes distractions and we can focus on innovating, which is what we do best.

NetApp – Helping you navigate your K8s journey

As we virtually gather for KubeCon, it is amazing to see thousands of navigators plotting their cloud and K8s courses. NetApp is on the same journey, using K8s to build tools we use every day and building new products in containers.


NetApp has long been an active contributor and leader in many of the open-source communities that guide and drive cloud-native technologies.  For example, we’re charter members of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) the ecosystem home for Kubernetes and like projects. We are collaborating with upstream communities and are building a new generation of solutions and services to help you deploy and operate Kubernetes successfully so you can innovate faster. ​We are helping you unlock the best of the cloud and K8s with our vision for application driven infrastructure focused around three key initiatives:

  1. Embracing autonomous infrastructure to power your K8s journey
  2. Give applications data persistence, management, and portability services
  3. Automate and simplify operations with continuous optimization

We see a market and developer community which is continuously evolving and requires platforms and infrastructure that automatically adjust to demands and needs of apps to maximize scale, automate management and minimize resources used to deliver more cloud @ less cost.  This is why we see an extension beyond CI/CD to add CO (Continuous Optimization).  This is the promise of serverless and storageless services from NetApp, in the diagram below we outline how we see CI/CD/CO working together to builds a new level of autonomous and application driven infrastructure.


Continuous Integration (CI), Continuous Deployment (CD) Pipelines with Continuous Optimization (CO)

Continuous Integration (CI) Continuous Deployment (CD) Pipelines with Continuous Optimization (CO)

Anchor your K8s apps with data persistence and portability in cloud and on-prem

Your apps deserve performance, efficiency, and reliability. You need to remove infrastructure complexity to speed development, give applications sophisticated data services, and automate and simplify operations. We’re here for you no matter what journey you’re are navigating. DevOps. CloudOps. MLOps. FinOps. We’ve got you.

  • NetApp Astra – a fully managed service that makes it easier to manage, protect, and move data-rich workloads running on Kubernetes within and across public clouds and on-premises.
    • Get application-aware data lifecycle management for containerized apps
    • Get data management services for data protection, disaster recovery, and migration use cases – opening the door to an entirely new class of business-critical apps on Kubernetes ​
    • Quickly and easily move apps from one cluster to another, across public clouds or on-prem ​​
    • Provide Kubernetes applications with enterprise-class data management functionality —snapshot, backup, restore, clone—and deliver enterprise-class SLAs
  • NetApp Trident – Easily and quickly consume high-performing persistent storage for stateful apps
    • Enable stateful data-rich apps to seamlessly access high-performance and enterprise-class persistent storage. ​
    • Leverage the open-sourcedynamic storage orchestrator trusted by hundreds of companies for thousands of Kubernetes apps​
    • Simplify deployment with an operator that provides autonomous management features​
  • NetApp Cloud Volumes Platform – Access fully managed on-demand enterprise cloud storage on Azure (ANF), AWS (CVS) and Google Cloud (CVS)
    • Tap into native services, integrated into and co-engineered with the world’s biggest clouds ​
    • Enjoy the best performance, data protection and security available for your data ​
    • Leverage a new Cloud Volumes service tier on Google Cloud – designed for cloud-native app scalability and built on Kubernetes, now GA ​
  • Rancher on NetApp HCI – Get hybrid cloud, multi-cluster Kubernetes management with push-button ease
    • Automate Rancher deployment on scalable, simple to operate, efficient infrastructure​
    • Empower DevOps with Kubernetes while retaining centralized IT governance
    • Visit the Rancher press room to learn more

Pilot K8s to greater innovation with automation and analytics

NetApp and Spot by NetApp offer ways to optimize server costs up to 90% and storage up to 70% in the cloud. Our application driven infrastructure solutions ensure the right services, policies, and resources are allocated and optimized across public, hybrid and private cloud environments.

  • Spot by NetApp delivers continuous optimization and automation for containers and Kubernetes infrastructure in the cloud.  See and understand your cloud cost and optimization opportunities across clusters with Cloud Analyzer, Spot Storage and Spot Ocean.
    • Continuously optimize infrastructure based on container resource needs​
    • Enable container-level cost show back and accountability with real-time insights into infrastructure costs by services, applications and tasks​
    • Optimize and automate storage selection for stateful containerized workloads​
  • Less is more with serverless and storageless – NetApp has the first serverless and storageless solution for containers. Just as automates serverless resources allocation for CPU, GPU and memory, storageless volumes, dynamically manage storage based on how the application is actually consuming them, not on pre-purchased units. This approach enables developers and operators to focus on SLOs without the need to think about storage classes, performance, capacity planning or maintenance of the underlying storage backends.
    • Run containers with self-managing, container-aware storage
    • Automatically optimize both compute and storage (for highest performance, lowest cost), all driven by the application
    • Gain true portability for data-rich cloud apps, on-prem and in the cloud
  • Know more and see more with Cloud Insights– Monitor, troubleshoot and optimize your entire infrastructure
    • Gain visibility into heterogenous resources and application elements that span public clouds and data centers​
    • Monitor Kubernetes cluster health, easily identify and zoom in on problem nodes ​
    • See your Kubernetes architecture topology in a clear visualization​

Making AI and K8s faster and easier

  • NetApp automates AI for K8s and KubeFlow – Streamline data science with full stack data pipeline management from edge to core to cloud
  • Orchestrate machine learning and deep learning workloads on Kubernetes with a KubeFlow reference architecture​
  • Access the sophisticated storage and data management capabilities you need to get faster ​performance and accelerate your machine learning
  • Integrate Kubernetes and Kubeflow with a data fabric that provides uncompromising data availability and portability​
  • Leverage new integrations and validations with Apache Airflow and NetApp Cloud Sync

Every K8s journey has a pilot and a destination. NetApp is so active in this market segment because it is how we are modernizing our own business. It is why we understand what other developers need to make it all work.  We want you to know that NetApp is here to help and hope you follow that second star and find your K8s destination.


Shaun Walsh

Shaun Walsh, AKA “The Data Buddah” leads the Hybrid Cloud Services product marketing team. He is a veteran of the tech space with tours of duty in cloud, storage, security, networking, AI/ML and HPC. Over his career he has held positions in engineering, sales, marketing, product management, channels. He is frequent contributor to media, podcasts and speaker at industry events on cloud, security, storage and data privacy issues. When he is not “NetApp-ing” he lifting heavy things for strong man competitions, rolling on the mat OSS!!!, waiting for Comicon and trying to make the perfect omelet.

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