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June 5, 2023

Data Portability and Application Mobility for Cloud-Native Apps

In today’s digital landscape, cloud-native applications have become the go-to approach for modern software development and deployment. These applications are designed to leverage the power of containerization, enabling scalability, flexibility, and resilience. However, as organizations adopt cloud-native architectures, they face new challenges, particularly in terms of data portability and application mobility. In this blog post, we will explore the importance of data portability and application mobility for cloud-native applications and how Portworx, a leading data services platform, can help address these challenges.

 

While Kubernetes has gained significant popularity as a container orchestration platform, deploying production data directly in Kubernetes can pose challenges due to the inherent limitations of its native storage approach. Native Kubernetes storage options, such as Persistent Volumes (PV) and Persistent Volume Claims (PVC), provide basic storage capabilities for provisioning and managing block or file storage. However, they lack the advanced data management functionalities required for enterprise-grade production data deployments, particularly data migration capabilities. For example, organizations running a cloud-native application on Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS) with the native Kubernetes storage approach may face difficulties moving their data when they attempt to adopt a multi-cloud or hybrid cloud strategy. These hurdles can lead to vendor lock-in and hinder flexibility in workload placement.

 

But why does data need to migrate between Kubernetes environments in the first place? For DevOps and platform teams, there are a few main benefits to data migration:

  • Augmenting capacity: You can optimize critical clusters’ capacity by effortlessly transferring lower-priority applications to secondary clusters.
  • Blue-green testing: Seamlessly validate new versions of Kubernetes and other services by testing both applications and their associated data.
  • Dev/test environments: Automate the promotion of workloads from development to staging clusters, eliminating manual data preparation steps that can compromise test accuracy.
  • Lift/Shift migrations: Effortlessly move applications and data across Kubernetes clusters (even from an on-premises cluster to a hosted Kubernetes environment).
  • Maintenance operations: Facilitate hardware-level upgrades by temporarily decommissioning clusters.

 

To achieve data portability and application mobility and overcome the limitations of native Kubernetes storage options, organizations can leverage Portworx alongside EKS. Portworx integrates seamlessly with EKS, providing advanced data management functionalities and addressing the shortcomings of the native Kubernetes storage approach.

 

In a nutshell, Portworx offers advanced data management features, including data replication, encryption, snapshotting, and seamless migration capabilities. It abstracts the underlying storage infrastructure, allowing workloads to be moved between different storage solutions, including EBS and other cloud-native storage platforms, to enable organizations to benefit from seamless data migration and facilitate multi-cloud or hybrid cloud strategies.

 

So, how does Portworx do it?

 

Portworx makes it possible to configure a source cluster (left in the diagram below) to migrate applications to two destination clusters (right). Each destination cluster can accommodate migrations from multiple namespaces. In this example, the blue namespace migrates to Destination Cluster 1, while the red namespace migrates to Cluster 2.

 

 

 

 

Once the cluster pair is established, you can seamlessly initiate the migration process for volumes and applications between the clusters, considering everything an application needs to run in the destination, such as:

  • Kubernetes Objects: Replication Controllers, StatefulSets, and Deployments, including the necessary Pod specifications for application execution.
  • Kubernetes Configuration: ConfigMaps and Kubernetes Secrets are essential for applications (external secret stores like HashiCorp Vault are not moved).
  • Persistent volumes: Incremental snapshots are compressed and migrated from the source cluster to the destination cluster.

 

Moreover, Portworx integrates seamlessly with Kubernetes, enabling DevOps teams to manage data and applications using familiar tools. This integration streamlines operations, reduces complexity, and accelerates application development and deployment cycles.

 

Data portability and application mobility are essential for organizations embracing cloud-native architectures. While native Kubernetes storage options and some cloud-specific solutions have inherent limitations, a solution like Portworx addresses these challenges effectively. By integrating Portworx alongside Kubernetes platforms like EKS, organizations can overcome limitations, achieve data portability, and unleash the full potential of their cloud-native applications. With Portworx, businesses can embrace the agility, scalability, and flexibility of the cloud while maintaining control over their data and applications.

 

Want to learn more? Watch a webinar on the topic.

 

Written by: Ariel Graner, Solution Architect

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Tags:
Kubernetes
Portworx
Storage
EKS
Cloud Native
cloud-based storage services
Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service
data portability
application mobility
container
orchestration
production data
Native Kubernetes
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