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Struggling to back up complex Kubernetes applications?

December 8, 2022

Topics: Astra 9 minute readKubernetes Protection

Does it feel like you’re trying to fit a square peg in a round hole?

One major benefit of container-based applications and microservices is that they allow developers to design and build applications in the most efficient way to meet their objectives.

A typical application needs at least two web front ends that scale as demand grows. No problem. Simply build the initial state and allow Kubernetes to handle the scale. The account database needs to exist in a separate namespace to meet security criteria. Again, no problem. Just stand up a dedicated namespace for only the database and move on to the next challenge.

Today’s Kubernetes applications are built and deployed in many shapes and sizes based solely on their functional requirements. Of course, this flexibility and variability increase the challenges that operations teams face to maintain these complex applications. This is especially true in providing backup and protection for applications with persistent data.

Here are some questions to answer:

  • What services make up the application?
  • Is it deployed in a single namespace?
  • Does it rely on elements from a separate namespace?

The latest release of NetApp® Astra™ Control is designed to help answer these types of questions and challenges.

Now Astra Control has greater flexibility in how applications and their related service boundaries are defined, to help you easily manage complex applications with multiple namespaces as a single entity. No more force fitting a square peg into a round hole.

Here are the Astra Control features and methods that simplify the data protection of complex Kubernetes applications.

Application labels

Kubernetes labels are a powerful method to help operations teams keep everything straight. Simply define the services that make up an application with a common label and let Astra Control handle the rest when creating Snapshot™ copies or backups. You need to coordinate with your team how labels are used to ensure consistency, then just hand that label to Astra and let the software round up all the services to be protected.

One app, one namespace

Namespaces are a natural way to define application boundaries. The pieces that go together to deliver an application are deployed together in one shared namespace, making backup of their persistent data relatively easy. Again, just point Astra at the namespace and let us handle pausing the I/O to create an application-aware image and its persistent store.

Apps that span namespaces

As mentioned earlier, many of the customers that we work with have specific business requirements that call for services to be run in dedicated namespaces—a database with customer data or a web front end with extra security. Splitting applications between namespaces provides granular control over specific elements. Astra Control now allows teams to define multiple namespaces as a single application for data protection. A bit more coordination across namespaces is required when quiescing data, but the result is the same: Each application that you define can be managed as a single entity, regardless of the underlying deployment.

This video shows how easy it is to manage complex applications.


The Astra team is focused on data protection and mobility for containerized and Kubernetes applications. We continue to invest in innovative features that our customers require to reduce the complexity of managing their enterprise Kubernetes applications.

The fact that no two applications and no two customer environments are the same. That's why we’ve built Astra Control to handle and evolve with changing applications and application architectures.

If you’re interested in trying out Astra and experiencing these capabilities for yourself, you can use the service for free. Just sign up here.

Astra Product Management