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The Next Generation of NetApp Technology: NetApp Kubernetes Service, Build@Scale, Trident, and Cloud Volumes Service

March 6, 2019

Topics: 5 minute readKubernetes

People have been coming to NetApp for years to solve their data management needs, but with the growth of Kubernetes, NetApp has taken a new and innovative direction, offering more solutions for developers to use at every level of the continuous integration/continuous delivery pipeline. If you’re using Kubernetes in your application development in the cloud, you may be surprised at what NetApp has to offer.

This blog post covers some members of the next generation of NetApp® technology and describes how they can work together to help you accelerate development by using Kubernetes: Let us introduce NetApp Kubernetes Service, Build@Scale, Trident, and Cloud Volumes Service.

NetApp Kubernetes Service

It’s a fact: Kubernetes rules. It’s currently the go-to platform to orchestrate container usage. With NetApp Kubernetes Service, you can create and manage Kubernetes clusters from a single, easy-to-use, universal control plane.

To meet the demand for Kubernetes services, all the top-tier cloud service providers are offering managed services for Kubernetes. NetApp Kubernetes Service (NKS) provides a single, uniform way to work with many different Kubernetes solutions, including Amazon Web Services (AWS), Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (Amazon EKS), Google Compute Engine (GCE), Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE), Microsoft Azure, and Microsoft Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS).

A tool like NetApp Kubernetes Service is important because it makes complex Kubernetes deployments so much easier. Users who want to leverage different environments can build a Kubernetes cluster with just three clicks, or take advantage of open-source Kubernetes solutions such as Istio. Toggling between multiple interfaces, each with its own configurations, can be a hassle. The NKS single pane of glass gives users control over all of their components in one place.

NKS features include quick and easy cluster creation on multiple providers, the ability to easily federate clusters or create an Istio mesh, controls to restrict user access based on organizations and workspaces, backup and recovery tools for data protection, and a simple, web-based interface to manage complex Kubernetes components such as node pools and autoscaling.

NetApp Kubernetes Service is run as a SaaS via the NetApp Cloud Central web portal, so users don’t have anything to install or set up. New clusters are created via a wizard, which guides users through the base infrastructure involved, such as the number and size of master/worker nodes, instance type, and Kubernetes configuration itself. NetApp Kubernetes Service then spins up a cluster based on that information, giving you a cluster that you can begin to use in just minutes.

One way in which NetApp users can use NKS is to integrate Cloud Volumes Service with fully managed Kubernetes solutions like Amazon EKS. In this setup, all of the persistent volume claims are automatically answered by NKS and backed by highly performant NetApp machines in the cloud.

But there are many benefits that extend beyond NetApp offerings. The dashboard view offers a list of software solutions for enterprises that users can install directly into Kubernetes clusters. With their help, the applications and microservices in your clusters can be managed and controlled. Istio is a good example. Istio helps simplify administering a microservices service mesh through cross-cluster service traffic rule management. That means enforcing end-to-end data encryption, service observability, and other important functions. With NKS you can add those benefits to your deployment with any of the managed Kubernetes services in the cloud.

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NetApp Kubernetes dashboard view of enterprise solutions.

Coming soon, NetApp Kubernetes will support NetApp HCI as well.

Find out more about NetApp Kubernetes Service.

Trident and Cloud Volumes Service

NetApp Cloud Volumes Service for AWS is a fully managed file service that is capable of dealing out both NFS and SMB protocols. Thanks to the help of NetApp Trident, these highly performant volumes can be used to provide storage for NetApp Kubernetes Service clusters. Trident is NetApp’s open-source provisioner for Kubernetes persistent volumes that integrates with Cloud Volumes Service and  also with both on premises NetApp ONTAP® and Cloud Volumes ONTAP.

Cloud Volumes Service provides high performance with three different service levels, huge scalability, high availability, instant point-in-time snapshots for solid data protection, data security for all data at rest, cloning to speed up the development process, and easy ways to migrate and sync data over time. Although Kubernetes on its own doesn’t provide features like these, they can be essential to your deployment.

With NetApp Kubernetes Service, Trident is deployed automatically to cluster nodes in Kubernetes, which in turn provisions NFS storage volumes in Cloud Volumes Service for persistent volume claims. There’s no need for manual intervention, so you get  the volumes you need as quickly as possible, with no administrative overhead.

For developing applications in your Kubernetes deployment, Cloud Volumes Service also works with Build@Scale, which we’ll look at next.


Another part of NetApp’s next generation is Build@Scale, an open-source solution that uses both Cloud Volumes Service and NetApp Kubernetes Service to support application development. Using NetApp Build@Scale, DevOps pipelines can be used to set up developer workspaces as a Kubernetes solution to improve time to market.

The benefits of Build@Scale come from combining the DevOps pipeline and developer workspaces into one Kubernetes cluster. In the background, Cloud Volumes Service provides persistent storage and all the added benefits of snapshots, availability, and cloning.

Accelerated Application 2

How Build@Scale works.

Build@Scale works by preinstalling pods for use in different applications, such as Gitlab and Jenkins. New pipelines can be created easily by feeding Build@Scale a source code repository URL and the branch to use. Build@Scale then sets up and creates the pipeline’s Jenkins job and a file share volume that corresponds with it.

Executing a pipeline pulls the latest code from the source, builds it, and then compiles it. Build@Scale takes a snapshot of the new pipeline/workspace, which in turn is used as a clone basis for developers. Workspaces can be accessed over the web via Theia and other integrated development environments.


NetApp Kubernetes Service, Trident, Cloud Volumes Service, and Build@Scale make it easy to develop applications in the cloud and deploy and manage them in multicloud environments. These end-to-end solutions for deploying Kubernetes give you persistent volumes and persistent volume allocation no matter which cloud ecosystems you need to use.

With this latest generation of NetApp technology in the cloud, users deploying Kubernetes can develop applications faster than ever by simplifying the process of storage allocation and developer workspace management.

Register for Cloud Volumes Service for AWS or find out more about speeding up your application development lifecycle by using NetApp Kubernetes Service and Build@Scale.


Technical Marketing Engineer