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Kubernetes Data Mover and Distribution Mobility

Level 3

Kubernetes has become the de facto container orchestration tool for many organizations along with other distributions based on Kubernetes, such as OpenShift, Rancher, Google Container Service (GKE), AWS Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS), and Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS).

Veritas NetBackup elastic data movement and distribution mobility capabilities allow you to choose where you want to protect your data and which Kubernetes distribution you want to recover, even if you protect it from a different distribution.

Veritas NetBackup introduced Kubernetes protection with the 9.1 release, with features such as:

  • Full backup and recovery of application namespaces to the same or alternate locations.
  • Dynamic discovery of Kubernetes assets (namespaces, persistent volumes, persistent volumes claims, and so on, in the Kubernetes clusters).
  • Application consistent snapshots.
  • Kubernetes cluster recovery
  • Granular restore of resource types or persistent volumes
  • Role-based access control (RBAC) to manage the protection and recovery of Kubernetes
  • Protection plans to protect multiple Kubernetes namespaces
  • Resource throttling for each cluster to improve the performance of backups

With the latest release of NetBackup - v10.0, Kubernetes support has expanded to address customer needs, including:

  • Elastic Data Mover – the Elastic Data Mover pods now scale up and down automatically, meaning the pod is deployed as needed for scale. Its associated resources are cleaned up once data movement is complete. Additionally, snapshot data is moved to any NetBackup storage target available in the WebUI, such as Media Server Deduplication Pools (MSDP), cloud storage, AdvancedDisk, and OpenStorage options. This capability enables data storage according to their lifecycle policies, tiering data to lower costs of storage, addressing long-term retention needs, and integrating with ransomware protection features, such as immutable & indelible storage, anomaly detection, and zero trust foundations.
  • Instant rollback from a snapshot — this includes the ability to set different retention periods for snapshots and backup copies providing various levels of RPO (Recovery Point Objective) and RTO (Recovery Time Objective).
  • Intelligent Groups — backup admins need to efficiently protect assets as they are created, especially when managing complex environments that change at a high rate, such as Kubernetes. This feature allows NetBackup to automatically protect assets based on your specified criteria (queries) or labels. It automatically stays up to date with changes in the environment, moving you toward Autonomous Data Management.
  • Include/Exclude resources — users can either include or exclude resources based on their type and group to be protected/ recovered. It is also possible to use a label condition to select resources that match the label condition you specify.
  • Distribution Mobility — you can backup in one Kubernetes distribution and recover to another for distribution mobility and disaster recovery. This feature provides the ultimate flexibility and freedom to choose distributions that best meets your needs and with the assurance that your data will be recovered easily into any supported distribution.

Let us talk more about the data movement and distribution mobility features, as they are the most requested features by customers.

Veritas NetBackup Elastic Data Mover

This feature allows you to choose any storage available on the NetBackup WebUI as a destination target, define retention periods, and store copies off-site while benefitting from deduplication features and ransomware protection.

Previously, Veritas NetBackup used only snapshot technology to protect Kubernetes. Snapshots are an excellent option for fast recovery, including rollback restore or restore to an alternate location. But what if you want to store your long-term retention backup in a different location or in the cloud with storage savings by deduplicating data at the target storage without maintaining snapshots on the source storage?

The Veritas NetBackup Elastic Data Mover decreases your storage costs and increases application performance by backing up data from a snapshot to a deduplicated, cheaper storage. This approach eliminates the need to keep snapshots in your primary and expensive storage and helps you achieve data protection best practices and integration with the ransomware protection features of NetBackup.

Figure 1. NetBackup protection for Kubernetes architectureFigure 1. NetBackup protection for Kubernetes architecture



As shown in Figure 1, the essential components that are involved in supporting the Kubernetes workload are:

  1. NetBackup Primary Server — this server hosts the webservice APIs, which is the entry point for triggering actions related to protecting the Kubernetes workload such as:
  • Adding the Kubernetes cluster credentials using the Generic Credential Management Store
  • Adding the Kubernetes cluster
  • Starting the Kubernetes discovery to find the assets which can be protected
  • Creating the protection plan
  • Configuring Role-Based Access Control (RBAC) settings
  • Invoking the WebUI, the front end for helping perform all the workflows using the underlying APIs

The NetBackup Primary server also includes the Kubernetes client service library. This library is responsible for communicating between NetBackup and the NetBackup Kubernetes Operator (NBU KOps) available on the Kubernetes cluster. NetBackup interacts with NetBackup KOps via the Kubernetes API Server over HTTPS. The NetBackup Primary server can manage more than one Kubernetes cluster or one Kubernetes cluster can connect to multiple NetBackup Primary servers.

  1. NetBackup KOps — this is the NetBackup Kubernetes Operator package that acts as the interface between NetBackup and the Kubernetes cluster itself. It must be deployed on each Kubernetes cluster you want to protect, as any action NetBackup needs to perform on the Kubernetes cluster goes via NetBackup KOps. This operator also helps perform the discovery of Kubernetes assets (namespaces, persistent volumes, etc.). The Veritas NetBackup Kubernetes Operator (NetBackup KOps) package can be downloaded from Veritas Download Center and is installed into the customer environment via Helm Charts.

  2. NetBackup Data Mover — the Elastic Data Mover is responsible for data movement during Backup and Restore operations. One Data Mover pod is launched for each namespace and for each persistent volume (PV) associated with that namespace, however, NetBackup provides the ability to use resource limits to throttle the number of Elastic Data Mover pods that can be launched at a time to protect your infrastructure. The NetBackup Backup and Restore Manager (bpbrm) sends a request to launch Data Mover by creating PVCBackup custom resource, based on which NetBackup KOps launches the data mover. Post job completion, the data mover pod, and its associated resources are cleaned up. The NetBackup Data Mover image is also downloaded from Veritas Download Center.

  3. Kubernetes API Server — this is the gateway into the Kubernetes world. All the internal/external communication happens through the Kubernetes API server.

Veritas NetBackup Distribution Mobility

What does distribution mobility mean with Veritas NetBackup?

It means portability, flexibility, and scalability. This feature is more than being Kubernetes distribution-agnostic, which Veritas NetBackup is. Distribution mobility allows customers the freedom to run any and as many distributions of Kubernetes as they want without having different backup solutions to support each of them, no matter if it is on-premises, in the cloud, or multi-cloud. In addition, it allows customers to protect Kubernetes in one distribution and recover to a completely different distribution and/or cluster, unifying all major Kubernetes distribution, significantly increasing portability, and improving Disaster Recovery capabilities and options.

Figure 2. NetBackup offers the industry’s broadest Kubernetes SupportFigure 2. NetBackup offers the industry’s broadest Kubernetes Support


In summary, NetBackup makes it easier to backup the most diverse physical, virtual, and/or cloud workloads across your enterprise, including Kubernetes resources, using the same user interface and capabilities, thus eliminating the need for point solutions which increases cost and risk. Whether you have Kubernetes on-premises or cloud, NetBackup’s enterprise-class tools make backing up your data easier while saving you money on long-term storage costs and flexibility to future proof your Kubernetes deployments, knowing your data can easily follow your distribution choices.