ESG's Christophe Bertrand, Bob Laliberte, Vinny Choinski, and Jack Poller disucss the developing trends regarding Containers and Data Protection.
Christophe: Hello, everyone and welcome to this video blog. Today, we'll be talking about containers and the protection of container environments. I'm joined today by my esteemed colleagues from ESG, Bob Laliberte, Jack Poller, and Vinny Choinski. So, Bob, let me ask you a couple of questions.
You've just completed research on the wonderful space of containers, this emerging technology. What can you tell us, what's going on in the market?
Bob: Well, obviously, there's a lot going on. I mean, containers are the next wave of technology that's helping drive modern application deployment. And so, it was really interesting in the research as we saw not only the adoption of containers into production environments, but also, you know, as we see with a lot of digital transformation, it's about people, process, and technology.
So, along with container adoption, we're also seeing DevOps adoption. We're seeing the adoption of microservices application architectures, and we're really seeing the adoption of cloud and hybrid cloud environments as well to go along with that.
Christophe: Well, lots of activity. Clearly, there's quite a bit going on and people going into production. Have you looked at data protection as well?
Bob: Yeah. We actually have. In the research we did, I think something like 60% had already moved some production apps onto containers, which was really interesting and you know, as typically, as we've seen a lot of these evolutions take place over the years, things like data protection tend to be one of those things that's the afterthought. Hey, we just moved everything and then, hey, how do we fix it?
The interesting thing now, it seems like organizations are learning from their previous mistakes and they're getting far more proactive about delivering data protection. In fact, 65% of organizations said they are proactive about their data protection initiatives for their container environments. It wasn't just that, hey, we're being proactive and they're really confident in their processes, but that their optimism was really validated by their recovery efforts.
So, it's great to see that organizations are taking a much more comprehensive approach to data protection. We're also seeing on the data protection side, an increased need to have the data protection team working with the container operations teams to ensure these data protection processes are valid.
Christophe: As I go talk to vendors and talk to some of the partners we see in the market, sometimes I'm getting this feeling that maybe it is a little bit of enthusiasm and maybe some of the technology at-scale hasn't been quite figured out and that's why I like to ask Jack to join us for a minute here and maybe give us, Jack, your perspective on what makes containers so different and I mean, candidly people have been confused, containers, VM, on-premise or in the cloud. What's that all about?
Jack: Yeah. It is very confusing especially because a lot of the containers are actually running on top of virtual machines. But from a technology point of view, if you look historically we started with monolithic applications and those didn't change very often at all and you didn't really have to backup the application itself you were mostly concerned with the data that you were creating and working with.
As we moved to virtual machines, we had to backup a virtual machine because that was a standalone piece that you needed to be able to recover and get up and running again. Now, as we move to containers, we have to still have the container running on a virtual machine in most instances, so we have to backup the virtual machine and then we have to backup the containers and the container registry and these containers are very ephemeral.
They change quite often, they come and go, so it's not clear exactly how you backup these things and what the implications are at point in time. How do you sync and make sure your data and your container and your virtual machine are all in sync in your backup protection repository.
Christophe: Yeah. That's a fundamental problem that I see. And we also have Vinny Choinski on this call who's our resident expert on data protection. Vinny, we started talking about this, we've looked at the architectures. What do you see as some of the gotchas and maybe some of these things that people should be doing that are not doing in terms of backup and recovery? What are your perspectives?
Vinny: I definitely see containers becoming a bigger part of the IT ecosystem for a lot of customers, a lot of companies, right? And it's very similar to what we saw with VMware a few years ago. VMware's started as kind of a great place to put your non-mission-critical business application, but the capabilities that it had it soon led itself to being the go-to place for production apps.
I think this left a lot of businesses and vendors scrambling for efficient ways to backup on the data in these environments. I see a similar thing happening with containers, right? I equate it, you know, my experience in data protection, kind of with backing up a SharePoint farm or a SharePoint environment, if you will. You can't just backup the application and expect to be able to recover.
You need a consistent backup of the application, the database or the index, if you will and the content that's inside that, right? So, that's what you need to get a complete recovery. So, I think customers and companies that are going to use containers need to plan to have, as Bob mentioned and it's nice to see that a lot of them are starting to do this, that they have a plan for integrating business workflows like data protection into their container ecosystems. So, I think that's the key takeaway from my perspective.