named one of the best container storage products of 2022 named one of the best container storage products of 2022

For the second time in a row, has been named among the world’s leading storage products by Storage Newsletter. Robin’s flagship product, Robin Cloud Native Storage (CNS) is custom-built for the purpose of deploying and managing stateful applications with 1-click simplicity.

At the time of its launch, the industry was seeing increasing Kubernetes adoption, and businesses and their IT teams were exploring use cases that extended beyond stateless applications. Running stateful applications on Kubernetes, a seemingly difficult task that increases commensurately with the complexity of the application in question, became a priority.

Kubernetes offers a way for developers to treat infrastructure, including storage, as invisible. In other words, it allows developers to build their applications as infrastructure agnostic and treat infrastructure as code. In a cloud-native, container-based model, developers can programmatically define how applications scale to become highly available with the expectation that the underlying infrastructure knows how to self-assemble itself to meet the desired end-state required by the application. This model has proven that it brings a level of operational simplicity for DevOps teams for their stateless workloads, that result in smaller teams managing a large number of stateless workloads with relative ease.

The key to taking advantage of change revolves around a flexible cloud platform and orchestration toolset that makes it easy to manage bare-metal infrastructure and move workloads around the network, reusing resource models, network models and existing workflows. The alternative reality involves re-customizing, reintegrating and reinventing the wheel every time a change is made. By using the right platforms to orchestrate and automate the network, operators can offer a more competitive and vibrant supplier ecosystem, with faster innovation, leading to a deeper market penetration and an improved user experience.

Extending this model to stateful workloads, such as databases and big data, where this same level of simplicity can yield even better results in terms of agility and efficiency, is highly desirable. However, just snapshotting and cloning storage volumes is just the starting point. Storage-only data management, that is volume-level snapshots, clones, backups and etc., have been sufficient for decades and are still reasonable for virtual machines (VMs). However, with Kubernetes, one also needs to snapshot the other constructs, such as application metadata, configuration, SLA policies and so on, along with volume snapshots. This will enable teams to very quickly rollback an entire application to a previous state, or clone it so that one has a fully functional running database from a previously taken snapshot. No hunting, no hardcoding and no restarting from scratch. Performing volume-only data management means that one still needs to re-configure and re-wire all the other components together using the volumes to be able to really use the application. The storage-only way of doing things goes against the agility and efficiency expected of a platform like Kubernetes and will hamstring your overall solution’s capabilities.

Robin CNS is the answer to this challenge. Without Robin CNS, managing these applications on a day-to-day basis requires expertise that would be exclusive to storage admin teams or a shared responsibility between storage and developer teams.

In simple terms, Robin CNS accelerates stateful workloads on Kubernetes. At its crux, it is a simple storage and data management solution for Kubernetes that hides all of the aforementioned complexities, allows developer teams to manage it through simple, 1-click commands (no storage expertise needed!), and can be easily incorporated into CI/CD pipelines.

Three trends that dominated 2021 and will spill-over to 2022

The following section contains excerpts from the
segment of Storage Industry Facts 2021, published in January
2022 by Storage To know more, click here

To say that the IT landscape of today is more complex than what it was 5 years ago is a gross understatement. Today, the enterprise segment is dominated by hybrid and multi-cloud solutions. Additionally, as private cloud becomes a priority for enterprises who are looking for dedicated bandwidth, ultra-low latency and heavy security, cloud repatriation (or back to the basics) is becoming an undeniable reality. All of these changes will drive environmental application+storage portability to trend upwards.

  • Trend #1: Kubernetes and cloud-native: The first trend we see when speaking to our customers is the need for acceleration of stateful workloads deployed on Kubernetes. In the past, before cloud-native and Kubernetes, there was a direct and simple host-based relationship between applications/virtual machines and their related storage. Simple storage back-ups pretty much served the purpose. With cloud-native, when it comes to data protection, the relationship between storage and application becomes more complex. The application is no longer homogenous; its roles have become exposed and are further broken out into multiple containers, each with a life of its own. On top of this, there are multiple forms of data, application config, Kubernetes configurations and so on, each of which has different relationships and requirements. Thus, just backing up storage devices or persistent volumes alone does not solve the complexity or RTO associated with application+storage protection and recovery
  • Trend #2: Security perspective of ransomware: As customers scale out their data centers and span multiple clouds, security has become even more important. Again, customers are pointing to ease of use. Security needs to be as simple as telling the orchestrator or cloud storage application to switch it on. Under the covers, there will be volume encryption, security key management and data transfer encryption. But to the user this needs to be completely transparent and dynamically governed by policies. Furthermore, as multi-tenancy and Roles Based Access (RBAC) becomes more prevalent, it needs to gracefully roll into existing customer security mechanisms, such as Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP). Further down the security front we see many customers asking for anti-ransomware solutions. Since data is always being backed up this isn’t always a huge problem for storage itself. But what if the application as well as the storage is taken over? With an application+storage solution, customers can roll back the entire platform to any point in time at the click of a button.
  • Trend #3: NVMe is now mainstream: With NVMe or Non-Volatile Memory Host Controller Interface Specification becoming more mature and affordable, workloads based on it will become more prevalent. We are seeing Non Volatile Memory express (NVMe) devices becoming more mainstream, where the lower cost is accelerating its availability and prevalence. Hence, there will be more cloud offerings with NVMe devices. With NVMe-based solutions, we frequently see customers looking for a combination of read write to many (RWX) + Graphics Processing Units (GPU) + NVMe to the cloud, where common data is acted upon by multiple worker applications, culminating to storage over NFS. As the inclusion of GPU likely gives away, we see these features tied together in use cases involving Artificial Intelligence / Machine Learning (AI/ML) use cases.

Conclusion: Bolstering our positioning

While Kubernetes is well known for its scalability, resource utilization and workload orchestration, traditionally it was not seen as the ideal choice for data persistency and stateful workloads. Fortunately, as Kubernetes has matured, there has been considerable innovation in this space. Robin CNS is one such innovation. Robin CNS brings advanced storage and data management capabilities to any Kubernetes distribution, running on-premises or in public cloud environments. Robin CNS converts HDD, SSD, NVMe, DAS, SAN, and cloud drives into an enterprise-grade storage supporting block-and-file workloads on-premises and in the cloud. It offers advanced data reliability with rapid failover even in the event of disk, server, rack and data center faults. Besides protecting against hardware and infrastructure failures, Robin CNS protects sensitive data in-motion and at-rest.

Beyond securing and simplifying storage operations, Robin CNS also provides simple commands for data management operations such as backup/recovery, snapshots/rollback, and cloning of entire applications (data+metadata+config) – all of this can be fully automated. This is the reason why it has been consistently ranked by analysts as a leader in both storage and data protection for Kubernetes.

Robin CNS is the future of stateful storage. To know more about it, simply download the datasheet below.

CNS enterprise datasheet

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