The Story Behind KubeDR Posted on Jan 14th, 2020 by Sathya Sankaran

Categories: cLabs

When we were at KubeCon 2019 in sunny San Diego, the energy around the Kubernetes community was not just palpable, but quite invigorating. Keep in mind that this wasn’t a Dreamforce or ReInvent, ecosystem fueled by a market giant that has perfected the art of turning technology conferences into a big party filled with geeky debauchery. This was a show run by volunteers and run by the community and yet 12000 attendees showed up with the sole intention of learning, supporting and contributing. We learned a lot there and are inspired to contribute as well. 

At Catalogic, we started playing with Containers several years ago. We were one of the first backup vendors to containerize our data protection solutions. While we didn’t see a significant uptick in that deployment model, the benefits of containerization and the growth of its orchestration systems such as Kubernetes was clear to us as technologists and its adoption internally was growing. 

After over a decade in data protection industry, we are hard-wired to always ask two questions whenever you adopt a technology or service. Where is the important stuff kept? And, how do I get back on my feet when I fall? Because one thing is certain, a failure is not a matter of whether, it is a matter of when. With years of backup and DR expertise, our hearts pound faster, and our creativity comes to the fore, when important data is not protected. 

Kubernetes stores all the cluster data including the resource specs in etcd - a distributed key-value store. So etcd is a key component in the Kubernetes architecture and it is very important to protect the data stored there, but we noticed that very few did, including our own IT and our ecosystem partners. At first, our hearts pounded faster, but soon our collective minds co-created a solution within our Catalogic Labs innovation initiative that we are now happy to call KubeDR.

KubeDR allows you to backup not only etcd data, but all the certificates in your cluster as well. The combination of etcd data and certificates should allow you to rebuild the cluster, if you ever need to. And if you ever need to – you will really need to. Following are some of the high-level features supported by KubeDR:

Backup cluster data in etcd to any S3 compatible storage.  

  • Backup certificates  
  • Pause and resume backups  
  • Clean up older snapshots based on your retention needs.  

KubeDR is our commitment to give back to the open source community we often benefit from.  We are cooking several recipes in our Kubernetes Kitchen as part of our new Catalogic Labs initiatives. For now, we are excited to solve a problem we identified as Engineers and we can’t wait to share it with you all. Let us know what we can add to KubeDR so that your dev team (even if that’s just you) feels protected and safe in your Kubernetes journey. Fork us on Github and join the community working on this project. As they say, “If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”