NetApp beefs up its Astra Control plane for Kubernetes apps

NetApp has added a host of features to Astra Control – its control plane for managing K8S apps supporting more distributions, cloud block stores, adding Operator support and better data protection.

Astra Control is an app-aware control plane that protects, recovers, and moves data-rich Kubernetes workloads in both public clouds and on-premises. It provides Kubernetes workload data protection, disaster recovery and migration using NetApp ONTAP array snapshot, backup, replication, and cloning technology.

There are two versions:

  • Astra Control Service – a fully managed service operated by NetApp;
  • Astra Control Center – a customer-managed software suite with the same rich functionality.  

Update details

Extended cloud storage – Astra Control now supports Azure Disk and Google Persistent Disk cloud block stores in addition to Azure NetApp Files and Cloud Volumes Service in Azure and Google Cloud. You can protect, recover, and move existing and new applications backed by Azure Disks and Google Persistent Disks, as long as they are accessed using the respective CSI drivers with support for snapshots and cloning functionality.

Support for these two block storage providers also enables complete application-data management for your applications that use a combination of file and block storage, like Azure NetApp Files/Cloud Volumes Service and Azure Disks/Google Persistent Disks.

Data management Operators – Users can protect and move apps that are deployed and managed using Operators, in addition to to Helm and Labels. Astra Control automatically discovers Operator-deployed applications, with their custom resources and the associated controllers. You can then do application-aware snapshots, backups, restores, and clones, as you can with any other application. 

Extended K8S support – The Rancher Kubernetes Engine (RKE) and community Kubernetes platforms are supported, in addition to OpenShift Container Platform (OCP). You can protect, recover, and move your K8s apps running on RKE and community Kubernetes with NetApp ONTAP as the storage provider.  

OpenShift – The Astra Control Center Operator is now certified with Red Hat’s OpenShift. It is jointly supported by Red Hat and NetApp, and is monitored and updated automatically to reduce interoperability failure and security risks.

Execution hooks feature – Astra Control provides automatic freeze/thaw logic for popular apps like PostgreSQL, MariaDB, MySQL, and Jenkins, which it discovers and protects automatically. It supports crash-consistent snapshots for all other applications. Execution hooks enable Astra Control to provide custom freeze/thaw logic for in-house developed apps before and after taking snapshots to ensure application consistency. Astra Control can take app-consistent snapshots and backups of any application by using this execution hooks feature.

Restore in place – Astra Control can restore K8s apps in place from an existing snapshot or a backup within the original namespace within the same cluster where the application resides. This means you can recover from service disruption scenarios like accidental or malicious data corruption or deletion, a failed application upgrade, and other similar issues. It allows you to replace your existing app and associated data with a previous instance of the same app and its associated data that you can select from one or more previously recorded application-aware snapshots or backups. 

NetApp says that a preview release of its Astra Data Store (ADS) – a Kubernetes-native, shared file, unified data store for containers and VMs – is now available. ADS was announced in October last year.

This video walks you through the end-to-end procedure to deploy Astra Data Store preview in your Kubernetes cluster.

Free trials are available for both Astra Control Service and Astra Control Center.