Fourteen K8S backup vendors duke it out on GigaOm’s Radar

GigaOm’s Kubernetes data protection Radar report shows three startups – Kasten, Portworx and Trilio, plus Commvault – ahead of ten other suppliers

GigaOm has evaluated 14 suppliers, ignoring their market presence, and plotted them in its Radar diagram across a series of concentric rings, with those set closer to the center judged to be of higher overall value. The chart characterizes each vendor on two axes – balancing Maturity versus Innovation and Feature Play versus Platform Play – while providing an arrow that projects each solution’s evolution over the coming 12 to 18 months.

The report includes three groups of vendors: startups leading the pack, mature vendors with a platform approach, and other mature vendors with a feature play.

Leaders: Kasten, Commvault, Portworx, Trilio, CloudCasa.

Challengers: Rakuten Symphony, NetApp, Zerto, HYCU, Dell Technologies, VMware, Druva, IBM, Veritas. NetApp is the mature vendor closest to the leaders and moving into their ranks.

The GigaOm author Joep Piscaer writes: “This report shows the typical characteristics of a new market, with a number of startups leading the pack and vendors representing a series of converging ideas that differ in their implementation but are actually similar in their high-level vision. All the Leaders are found in the Innovation/Platform Play quadrant.”

“However, a few vendors are pursuing different paths and alternative solutions. Some established vendors are still far from the bullseye but are working quickly to bridge the gap with the Leaders, such as NetApp.”

In order to help report readers better understand the vendors’ placement in the market, the author positions each according to their market segments and deployment models:

He then classifies and rates the vendors on their architecture, putting them in three groups:

  • Traditional data protection solutions that support Kubernetes – These solutions have a mature feature set for VM-based environments, and have added support for Kubernetes.
  • Cloud-native storage with data protection capabilities – These solutions offer data protection capabilities on top of a cloud-native data storage product. You can’t use the former without adopting the latter.
  • Cloud-native data protection – Data protection solutions specifically designed to work with Kubernetes.

We have modified the GigaOm table to make it easier to read: 

Blocks & Files version of GigaOm table. Bold text signifies a vendor’s main strength. Normal text is a halfway house, and small text is a minor strength.

But these two tables are not used in the final scoring and positioning in the Radar diagram above. The criteria used for that are interoperability, environmental awareness, disaster recovery and business continuity, app and data migration, cloud data services backup, and data integrity and security.

Piscaer writes: “Some of last year’s key criteria have become commoditized and moved to table stakes, including multicloud and multidistribution support, as well as multicluster and self-service capabilities.”

“Key criteria this year are features that enable data protection of entire applications that run a gamut of technologies, including VMs, containers, cloud databases, cloud storage, and more. We look at a vendor’s ability to support application data protection fragmented across these four named technologies. We take special note of a vendor’s auto-discovery capabilities on-premises and in the big three clouds: Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, andGoogle Cloud Platform (GCP).”

Suppliers are then evaluated on five metrics: flexibility, scalability, performance, usablility and security, with one of three weights given to each per supplier.

Overall, “a number of solutions are doing very well, including Kasten, Portworx, and Trilio. Some more established, traditional vendors like Commvault are also doing very well by combining solutions for SaaS applications, on-premises infrastructure (VM-based), containers, and databases efficiently. Some solutions, such as CloudCasa, tick all the right boxes for those buyers seeking a SaaS solution with a great user experience.”

“Additionally, we see some vendors combining data protection solutions with other functionality, like data storage. NetApp and Rakuten Symphony Symworld Cloud Native Storage (CNS) receive a virtual asterisk because their data protection features are great but exclusive to their respective storage platforms.”

Piscaer notes: “All in all, the data protection field is moving quickly and is accelerated further by Velero’s growing importance in the Cloud-Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) ecosystem as the underpinning technology for many of the solutions discussed in this Radar.”

The report then includes notes for each of the 14 vendors. To read those you can download your own copy of the 17-page PDF report from Commvault’s website here.