Demodern Multi-Cloud Use of Kasten K10 for Kubernetes Backup & Recovery
Demodern a global creative technology agency, found that having separate backups for each customer helped ensure that each client had their own isolated environment in case of needed disaster recovery - K10 made that possible with its very simple setup. The team also reported that K10 is incredibly useful for its developers who need to set up their own environments or have an on-demand production.
Demodern, founded in 2008 and located in Germany, is a multi-award winning creative technology agency for online communication, design, and digital projects. As one of the leading specialists for high-end digital production and excellent user experience design, Demodern is focused on designing and developing interactive solutions for all industries – from augmented and virtual reality applications, (branded) games, store and (virtual) event installations, and mobile apps down to web experiences. Their goal is to create high-quality, digital communication that makes an impact for their global clients. Demodern’s customers include household names such as Nike, Daimler, Mazda, Beiersdorf, Royal Caribbean, Nestlé, and more!
Moritz Kneilmann is Director Cloud Solutions at Demodern and, with a small team, supports a number of projects that run on Kubernetes. Their application stack today includes Craft CMS, Node.js Express, Nginix, Django, and more. Their Kubernetes clusters are spread across multiple clouds including AWS and DigitalOcean and Azure coming up in the future.
Demodern faced three major challenges as they rolled out Kubernetes within the organization. First, there was a small operations team that was supporting a large number of projects and developers across multiple clouds and accounts (including within customer accounts). The cloud these projects would be deployed on was often decided after development or potentially even after first production use.
Second, given fast-moving client requirements, projects will often adopt new technologies, go live after a couple of weeks of development, and might only exist for a few months after. Short- lived projects means that any involved planning process was not feasible and, in particular, all protection needed to be transparent and baked into the infrastructure.
Finally, previous backup solutions deployed by Demodern only extracted database contents. This approach was not sufficient given long recovery times, did not scale with their growth, and was not comprehensive enough in terms of protecting all their application components.
With a focus on ease-of-use and a simple dashboard, “We selected Kasten K10 for its easy to use backups, simple UI interface, and cross-platform support for multiple clouds that could handle any type of workload,” said Moritz Kneilmann, Director Cloud Solutions, Demodern. “With our portfolio of global customers, having separate backups ensures that in case of disaster recovery each client has their own isolated environment, and K10 makes that possible with its very simple setup. It’s also useful for our developers to set up their own environments or have a ready to go production setup, which helps greatly to speed up the development cycle.”
With a Kubernetes-native focus, K10 is the only cloud- native data management platform that could balance the needs of the developers (lights-out data protection, easy-to-extend policies) and operators (low operational overhead, compliance and cost monitoring, enabling developer agility) for Demodern.
With K10, Demodern was able to support rapidly moving development teams without sacrificing data safety. Given that K10 is a part of a standard cluster setup and comes with default policies, all client applications were protected without needing any additional setup or configuration.
With a simple-to-operate dashboard that was self explanatory with a user-centric design, no training was required for operators or developers. Previously complex workflows around policy and retention definitions was easy with K10 and comprehensive documentation helped accelerate the design of complex workflows whenever needed.
With a focus on Kubernetes backup and recovery of a complete Kubernetes application, Demodern was able to move away from just database-level backups with manual restores to a completely automated and fast recovery process.
With a dashboard that clearly showed application compliance and backup storage utilization, and additional Prometheus integration for all metrics, operators easily viewed and monitored adherence to SLAs across all the clusters that applications were deployed on.
Developers were able to protect their applications seamlessly without requiring any code or deployment changes. When backup requirements change, policies could also be easily edited without requiring operator support.
Ease of Deployment:
K10, via Helm, was easy to integrate into Terraform for new cluster rollouts. K10’s ability to run within the application’s Kubernetes cluster allowed for deployment within Demodern’s customers cloud accounts without weakening their security posture.
Multi-Cloud and Cross-Cluster Mobility:
With protection policies that are independent of the underlying infrastructure, K10 allowed applications to be easily developed and protected in one cloud while being deployed into production in another without needing any upfront or post- deployment changes. K10 also supports migrating existing applications to different clusters in case performance isolation becomes important.
Niraj Tolia is the CEO and Co-Founder at Kasten and is interested in all things Kubernetes. He has played multiple roles in the past, including the Senior Director of Engineering for Dell EMC's CloudBoost family of products and the VP of Engineering and Chief Architect at Maginatics (acquired by EMC). Niraj received his PhD, MS, and BS in Computer Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University.