I recently had a chance to speak with Chris Mellor at Block and Files about the emergence of Velero as the standard for Kubernetes data protection. I shared some ballpark estimates of market share across open source and commercial vendors to make my case. These numbers were obtained through diligent market research. They are estimates, but they are not imaginary.
The fact is that there have been over 100M docker pulls of the open source Velero backup solution for Kubernetes. Even if 1% of those downloads represent a cluster, we are looking at over 1M clusters. This is consistent with VMware’s estimates that Velero is installed on over 30% of all Kubernetes clusters. At this level of scale, the rate of maturity of any software supported by a large community is that it matures faster than any commercial solution with a fraction of adoption.
Embracing Open Source Velero
While open source Velero is a very strong single cluster solution, when it comes to advanced features such as multi-cluster management, cross-cluster and multi-cloud recovery, those are not part of its feature set today nor do the maintainers aspire to provide them. That leaves room for vendors like CloudCasa and Red Hat to provide value around Velero by offering either a service, support, or both.
When I saw Portworx refute my claims of Velero dominance, I found it to be a marketing response that ignored the reality of the community driven adoption of Velero. The Portworx team combined messaging from Portworx Enterprise, their storage offering, with Portworx backup in their response, while the context of my conversation was strictly about backup and Velero’s strong adoption. Portworx Enterprise is a leading cloud-native storage solution and recognized for its depth and breadth of functionality. However, not all of their storage users make use of PX-Backup, and some have expressed on stage their preference for Velero as the open source solution.
Portworx also highlighted some technical differentiation compared to Velero, and we agree with the importance of these capabilities, but we recommend you review our CloudCasa for Velero page to know that these enterprise capabilities can be provided without having to switch away from Velero.
That is the crux of our strategy to embrace open source Velero, which is a great ultra-popular backup solution, and add the enterprise capabilities customers want and need, and do so without having to switch away from Velero. The end result: enterprise class application resiliency at a fraction of the cost of commercial solutions that replace Velero. (Refer to this PX-Backup listing where PX-Backup costs $1200 a year for each worker node in your cluster).
If Velero customers are looking for enterprise capabilities, they can get the following in less than 10 minutes, from CloudCasa for Velero:
- Multi-cluster management
- Granular RBAC and self-service
- Enterprise management scale
- Automated application protection
- Multi-cloud support
- Pre-built application hooks
And you gain all these benefits without impacting what you have configured and protected. Everything stays intact and yet everything gets better.
Closing the Enterprise Gaps in Open Source Velero
Portworx did a blog on 4 Signs You’re Outgrowing Velero Backup. Let us take a deeper look at what PX-Backup adds to an enterprise, in their own words. We would like to highlight that you can close these gaps of Velero without being forced to migrate away from it.
- RBAC Matters: CloudCasa for Velero allows you to define granular permissions and enable self-service recoveries on top of Velero without needing to open permissions at the cluster level.
- Needs Expertise: CloudCasa for Velero adds an intuitive UI, central multi-cluster manager, one-click operations, repeatable templates, central log collection, real time activity monitoring and more. There is no expectation that the user is an expert at Velero.
- Troubleshooting is hard: CloudCasa offers enterprise support for Velero users whether you use CloudCasa for Velero service or not. We have years of experience with Velero and our expertise is in public view when you review the Q&A in #velero-users Slack in the Kubernetes workspace. It doesn’t have to be hard.
- Recoveries are neither simple nor easy: You can supercharge your Velero recovery points with full stack recovery on EKS, AKS and GKE, where CloudCasa for Velero can spin up an entire cluster during recovery. You do not have to touch a command line or read tons of documentation. You can perform common restore transforms such as storage class and node-port mappings, and also configure IAMs, VPCs, cluster add-ons, auto-scaling and more during recovery.
Save 80% with Velero and CloudCasa
As you can see, if you are a Kubernetes user and you are committed to using open source like everyone else in the community, there is barely any reason to migrate away from Velero. If these outlined limitations bother you, you can leverage an open-source complementary solution such as CloudCasa for Velero at barely 20% of the cost of competing commercial alternatives including PX-Backup. As noted above, PX-Backup costs $1200 a year for each worker node in your cluster. We charge $19 a month per worker node.
We understand and appreciate Portworx’s view and their pride in the work they are doing to bring enterprise class capabilities to Kubernetes data protection. We get it, and we exist because we see the same customer needs. But there has never been a more widely adopted powerful open source solution like Velero. Even if our customer count estimates are off by an order of magnitude, which we are confident to not be the case, our point remains valid. Our core belief is that tremendous adoption and community involvement will let open source Velero mature faster than any alternative solution.