Behind the Scenes Episode 317 – NetApp Astra Control Center: What’s new in Winter 2022?

Welcome to the Episode 317, part of the continuing series called “Behind the Scenes of the NetApp Tech ONTAP Podcast.”

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This week, NetApp Senior Product Manager for Cloud, Hrishi Keramane (hrishi.keramane@netapp.com) joins us to discuss Astra Control Center and the payload in the latest release, including:

For questions or feedback, email astra.feedback@netapp.com.

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Transcription

The following transcript was generated using Google’s voice to text transcription service. As it is AI generated, YMMV.

I’m here in the basement of my house. And with me today. I have a special guest to talk to us all about Astra and Astra Control Center. And what’s new in that space. So with me today, we have Hrishi. What do you do here at NetApp and how to reach you?

May, I just and thanks for having me. This is Hrishi Keramane a senior product manager, NetApp have been with the company for little over a decade. So, I’m writing times here being been with Astra, the Astra product family for a little over a year and a half. As I said, I’m a senior product manager and a copy, Astra control, and Astra data store, portfolio products primarily focused on Prime. But also involved with the the cloud side down and yeah, you can reach me at hrishi.keramane@netapp.com. All right, excellent. So like you mentioned, you work with Astra Control Center. So we’re going to talk about that today to start off with, let’s just go over wage after itself is here at NetApp.

Sure. Yeah. Astra is actually a family of products, right? You must have heard this before. It’s a family of product that provides application, data management for stateful, Native applications applications that are powered by NetApp data protection Technologies. So, in that sense, there is the data provisioning part. So there are product, which box in the portfolio of the family which allows you to do three different pieces, provisioning managing, those applications with the all the control activities of the product and then the storage itself. So, so the family is made up of three big dogs and that sense Trident is our early piece which has been out there for the longest, which is our storage provisioner. The CSI complying a driver, right? And then Astra control is an overlay on top, which provides your application. Lifecycle management your backup protection in terms of migration dead.

Across a hybrid like Cloud. And then the newest member of the family is actually yesterday to store, which is a cloud made of storage offering brings the best of NetApp data management, and resiliency to a cloud-native, software-defined version.

So I know that tried and and Astra control and Astra data store all have different, I guess release cadences here. So in this case, we’re talking specifically about Astra Control Center and what’s new there or so can we kind of drill down a little bit more into what Astra Control Center is? Yeah, absolutely. As to controls even before, as to Control Center, has traction control, right? So, we had the latest release of a stir control come out. They last year in December, twenty Twenty-One twelve. So, as to control itself, I love is you could easily manage your life applications life cycle, right? In the sense, be able to protect your application. Snapshot your application that application granularity application-aware application consists wage. They but also back up to an external S3 Object Store, be able to have have that outside of your fault domain so that you can restore whenever whenever there’s a disaster p.m.

Or some kind of a corruption that hurts your primary data center. Right? And it also allows you to migrate applications either in the same namespace within your capabilities clusters across clusters or even just data centers, even going to the cloud and back. It’s so that’s the that’s the high-level use case. Now with the Astra control. We have some really cool offerings home that came in with the last version generally, which applies to both. We have two versions of this. There’s a service, which is a managed version and an on-premise software, which is as to Control Center. So there are common features which apply to both these. And then there are individual product levels, you know, intraop and and support for additional features that have covered. All right, cool off. So it sounds like, you know, something that we can do to centralized management of our container spaces and in our kubernetes provisioning models, right? So as far as your Control Center goes, there’s a new release. That’s true.

So let’s let’s talk a little bit about what’s in that release in which you know new for us to explore.

Yeah, so if you just look at a stroke control in, in this version, we have three three new features which are which are kind of important issue in terms of how it furthers the application management, right? Let’s start out with the first one being a support for applications which are deployed with operators. We are saying a more. I sneeze use the operator modeling capabilities to, to deploy and manage their applications. And this also extends to Homegrown applications where customers use the build their in-house application, choosing the operator model, right? So, with this release of Astra control, we support applications which are deployed using that operator model, which means that we also back up objects, which are relatively added to the operators. These are it’s in this release. It’s limited to name, says, name space scope operators. We will extend that future to Cluster scoped objects, but to begin with, we are bringing

Support for operator deployed within the namespaces. That’s, that’s a big feature, which applies to both Astra Control Service kind as to control set. So, the two other common features, which took in this same vein. The first one is execution hooks, which basically allows, so I talked a little bit about application consistency, with birth control application consistency, essentially is is providing some level of application interaction. So that you make sure that the backup or protection. That you take is consistent from an application view in some applications. This involves acquiring the database so that, you know, all your rights have been captured in a consistent way in, in some databases. It involves flashing their right logs or things of that nature, right? So there’s an interaction point with applications. So, what we do in this release is provide an infrastructure dead.

For for application, admins or developers to Define their scripts which would do that consistently with their application. So with this, it extends your application consistency wage feature to any application as long as you can provide a script that knows exactly how to acquire sir or provide that consistency point with an application. And and the last one in this in this list of common features is in place revert. So essentially what that is that you have a namespace on an application, that is banished pasture control. If something could go wrong. If, if, if an application is corrupt, right? You can go back in time to a snapshot of the application. You have taken previously within the same namespace. So you’re not really making a copy of it but but restoring faith in place, that’s the in place remote. Again, all three of these are common across the service and Center, which is our self. Is there anything in the release that applies just to Astra Control Center birth?

Or just to Astra Control Service, there are pieces which apply to just the service and the center of the software, which is after Control Center. So when you look at Astra Control Center, we are bringing in support for a native storage for the hyper scalars. So the g k e, we are bringing in support for Google. Persistent tasks, which means now you can run your applications which are using Google PD off, right, pre-existing. And new ones in the same extends to Azure manage desks. If you are running in a gas clusters, you can. Now here I have your applications running as you age disks as a storage backend, right? Coexisting with ANF and CVS in case of ji ke, it also extends the use cases of Mobility between these two storage back home. They could move your applications across, not just the hyper scalars, but even within the hyper scalar on which storage you want your applications running on and and extending or switching birth.

To Astra Control Center. We actually have a a big update to our interoperability. Right? So we are bringing in support for rancher clusters and Upstream kubernetes clusters so long. So now you’re manage cluster. In addition to open shift, which we really introduced in. The first release can. Now be Rancher or Upstream kubernetes, right? And we also have took I’m going back to open shift. We also have a red hat, certified operator. Now natively available in in the that had catalog and the operator Hub. So that that allows you seamless deployment and management, right? And sticking on the roster Control Center. We are also bringing in support for our latest offering in the astral family. So now with the store preview out there, you can have your applications running on yesterday Disturbed, preview and Esther Control Center will provide the application lifecycle management for those applications. Okay dead.

So, you know, this is kind of aimed at more of the application owners themselves, and then storage admins, right? Cuz you want to be able to control these things from a different entry point. I would imagine. So, as to control itself as, as primarily, targeted at application Advance, right? Kubernetes admins were looking at managing their applications providing the backup, migration Services. Um, to the applications or even in some cases, admins, who Farm out namespaces, as services to to application developers, or application admits to manage their own. Individual name is our application, right? So, this with with these features it now allows them flexibility to to extend first of all with operators support what kind of applications you can do or get the the application of our operations, but also extend that consistency, where application admins are the best people to know or developers even write authors.

People to know what is the right way to get that application consistency. Our imagine this ties into the other after pieces such as data store and tried. And so, do these all have hooks into each other, are people using these in collaboration or are they using it as separate entities? That’s that’s a great question, So one of the cool features that set controls service brings home with this release is support for Google, persistence discs, Google pdas are as your manage desks, right? So this is actually extending as to control has taken a operations Beyond Trident. So, in this case, you’re, you’re actually supporting the native csi’s for Google. I sure did manage desks, right? So this demonstrates the architectural of Astra control to go beyond that our storage, right? And NetApp, tried and manage the driver’s. So, so that way, it’s kind of extended p.m.

On Trident, but at the same time also the Astra data store as you said is adding a new storage provider to the Trident driver. So we’re doing both in this case. Right wage is showing this showcasing the capability to extend beyond NetApp provided storage. But at the same time also how we can seamlessly add additional storage providers within the Trident umbrella girl with these new features, you know, I would imagine there’s some new use cases that can be explored for customers for, for the actual Control Center piece. So what sort of things do you expect to see out of the, the uses for these new-age things? So couple of use cases, which opened up with, especially these three features, right? So, in place revert, actually elapsed, as I said, allows you to now go back in time within the same namespace. They are not looking at creating a new space name, space or having to go to a different cluster. So it allows applications a checkpoint and be able to log

Easter back in that checkpoint that’s that’s a big use case where people really don’t want proliferation of namespaces. The second one and operated support is basically dead. It’s it’s just expanding the the footprint of the amount number of applications Astra Control Center, you know applies to in terms of applications which are deployed and managed by operators. Right? But the execution hooks also takes it one level further, right? So it opens up use cases, especially providing application consistency for a homegrown applications or applications, which the application had been understands intrinsically. Well, right? To provide you the scripts of what is what is the right level of consistency. Now again, these are these are only the common features right when we talk about as to Control Service and Astra Control Center. We have additional features that that have come along which which extends wage

Storage back and you could use if it’s the Control Service Plus it has to Control Center. What are the different kubernetes distros that you could that you could manage applications. So, I understand that, you know, this is mainly aimed towards a Cloud solution, right? So, using it within our Cloud, whether it’s CVS or CVO. Can I use this type of things with other on Prem deployments? Or, you know, what are my limitations? And one of the things I can and can’t do no. That’s that’s very good. I like the cloud services are when you’re using this in the cloud, right? So today, we are with the Astra Cloud Control Service. We are available with Google and wage is sure. So so you can obviously your CVS and in F there which are managed Services by NetApp. But like I said, you also extended to use the native storage offerings wage.

Google Persistent Disks, right? So that’s that’s on your Cloud offering but like to your point if you are a non Prem user, we support OpenShift, Rancher and Upstream, Google it is destroyed right now. When you, when you’re talking about those distros, you would need NetApp back end which is basically a trident support storage backend. Right? Right. Now you could use any flavor of ONTAP. Plus. We just recently introduced the extra data stored preview, which is the new storage package. So you could use one of those flavors. We are constantly looking at expanding this portfolio, right? And we will add more NetApp storage backends, into the on Prime offering in addition to ONTAPand data boost, but will also look at expanding the non NetApp portfolio. So if I’m wanting to get this to use, do I have options for testing it first, or do I need to deploy.

Environment like what sort of options are there for me to to understand how it works and then to get it to use it. So we do have pretty plans and free trials for both of these that you can get started with. If you are on a strep Control Service, we do have a free plan that you can go. Sign up. You’d start with Cloud. NetApp. Go to a store control, sign up page. Sign up for the service. A similar sign up page. Would I love you to get get? Hold of a stir Control Center software which you can download and deploy in your involvement in Iran Prime communities clusters. So the free trial will allow you software evaluation licenses for up to 90 days. And you can try that in your own and one and you are there any Dem out there. Do we have any video recordings or you know, other things that we can look at to kind of get an idea of how this stuff works?

Yes, a cloud of NetApp. Com is your Rich resource of, not just demos, but a lot of solution briefs and blogs and gives you a use case deep Dives. So, but yeah, that’s the place you’ll start to be taking, get understanding of how Astra can help your use cases. And you know, what, all you could do with both offerings of Astra and the whole family of birds. All right, here, she thanks for joining us today and telling us all about the new things and Astra Control Center and Astra control in general. If we wanted to find out more information. Where would we do that?

Yeah, pleasure being here. But you, you’ll start with cloud.netapp.com. That’s the, that’s the home for the Astra product, family package. Right? Each. Each product has its own sign up page Astra Control as to Control Service Control Center and data store. And you could get get hold of them. But yeah, you could also reach out to me. Um, appreciate NetApp. If you have any questions, all right, excellent. And again that email address is astra.feedback@netapp.com. So I’m sure people will be reaching out to you. If they have any questions or do they want to learn more about this. And I think that, you know, we’re on a good path to get to getting this more to be more widely adopted across kubernetes deployments. Yes. We are looking forward to that and that’s the best released the bread. We are trying to cover with with our interop and storage offerings. Should should help us get to that.

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