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VMblog Expert Interview: Kasten Talks Enterprise Data Management, Cloud-Native Technologies and Kubernetes

 

VMblog recently caught up with Gaurav Rishi who is Head of Product at Kasten, a cloud-native data management company that raised a $14M Series A round led by Insight Partners.  We talked to find out more about their cloud native approach to enterprise data management and learn more about what's happening in the Kubernetes ecosystem.

VMblog:  Who is Kasten, and what is your focus?

Gaurav Rishi:  Kasten, focused on the cloud-native ecosystem, is tackling Day 2 data management challenges to help enterprises confidently run stateful applications on Kubernetes. K10, Kasten's data management product, uses a unique application-centric approach to help operations teams with their backup/recovery, disaster recovery, and cross-cluster and cross-cloud mobility requirements.

Founded in 2017 and headquartered in the Bay Area with offices in Salt Lake City, Kasten has raised over $17M and is funded by Insight Partners and a number of leading angel investors in Silicon Valley.

VMblog:  Why are cloud-native technologies top of mind these days?

Rishi:  We are witnessing a transformational change in the way enterprises are adopting cloud-native technologies such as Kubernetes. The primary advantages of the cloud-native ecosystem include not just huge productivity and cost advantages but also application portability in this world of hybrid and multi clouds. As a result communities such as the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) have grown to over 400 members and analysts such as IDC and Morgan Stanley are tracking that spend on this new cloud-native stack will overtake the existing $100B annual spend on the "old stack."

VMblog:  How does enterprise data management fit into this growing cloud-native shift?

Rishi:  Enterprise Data Management are critical Day 2 services that include backup/recovery, application mobility, and disaster recovery. These have always been a core requirement for business continuity where benefits include protection from accidental or malicious data loss as well as regulatory compliance. However, existing solutions built for the old stack don't fit the cloud-native architectural constructs due to fundamental changes in the underlying assumptions including technology shifts such as container immutability and new orchestration patterns as well as operational changes such as DevOps, CI/CD, and the scale found in multi and hybrid cloud application footprints.

This is where Kasten comes in with our enterprise-focused offering of K10, a data management solution that is built for the operations team to manage these cloud-native applications. K10 is natively built for the Kubernetes ecosystem and uses the core principle of separation of concerns. This approach allows the cloud operations / IT teams to seamlessly manage and protect their data using K10 without requiring any changes to the underlying cloud-native applications. At the same time K10 also allows for extensibility that developers can optionally exercise for application-specific blueprints or workflows.

VMblog:  How is Kasten's enterprise data management solution different from others?

Rishi:  As stateful Kubernetes applications move into production we see a growing number of customers looking for solutions to support enterprise data functions. Some of the key reasons Kasten has been successful is due to our company's DNA that has deep technical roots in data management and cloud native technologies, coupled with a laser focus on creating the best cloud-native data management product suitable for enterprises.

In terms of the architecture, we have a unique application-centric approach that treats the application as the unit of atomicity. The applications in the cloud-native world use multiple databases - that are referred to as polyglot persistence and are instantiated across multiple clusters/regions or clouds across various storage vendors and Kubernetes distributions. So Kasten's application-centric approach maintains the simplicity and portability that IT and Operations team need while operating in this complex environment. It is also important to mention that, given our native Kubernetes API integration, we can do this without adding another storage abstraction or software-defined storage (SDS) layer - imperfect solutions that add management and operational overheads.

Additionally, K10 not only abstracts the underlying storage and Kubernetes infrastructure to maintain portability, it is also integrated with popular relational and NoSQL databases including MongoDB, MySQL, Cassandra, and PostgreSQL. This gives the operations teams the capabilities to create policy-based automations that address not just frequency of actions but are intelligent about achieving appropriate consistency levels across their applications at scale. A simple user interface along with a Kubernetes-integrated CLI, integrated observability and monitoring, and support for enterprise authentication and authorization schemes such as OIDC and RBAC allows for frictionless operations.

In summary, Kasten's strengths are built on the pillars of simplicity, flexibility, and a rich set of capabilities that allows the cloud operations and IT teams to have a better night's sleep.

VMblog:  Finally, what else would you like VMblog readers to know?

Rishi:  Kasten is in a space that is very exciting and growing very quickly. We too as a company are growing - not just in our headquarters in Los Altos but also with a new R&D center that has opened in Salt Lake City.  Our customers and partners are global and are as excited to work with us as we are since Kasten addresses a here and now problem with a novel approach. So, if your readers are looking for their next big opportunity, I would encourage them to check out our website at kasten.io  

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About Gaurav Rishi

Gaurav Rishi is Head of Product at Kasten. He previous led strategy and product management for Cisco's cloud video business unit where in addition to launching multiple products and growing them to >$100M in revenues, he also was instrumental in several M&A transactions. An engineer at heart, Gaurav is on the advisory board of several startups, a computer science graduate and has an MBA from the Wharton School.

Published Monday, August 19, 2019 7:34 AM by David Marshall
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