Azure Arc-enabled Data Services is a cornerstone component of Microsoft’s hybrid and multicloud strategy that brings Azure database-as-a-service to Kubernetes on any cloud or infrastructure. Azure Arc enabled data services helps simplify hybrid and multicloud deployments while bringing the convenience of end-to-end Azure management and security to any infrastructure. 

Pure is now a certified Azure Arc partner. This means you can use Azure Arc to break through the complexity of hybrid and multicloud deployments. Azure Arc enabled data services powered by Portworx helps unify data services for more secure, simplified container workload management for on-premises, multicloud, and edge environments. 

Flexera’s 2021 State of the Cloud Report demonstrates the growing traction behind hybrid and
multicloud strategy and adoption.

Azure Arc-Enabled Data Services 

Azure Arc-enabled data services offer managed SQL Server instances and Postgres Hyperscale as the initial supported database platforms.

Figure 1: The Azure Arc enabled Data Services Technology stack

The data-services controllers extend Azure as a control plane to wherever you’d like to run managed SQL Server instances or Postgres Hyperscale. 

Storage is the critical foundation of the technology stack for Azure Arc-enabled data services. To complement that and ensure a full suite of enterprise tools for backup and disaster recovery, the next level of the stack leverages Portworx® and Pure Storage® all-flash storage. 

Both Pure and Portworx are earning accolades from analysts and customers. Gartner  named Pure a Leader in the Magic Quadrant for Primary Storage Arrays. GigaOm named Portworx a leader for Kubernetes data protection and Data Storage.

Portworx Powers Azure Arc-Enabled Data Services

The Portworx Enterprise Data Service Platform for Kubernetes is built from the ground up to solve the business requirements necessary to run data-rich applications on Kubernetes in production. Portworx provides customers with a fully integrated software-defined solution for persistent storage, data protection, disaster recovery, data security, cross-cloud and data migrations, and automated capacity management for applications running across any infrastructure, any cloud, and any Kubernetes distribution.

Figure 2: Components of the Portworx data-services platform.

At the foundation of Portworx Enterprise is PX-Store. PX-Store provides the reliability, performance, and data protection you expect from an enterprise storage company, but delivered as a container. PX-Store “virtualizes” your existing underlying hardware, even a NAS or SAN, and turns it into a cluster-wide storage pool for all your Azure Arc-enabled containerized applications. This makes it easy for storage to be allocated across different nodes and applications on demand, a key component of a successful DBaaS implementation.

In addition, PX-Store provides a number of additional benefits that support an Azure Arc-enabled DBaaS platform. These include, but no are not limited to:

  • Supports tens of thousands of persistent volumes per Kubernetes cluster
  • Provides fully automated persistent volume provisioning
  • Delivers a 100% storage-as-a-service experience via cloud drives
  • Provides effortless data management at scale of persistent volume sizes via PX-Autopilot
  • Offers a single-pane-of-glass solution for viewing persistent volume telemetry via Pure’s Pure1® portal, coming in Portworx Enterprise 2.8 in July 

For Azure database-as-a-service that can run on virtually any Kubernetes cluster anywhere, you need a Kubernetes storage solution that can run on any Kubernetes cluster anywhere, and Portworx is the best solution.

Enterprise-grade Performance

Azure Arc-enabled data services also require  great performance. Fortunately, Portworx delivers this in a variety of ways, including: 

  • Performance-Based Volume Pooling: PX-Store profiles available block storage from a performance perspective and allocates each device to one of three pools: low, medium, or high performance. Applications can select storage from a pool based on performance at the Kubernetes storage-class level.
  • Storage-Aware Scheduling: Minimizes storage-access latency by using a storage-aware scheduler to co-locate pods with persistent volumes and their replicas on the same worker nodes.
  • Automatic IO Path Tuning: Portworx provides different IO profiles to optimize storage based on the IO traffic pattern.  By default, Portworx automatically applies an IO profile that is most appropriate for the data patterns it sees. It does this by continuously analyzing the IO pattern of traffic in the background.
  • Metadata Caching: Is configurable with high-performance “journal” devices to accelerate metadata access to improve application performance

Comprehensive Disaster Recovery and High Availability

Building an enterprise-grade Kubernetes platform entails more than simply deploying applications, you also need to ensure the availability and security of your application.  But traditional solutions aren’t a fit for Kubernetes applications because they rely on machine-based backups and don’t speak the language of Kubernetes. The result is a manual approach to disaster recovery, when you actually need automation.

As more mission-critical workloads move to container environments, Kubernetes alone is insufficient to address these concerns. Companies need to invest in a purpose-built platform, like Portworx, designed from the ground up to manage and protect critical Azure Arc-enabled data.

Portworx offers a comprehensive set of performance and security features (backup, restore, disaster recovery, etc.) that have been designed and optimized to secure and protect critical Azure Arc-enabled data services including the data services controller, managed SQL Server instances, and Postgres Hyperscale. Together this set of performance and security features provides purpose-built DR and HA capabilities to support Azure Arc-enabled applications:

  • Portworx prevents unauthorized data access by extending built-in security policies with role-based access control (RBAC protocols) and bring-your-own-key (BYOK) encryption at both the container and volume level 
  • Portworx provides a single, application-aware data service layer that spans availability zones. Administrators can quickly and easily run and replicate databases across Kubernetes clusters spanning AZs to ensure high availability 
  • Portworx Zero RPO failover across data centers in metropolitan areas in addition to HA within a single data center.  Deploy applications between clouds in the same region and ensure application survivability

Figure 3: Disaster Recovery and High Availability

Backup and Restore

PX-Backup enables backup and restore of Kubernetes applications at levels of granularity ranging from the Kubernetes namespace down to the object level. It supports all popular cloud object stores, including AWS S3 and Azure blob storage, as backup targets along with NFS. Pure also provides a high-performance S3 appliance in the form of Pure FlashBlade® to support applications with the most exacting backup and restore demands.

Figure 5: Backup and Restore

Summary

Whether your organization is 100% invested in using the public cloud or wants to build out its own infrastructure to host Azure Arc-enabled data services, Pure’s best in class all-flash storage and Portworx offerings can help your organization with this journey.

Want to speed up the process? Pure Professional Services can help make your journey smoother.