Feature Update April 2023
It’s spring again, and as the weather warms, the birds sing, and the flowers bloom, our thoughts here at Catalogic have turned to… yet another major CloudCasa feature update! Our engineering team has (as they like to frequently point out) exceeded all reasonable expectations once again by delivering a veritable cornucopia of new features.
CloudCasa for Velero
The biggest news in this release is the introduction of CloudCasa for Velero, our new management service for Velero. This allows users of the popular open-source backup tool on Kubernetes to take advantage of CloudCasa’s multi-cluster and multi-cloud management capabilities for their Velero backups without interfering with their existing Velero configurations. Simply install the CloudCasa agent on your Kubernetes clusters running Velero, and CloudCasa will take over management of them without altering your Velero configurations. All of your Velero resources will appear automatically in CloudCasa and be editable there: backups, restores, recovery points, storage locations, and more. You’ll be able to monitor and manage them the same way you would manage normal CloudCasa resources.
A new “CloudCasa for Velero” service plan has been created specifically for Velero users. However, users of any service plan, including the Free service plan, will have access to the new Velero management features.
Unlike traditional CloudCasa service (now referred to as CloudCasa Pro service), CloudCasa for Velero is priced based on average worker node count. Note that this is the average across all managed clusters over the course of a month, excluding control plane nodes on which no pods are scheduled. We provide the ability to manage Velero on clusters with a total of up to 15 worker nodes for free.
For more information see the CloudCasa for Velero datasheet, the CloudCasa for Velero Getting Started Guide, Backup Guide, and Restore Guide, and the CloudCasa pricing page.
New service plan names
We’ve simplified our existing service plans by renaming the CloudCasa Starter, Pro, and Pro+ plans to CloudCasa Pro-1, Pro-5, and Pro-20. For the Pro-5 and Pro-20 plans, the only difference will be the name. The Pro-1 plan will lose a few restrictions so that it is essentially equivalent to the Pro-5 and Pro-20 plans except for the amount of included capacity (1TB vs. 5TB and 20TB).
These changes will not be implemented until after the release.
New backup selection options
When defining a Kubernetes backup, in addition to the existing option to include specific namespaces by choosing “Select namespaces”, you now have the ability to exclude specific namespaces after choosing “Full cluster”. Think of it as being able to say “back up everything but a, b, and c” rather than “back up nothing but x, y, and z”. Each can be better in different situations.
We’ve also added a “Select resource types” option that allows you to back up only specific types of Kubernetes resources. Use care when selecting this option to make sure you are backing up everything you need!
New restore selection options
Similar to the new backup option discussed above, we’ve added the ability to exclude specific namespaces from a restore after choosing “All Protected Namespaces” rather than including specific namespaces by choosing “Select namespaces”. Think of it as being able to say “restore everything but a, b, and c” rather than “restore nothing but x, y, and z”.
New namespace rename option on restore
A new option to rename specific namespaces on restore using a mapping table has been added. Now when you select “Rename namespaces” you are given two choices: “Add prefix/postfix” and “Set new names”. Selecting “Set new names” will allow you to select a namespace from the drop-down and enter a new name for it. Add multiple mappings by clicking “Add new”. Any restored namespaces not added to the table will be restored with their current names.
New backup snapshot timeout option
We’ve added a new CSI snapshot timeout option under the “Advanced options” section in the backup definition wizard. This allows you to change the amount of time the agent will wait for a PV snapshot to become ready before giving up on it. The default is 10 minutes, which should be adequate for most applications. However, PVs using certain storage systems such as Longhorn may require it to be increased.
New cluster backup wizard - The Kubernetes Backup wizard has been replaced with a multi-step wizard with a left-hand navigation bar similar to the Kubernetes Restore wizard.
Dashboard update - Velero statistics have been added to the dashboard. They will only appear if one or more Velero clusters are configured in your organization.
Recovery points can now be sorted by expiration date.
Backups definitions can now be sorted by last run date.
Action buttons - The action buttons on many table items in the UI have been consolidated behind a single “Actions” button which you must mouse-over to see available actions. This helps save some screen real estate so that we can add more actions.
User settings including guided tour preferences are now stored in the service rather than in a cookie. This will keep Captain Cat from popping up unexpectedly when you delete cookies or switch to a different browser.
CC for Velero - Numerous UI changes were made to support the new CloudCasa for Velero service, mainly concentrated in the Add Cluster, Backup, Restore, and Add Cluster wizards, and in the Configuration/Storage page.
New look for login and sign-up pages
Since the February release we’ve updated the look of all of our login and sign-up related pages, including pages related to email address confirmation, password change, and 2FA. We hope you like the new look!
We’ve conducted a significant overhaul of our on-line documentation, which continues to be available as context-sensitive help within CloudCasa or externally at https://docs.cloudcasa.io/. Among other changes, we’ve re-organized the pages, added a “Quick Guides” section to better document common procedures, moved our Knowledge Base articles to a new KB section, and added “Reference” and “Release Notes” sections.
GCP Deployment Template update
Our Deployment Template used for GCP accounts has been updated in this release in order to support GKE cluster creation from Velero recovery points. You’ll need to apply the new version to any previously configured GCP cloud accounts in order to take advantage of these features. You can see which accounts need to be updated by going to the Configuration/Cloud Accounts page. Accounts needing updates will be flagged with an attention icon. Just click on the icon to begin the process.
Kubernetes agent updates
In this update we’ve again made several changes to our Kubernetes agent to add features, improve performance, and fix bugs. However, manual updates shouldn’t normally be necessary anymore because of the automatic agent update feature. If you have automatic updates disabled for any of your agents, you should update them manually as soon as possible.
With some browsers you may need to restart, hit Control-F5, and/or clear the cache to make sure you have the latest version of the CloudCasa web app when first logging in after the update.
As always, we want to hear your feedback on new features! You can contact us via the user forum, using the support chat feature, or by sending email to firstname.lastname@example.org.