What is NetApp Astra?

Now that I am settled in my new role, I wanted to briefly touch on the Astra family of products and introduce what they are and what they do. This will allow me to set the scene a little as I move forward into some of the individual components of modern application stacks and deployments. This will also help to act as a primer before any individual product deep dives. So, let’s look at the Astra family!

NetApp Astra Family Overview

Astra Trident

Astra Trident is the oldest member of the family, and with roots in the NetApp Docker Volume Plugin you can see the lineage that NetApp have in providing Persistent Volumes for containers. To quote the official description:

Astra Trident is a Container Storage Interface (CSI) compliant dynamic storage orchestrator that enables consumption and management of storage resources across all popular NetApp storage platforms. It natively integrates with Kubernetes to dynamically provision persistent volume requests on demand. Additionally, there is also a REST interface that can be used by any application to create and manage storage across the configured resources.


Great, but what does that mean to me? Applications need data, even modern cloud native applications. That data needs to be stored somewhere and the application will expect that the data is available in the same location if it restarts, even on a different host. Trident provisions persistent volumes on shared storage and presents them to containers so that applications can access and store data in a consistent location. By using profiles known as storage classes you can predetermine the level of performance and availability/protection that each class will get, allowing application deployments to simply select the required characteristics of the storage they need as a part of the overall application deployment manifest, Trident handles the rest.

Astra Control

Astra Control is a newer member of the family, but NetApp have decades of experience when it comes to application integration, I’m sure many will be familiar with names like SnapManager and SnapCenter. Here’s the official overview: 

Astra Control is an application-aware data management solution that manages, protects, and moves data-rich Kubernetes workloads in both public clouds and on-premises. Astra Control enables data protection, disaster recovery, and migration for your Kubernetes workloads leveraging NetApp’s industry-leading data management technology for snapshots, backups, replication, and cloning.


Let’s break that down, Astra Control provides the features and capabilities that businesses have come to expect as table stakes over the years when it comes to application data management, just now for your cloud native applications. All the same workflows that we have used on-premises with traditional applications like Exchange, SQL, and Virtual Machines are now available for Kubernetes based applications in the cloud or on-premises.

Astra Control comes in two flavours, a fully managed service for your cloud based managed-Kubernetes deployments in Astra Control Service, and as self-managed software option for private/hybrid cloud Kubernetes deployments in Astra Control Center. Licensing is flexible and comes in several options, including a free tier of Astra Control Service. Allowing you to get to grips with the product and try it out with up to 10 managed applications.

Astra Control Overview

Astra Data Store

Astra Data Store is the newest and to me the most exciting member of the family, this product brings together all the expertise of NetApp into one place, decades of storage experience, application data management, and cloud scale deployment.

Astra Data Store is a Kubernetes-native shared file service for container and VM workloads, delivering end-to-end Kubernetes-native data management and storage.

Astra Data Store Overview

Erm ok? What this means is you can now deploy your storage services natively inside your Kubernetes clusters, providing application adjacent persistent storage with all the resiliency and protection features you would expect from a storage appliance, using industry standard protocols. Combining this with Trident and Control you’ve got an end-to-end Kubernetes native application data management stack.

Astra Data Store is currently in open access preview and will reach general availability later this year. This is a journey I’ll be following closely and as we get closer to release, we will look in more depth, including use cases and deployment options. For now, what I will say is, this is an exciting prospect for Kubernetes at the Edge, being able to effectively create a hyperconverged deployment of applications and storage within the Kubernetes cluster opens possibilities that the constraints of the Edge will appreciate.

Perhaps we can build something here in the home lab and do some great demos!

In Closing

The NetApp Astra portfolio enables a full suite of data management capabilities to the modern application developer and infrastructure professional. Taking care of providing the protection, mobility, and peace of mind that your business expects. Allowing you to focus on what is important for your business and your customers.

If you would like to learn more, please follow the links below or feel free to reach out to me on social media, I am happy to facilitate a demo or trial. Alternatively head on over to the NetApp Discord and ask one of the many experts you’ll find there.

Over the next few blogs, we will look at the individual components of modern applications, starting with a look at containers and what they are.

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I am a seasoned IT professional with over 20 years experience. Currently focusing on Kubernetes and Cloud-Native technologies. My aim is to help others along the journey I have taken and continue to travel. Going from traditional infrastructure to modern cloud application deployment, and whatever the next big changes might be!