Kasten vs Velero: Comparing Kubernetes Backup Tools

Written By

Anthony Neto


A Microservices-based design divides an application into multiple parts. For seamless, error-free deployment, each component is contained in a separate container creating a container cluster for the entire application. Containerization services such as Docker encapsulate an application inside an image file. This image file contains;

  • Deployment scripts for setting up environments
  • Configuration files
  • Binaries
  • Operating System requirements

Essentially, containers automate the deployment procedure and ensure that applications run in the same manner everywhere.

A lot of modern applications utilize container clusters to function. These multiple containers can be challenging to handle since each has a unique set of configurations and protocols to work correctly. To solve this, many organizations deploy Kubernetes, a container orchestration service that handles multiple containers' deployment, management, and scaling. 

Apart from management, these applications need a secure backup for disaster recovery purposes in case of accidental loss. However, Kubernetes does not provide data backup natively. Consequently, developers have to shift to backup tools such as Kasten (K10) and Velero for Kubernetes backup and restore.

In this article, we will compare Kasten vs Velero to help you understand which one is a better fit for your requirements.

Table of Contents

What Is Kubernetes?

Initially developed by Google, Kubernetes is a container orchestration service used for managing multiple containers within a container cluster. This involves monitoring each container to check for any errors or unusual execution. It also manages which service is to be executed and when. Additionally, it facilitates;

  • communication between multiple containers, 
  • Storage allocation 
  • Scaling the containers as per the requirements

While Kubernetes automates the container management process, data and application recovery remain a problem since the loss of data, code, or even entire applications are common problems. Nonetheless, good development practices suggest that organizations should be prepared for them. 

This is where specialized Kubernetes backup tools such as Kasten (K10) by Veeam and Velero by VMWare come in handy. Both Kasten and Velero are purposely built for Kubernetes, offering data backup, disaster recovery, and restoration.

Kasten vs Velero: Comparing Kubernetes Backup Tools

Kasten and Velero are undoubtedly among the top choices regarding backing up Kubernetes clusters. So, what makes them stand out among other Kubernetes backup tools? Let's explore each one in detail. 

What is Kasten (K10)?

Kasten provides enterprise operations teams with an easy-to-use, scalable, and secure system for backup/restore, disaster recovery, and mobility of Kubernetes applications. Kasten’s application migration utility is very handy while moving an application across namespaces, clusters, accounts, regions, and Clouds. 

It not only allows you to configure automated workflows for migrations, but also encrypts data during transit, allows seamless data conversions between different infrastructure formats, and provides cost optimization during mobility.

In 2012, Veeam, a leading solution provider for data backup, recovery, and management, bought Kasten and has been responsible for its development and maintenance ever since.

How does Kasten Work? 

Kasten allows easy integration with relational and NoSQL databases, as well as, all Kubernetes distributions. It can be deployed on almost any cloud platform as an on-premise service or can also be used as a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) tool. Kastens V5.0, the latest version, brings additional security features, including platform hardening and ransomware attack detection.

It is important to highlight that Kasten comes in two packages; an enterprise edition and a free version. Both these versions offer similar functionalities such as; 

  • Multiple deployment options (cloud and on-premises)
  • Ransomware protection
  • Enterprise security

However, as with any software product, the free version comes with a few strings attached, including support for limited cluster nodes (up to five) and a lack of customer support. In contrast, the enterprise edition offers a subscription-based service packed with additional features such as Kasten-assisted deployment and 24/7 customer support.

Interested in learning how to install Kasten to back up your Kubernetes clusters? Check out our complete guide

What is Velero?

Velero is an open-source Kubernetes backup/restore tool maintained by VMWare that offers services such as complete application backups, disaster recovery, and Kubernetes migration. It can be deployed as an on-premise service or on a public Cloud. 

How does Velero Work? 

Velero gives you a snapshot of the state of an application before any significant update. This allows easy rollback in case of crashing, unlike other tools which directly access the Kubernetes etcd database to perform backups and restores. Furthermore, Velero uses the Kubernetes API to extract and save cluster state, which you can then restore via a few commands.

Despite being an open-source tool, it is important to highlight that Velero gives you amazing backup functionality such as the use of the Kubernetes API discovery capabilities, which enables you to back aggregated API servers without having to access etcd. Additionally, Velero also allows you to select specific resources to back up and restore only a subset of the backup.

Velero backups can be executed in two ways:

  • On-demand Backup:  Takes a snapshot of the Kubernetes cluster whenever required.
  • Scheduled Backup: A scheduled recurring job that backs up the application.

A community of over 200 contributors maintains Velero, and the project has over 6000 stars on Github.

Kasten v Velero: 4 Key Differences

The table below summarises some of the key differences between Kasten and Velero:

Kasten Velero
Enterprise version comes with a price tag and 24/7 dedicated support. An open-source project meaning it is free for everyone to use although support is not user-centric because it depends on the availability of contributors.
The free version limits users to deploying a maximum of 5 nodes and does not provide customer support. No limitations on usage whatsoever and it comes with a dedicated slack channel and a forum for community support.
Offers a clean GUI with an overview dashboard for managers. Dashboards are not natively included but can be created via external integrations such as Tanzu observability and Prometheus+ Grafana.
The setup procedure is very clean and simple. Setup requires a lot of configuration and may also require you to train developers to properly use the product.

On paper, both of these tools seem the perfect fit for any use case, but there are certainly subtle differences that might make all the difference for you. 

On the one hand, Kasten is a professional enterprise-grade product backed up by Veeam, a leader in backup, recovery, and data management solutions. In contrast, Velero is an open-source, community-maintained project. However, community-maintained projects always have certain shortcomings such as little to no customer support. The lack of guaranteed support also means that Velero will require additional maintenance to keep it up and running. 

Another key point to note is that Kasten has a much more solid foundation with Veeam, and users can expect continued application updates and stability in the future.  But, does this make Kasten the winner? Not necessarily. 

Kasten is more product-oriented but comes with a price tag. The free version of the service limits users to work with a maximum of 5 nodes and is not suitable for deployed applications. For this reason, it is necessary to subscribe to the enterprise version for practical use, which might not be feasible for you. On the other hand, the open-source nature of Velero might be more suitable despite its limited functionality.

Consequently, your choice between Kasten vs Velero will come down to your practical needs, and which one best addresses them. 


Backup and recovery for Kubernetes is focused on the backup of the entire application from the local Kubernetes cluster to somewhere offsite. Hopefully, this article gives you a better understanding of the top 2 Kubernetes backup tools and why it is so different from traditional disaster recovery or backup and restorer solutions in the ecosystem today. 

Plainly stated, applications are built differently in today’s Cloud-native architectures, and this demands a new set of solutions that are able to understand the needs of the application to truly protect it and enable users to quickly recover from various levels of failure.

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