Kubernetes is "Vital" but Challenging
January 26, 2022

Tenry Fu
Spectro Cloud

Kubernetes is surrounded by a larger ecosystem of more than 1,600 adjacent projects and solutions that aim to add value to core container orchestrator software, from Operating System (OS) capabilities, networking and storage interfaces, to security, monitoring tools and others.

Due to the diverse nature of Kubernetes and its complexity by design, approaches to implementation and management vary, from tailored-made DIY projects that can add to the overall cost and operational burden, to over-opinionated and rigid, vendor and location-specific solutions. Seven years after its inception, Kubernetes is a technology set still maturing.

Spectro Cloud has published results from their first annual Kubernetes adoption survey, conducted by Dimensional Research, to provide both businesses and the broader ecosystem with a real-world reference point of best practices as it relates to Kubernetes deployment and management. The report was based on data collected from 165 senior IT professionals across various industries. Here's what was uncovered.

Finding 1: Facing Challenges with Kubernetes

The overwhelming majority (98%) of IT executives report that they face challenges with Kubernetes and coordinating the related ecosystem of integrations. Kubernetes still has tremendous untapped potential to offer to the market, especially as it becomes more accessible to the masses and is coordinated more efficiently across different environments.

77% of IT executives surveyed state they have been using Kubernetes for more than 2 years, while only 40% report having Kubernetes-based applications in production for at least two years. This contradiction is interesting, indicating an explosion of production environments waiting to be deployed, especially as the relevant tools and management solutions evolve.

Finding 2: Running Kubernetes across diverse environments

There has been a substantial growth in the diversification of target environments; from private data centers and bare metal environments, to public clouds including managed Kubernetes offerings, to edge deployments. The freedom of choosing where to deploy and manage workloads has further accelerated diversification of Kubernetes environments.

With that being said, it is no surprise that 77% of IT executives surveyed stated that it was "vital" to be able to run Kubernetes across these diverse environments, however acknowledging that it can make management much harder. This explains why 98% of the respondents that reported challenges with Kubernetes stated that their top concerns with Kubernetes are multi-cluster, multi-environment, multi-distribution coordination, linking services and maintaining security updates. This again drives home the importance for IT executives to conduct deeper exploration into best practices for Kubernetes management as no current standards exist here and the proliferation of Kubernete clusters is expected to grow dramatically in the coming years.

Finding 3: Having Flexibility and Usability

Perhaps the most pertinent datapoint that summarizes where we are today with Kubernetes is the fact that "66% of respondents do not believe you can have both flexibility and usability." This might be also reflected by what IT teams are looking for (visibility, availability, governance and access controls), and what DevOps teams expect (optionality to run apps anywhere, fast customization, and support of versatile application-specific stacks).

For Kubernetes to truly reach its full potential, we need to find a modern way to think about Kubernetes management, where developers and IT teams both get what they are looking for. The industry as a whole has not yet cracked the code on the "perfect way" of deploying and managing Kubernetes.

Tenry Fu is Co-Founder and CEO of Spectro Cloud
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