Top Trends in Kubernetes for 2024
November 30, 2023

Ops teams are increasingly struggling as their Kubernetes environments grow more complex, according to The New Frontiers of Kubernetes: 2023 State of Production Kubernetes, from Spectro Cloud, based on a survey conducted by Dimensional Research.

The following are findings from the report:

Ops teams are increasingly struggling as their Kubernetes environments grow more complex

■ 56% of businesses have more than 10 Kubernetes clusters, and 69% run Kubernetes in multiple clouds or other environments — with 80% expecting their scale to grow.

■ 75% say they suffer issues affecting the running of their clusters, up from 66% in 2022. 40% say they lack the skills and headcount to manage Kubernetes.

■ Respondents say they spend "too much" time on manual tasks like troubleshooting and patching, driving interest in automation as the #1 way to improve operations.

More needs to be done to support application developers

■ Despite the growth in the concept of platform engineering, 82% say their operations teams still struggle to give developers access to tailored clusters, and 37% say they suffer inconsistencies between dev, staging and production environments.

■ While 92% agree that devs should not be managing infrastructure, one in three say that developers today are building their own clusters to deploy applications.

■ 62% are actively using or piloting tools designed to help app developers work with Kubernetes.

Application modernization is a pressing issue for cloud-native organizations

■ While interviewees unanimously told us they were "container first", all agreed that virtual machines (VMs) are here to stay in their businesses.

■ 85% said they were migrating existing VM workloads to Kubernetes, and 86% want to unify containerized and VM workloads on a single infrastructure platform.

Edge computing is strategic and gaining momentum

■ 49% are actively piloting or using Kubernetes in edge computing environments. One in five expect "strong" growth in the coming year.

■ Interviewees cited AI as a key driver for edge adoption, with investment in edge expected to improve business processes (50%) and enable new connected solutions (41%).

■ Significant challenges face those using edge, particularly security and compliance, field engineering costs and concerns about performing day-2 operations tasks.

"Kubernetes is here to stay, but as the scale of adoption grows, ops teams soon find themselves challenged struggling to support their internal customers while pursuing application modernization strategies and embracing the new opportunities of K8s at the edge," says Dave Cope, CRO at Spectro Cloud. "As the Kubernetes landscape evolves and enterprises push ahead into new frontiers, they are finding their legacy tools are no longer fit for purpose. A new generation of challenges demands a new generation of solutions."

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