Kubernetes has become a mainstream technology. The container orchestration platform is now too big to be ignored and has become a popular choice for building new cloud-native apps, modernizing legacy workloads and scaling existing ones faster.
Amid the pandemic, the accelerated adoption of the cloud to facilitate remote work has ushered in many new technologies and promoted Kubernetes or K8s growth. Kubernetes is also among the fastest-growing digital skills in the US and according to the State of Cloud Native Development Report, 5.6 million developers are using it today.
According to Alan Flower, Executive Vice President at HCLTech: “Kubernetes and other opensource projects from communities such as the CNCF, are exposing organizations to an incomparable accelerated source of innovation. Adoption of Kubernetes-based platforms brings assurance of rapid enhancement and easy access to security fixes and growing resilience.”
Factors driving the adoption of Kubernetes
- The reality of a hybrid, multi-cloud modernization journey
The global cloud market is expected to grow to $623 billion by 2023, while the application container market is stated to grow to $4.98 billion in 2023. The number one factor driving the high adoption of Kubernetes is its flexibility with different cloud providers, satisfying the demand for hybrid and multi-cloud. Kubernetes and its containers allow organizations to work on a multi-cloud platform, which allows them to run applications in a combination of cloud platforms (public and private clouds). As a result, workloads are balanced across two or more cloud platforms, which is an enormous advantage.
- Increasing demand for genuine transformation and continuous modernization
Just lifting and shifting workloads to the cloud will not bring any transformational benefits. Clients expect tangible advantages, and this requires organizations to modernize or re-platform applications to container-based platforms. Kubernetes enables this and allows accelerated migration of containerized applications from on-premise infrastructure to hybrid deployments across any cloud infrastructure through modernization, re-platforming and refactoring.
- Run-time efficiencies and lower costs
Kubernetes is a fully opensource platform and this ensures continuous innovation and improvement, which protects any investment in the platform. This means there is no technology lock-in that might soon become redundant. K8 also enables portability among all the leading public cloud providers, including AWS, Google Cloud and Microsoft Azure. Additionally, existing apps run with lower resource costs compared to traditional VM-based platforms.
- A standards-based approach to enabling rapid routes to market
Kubernetes significantly increase the agility and efficiency of the software development cycle, by enabling organizations to reduce the time to market and mitigating the perils associated with putting new software into production due to the adoption of practices like DevSecOps. Teams love Kubernetes because it helps boost productivity, reduce costs and risks and moves organizations closer to achieving their hybrid cloud goals.
The trend driving Kubernetes’ future
- Preference for cloud-native applications
Kubernetes is the perfect match for a hybrid or multi-cloud IT infrastructure. Its adoption provides organizations with the flexibility to deploy applications in any underlying infrastructure. This makes Kubernetes an excellent choice that strengthens enterprises’ multi-cloud or hybrid-cloud strategies and is the reason why companies are preferring to run their apps on this platform.
Flower explains: “It is easy to believe that simply moving application workloads to Kubernetes will bring untold benefits. Kubernetes is powerful, but it really takes off when paired with cloud-native applications that offer inherent architectural benefits that align with the underlying cluster and containerization support within Kubernetes.”
The State of Kubernetes 2022 states 59% of respondents improved cloud utilization and 46% picked reducing the cost of the cloud as an important factor in adoption, because it’s easy to repackage application workloads into containers and run them within a Kubernetes-based platform rather than old virtual machines.
Flower says: “This is the core trend shaping the future of Kubernetes’ future. Virtual machine-based workloads are expensive in licensing costs, but primarily they are an inefficient method of packaging applications. Rather than lift-and-shifting workloads to the cloud (rehosting) clients prefer to containerize those workloads and re-platform them to run as-is on a Kubernetes-based platform.”
The pandemic caused many companies to increase the cloud use to bring digital services closer to customers and employees—causing cloud expenditures to rise. Kubernetes increases infrastructure efficiency and helps control spiraling costs. It is the perfect destination for clients who wish to re-platform workloads. Rather than run on inefficient virtual machines, Kubernetes uses containers as its fine-grained deployment component.
- Adoption of SRE Practice
Advanced approaches like Site Reliability Engineering (SRE) are gaining traction for managing application performance and stability, while responding to evolving business needs. SRE applies aspects of software engineering principles and practices to IT operations to create ultra-scalable and highly reliable software systems. In 2023, organizations will either focus more on building a centralized SRE team or distribute SRE capabilities across all the existing IT capabilities to develop and standardize best practices around how to spread knowledge internally and leverage service-level objectives (SLOs), which are a new approach to defining the availability of services, distinctly different from the legacy (traditional) SLA-based approach, to govern how services are managed.
“Getting Cloud Native applications hosted on a Kubernetes-based platform brings obvious architectural and run-time benefits to your applications. But that alone won’t bring the transformation you probably expect. It is only when you adopt Cloud Native Operations that you see the end-to-end results. This is driving the incredible adoption of SRE (Site Reliability Engineering), which introduces practices that up-end traditional thinking around Availability,” continues Flower.
He adds: “The introduction of a software engineering mindset within operations teams bring a new focus to proactive automation and a move away from traditional reactive firefighting and ticket-based IT.”
- Opensource-based software platforms
Business use of opensource software is soaring as software developers and data analysts rely heavily on the opensource community. This preference for opensource software stems from the ease of software selection and screening process, which allows the rapid roll-out and adoption of innovative applications. When it comes to technological challenges, software developers turn to opensource software like Kubernetes so it’s imperative to have a strategy that governs its use in an organization.
Being a CNCF (Cloud Native Computing Foundation) platinum member, HCLTech is contributing heavily and working towards a more comprehensive integration of opensource technologies and Kubernetes to participate in the future success of the project.
Flower adds: “HCL Cloud Native Labs supports enterprises in both building new and modernizing existing infrastructure and applications. This platinum membership enables HCL Cloud Native Labs to ensure the latest CNCF developments are rapidly made available to global clients.”