About 18 months ago at KubeCon + CloudNativeCon North America in Seattle, WA Kubernetes was declared “boring”. This meant that the Kubernetes project was graduating from a phase of rapid feature innovation to maturity, signifying that it was ready for enterprise adoption. Earlier today, KubeCon Europe kicked off online and the technology community is gathering again to learn about the latest developments in open source cloud-native technologies, including developments of the Kubernetes project. So the question this week is, “Has Kubernetes proven itself to be enterprise ready?”
There is no doubt that enterprises are rapidly adopting Kubernetes. A survey by the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) in March of this year showed that 78% of respondents are using Kubernetes in production. But the true test of enterprise maturity is the scale of adoption, and that’s where many enterprises are still struggling today. Moving from the first project or team using Kubernetes to broad adoption of Kubernetes across an entire company is a big leap – but it doesn’t have to be. The challenge for many organizations is that Kubernetes—and the ecosystem around it—needs to become even more boring.
Building the PC of Kubernetes
In the earliest days of computers, hobbyists would purchase kits and buy peripherals and construct custom computers for personal use. Today, there are still many gamers and enthusiasts who build their PCs from parts, but the majority of computers and laptops are prepackaged to include all the necessary peripherals. The industry has also standardized interfaces so that users can still pick and choose the monitor, keyboard and mouse they want to use.
Although it is a software solution, Kubernetes is in a similar position as computers in the 1970s. While there are many working with Kubernetes successfully, it hasn’t yet become a “household” tool. That’s because Kubernetes is part of a system that must include storage, networking, and other peripheral tools for monitoring and access controls. Kubernetes hobbyists who have the skills are building this system today piece by piece. It’s an exciting challenge and often how enterprises have gotten to where they are. However, Kubernetes talent is still in short supply overall so organizations cannot rely only on specialized talent. Many enterprises today need a system that can be simply turned on with all necessary components, including CNI and CSI plugins, monitoring tools, management dashboards and lifecycle management tools.
Kubernetes management platforms like Diamanti Spektra and cloud-based Kubernetes services are designed to make it easier for enterprises to get up and running with Kubernetes. But there are differences in approach out there.
Real Enterprise Scale, Stability and Performance
As Kubernetes expands beyond just a handful of projects or clusters and as more mission critical applications move into production with Kubernetes, the challenges that enterprises face begin to change. Enterprises need to consider five key long-term requirements that will face them in the future:
- Multi-cluster scale – Can the solution manage multiple clusters? Can they expand across on-premises and cloud-based environments?
- Ease of deployment and flexibility – How easy is it to grow and expand the environment? Will other developer tools and CI/CD systems “just work” when connected?
- Ease of management – Does the solution require more resources as the environment expands?
- Application and data resiliency – Can applications recover from multiple failure modes? Single-node failure, availability zone failure, to data center and site failure? What if applications are stateful?
- Performance & cost efficiency – Can the solution support the most challenging applications in your portfolio? Can it scale cost-effectively to give you the performance these apps need?
What made Kubernetes boring in December 2018 is different than what would make it boring today. Today, there are real challenges that slow down organizations in their transition to cloud-native architectures. By considering what the long-term requirements are, organizations can start to separate the options and discover why Diamanti is the best enterprise platform for hybrid cloud Kubernetes.
To learn more about Diamanti:
- Download the white paper Build vs. Buy: Choosing the Right Kubernetes Infrastructure
- Discover the importance of stateful applications from analyst firm, 451 Research
- Learn more about What’s New in Diamanti Spektra 3.0