Enterprise Kubernetes: 5 Insights from KubeCon 2018

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Enterprise Kubernetes: 5 Insights from KubeCon 2018

Kubernetes is growing in both prestige and influence within enterprises that use it.

· Cloud Zone ·
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While at the show, we had more than 500 attendees complete our survey at the booth, to give us an insight into their use of Kubernetes. Let’s dig into some of the key findings from this year’s survey.

Who Cares About Kubernetes in the Enterprise?

What Best Describes Your Role in Your Organization?

Are you responsible for developing or for running Kubernetes-based applications?

Kubernetes is truly bridging the world of Dev and Ops. An almost equal percentage of respondents were responsible for designing and developing Kubernetes-based application, or operating these applications and making sure they run smoothly in production. In addition, 41% identified themselves as responsible for both the Dev and the Ops side of these applications – demonstrating that Kubernetes is truly blurring the lines between development and operations.

Enterprise Kubernetes Use Cases: Microservices, VM Replacement, and FaaS

What are your use cases for containers?

As you would expect, running web services deployed as microservices was the most popular use case, with 73% of respondents using Kubernetes as the optimal infrastructure for SOA-based architectures. The use of containers as a more efficient alternative to virtual machines, with a total of nearly 55%, was the 2nd use case, followed by Serverless applications and Functions-as-a-service with 40% of respondents (not surprisingly given how Kubernetes is the ideal infrastructure for running Serverless applications), followed by Helm and Operators with a close 39% of the votes.

Where is Kubernetes Running?

What infrastructure do you use or plan to use with containers?

It was interesting to see that 65% of respondents need to run enterprise Kubernetes deployments on on-premises infrastructure, either Linux-based (43.70%) or atop VMware (21.85%).

While AWS takes the lead among public cloud deployments with 55%, GCP and Azure are pretty much neck-in-neck fighting for 2nd place (33.61% and 32.77% respectively).

Another interesting finding was that enterprises today run hybrid, mixed environment — with the majority of respondents operating Kubernetes on both on-prem and public cloud infrastructure. This is another evidence that the multicloud is already the norm in the enterprise. With the number of different, mixed environments (private/public cloud as well as at the edge) projected to continue to grow in the future, ensuring portability, interoperability, consistent management of K8s across types of infrastructure, and ensuring no lock-in — would all become even more critical for enterprises in 2019.

Using New and Emerging Cloud-Native Technologies

How are you using new and emerging cloud-native technologies?

Container Registries (73.11%), Prometheus (52.94%) and API gateways (49.58%) were the top 3 new technologies used by the Kubernetes community. Istio service mesh (52.10%), distributed tracking, such as Jaeger (31.93%) and Prometheus again (31.09%) are the top 3 technologies being evaluated.

While containers and Kubernetes initially started as being optimal for stateless applications, recent developments in Kubernetes storage now enable stateful, ACID applications running on containers. It is interesting to note, in that respect, that 17.65% of respondents are now looking into SQL databases for Kubernetes. This development means Kubernetes is becoming even more critical and an even more viable option for enterprise applications, including legacy ones, many of which require RDBMSs.

Top Concerns With Kubernetes and Cloud-Native Technologies

We surveyed attendees for their concerns with cloud-native technologies- specifically asking them to rank their concern level around:

  1. Complexity – Developers’ learning curve
  2. Complexity – Operations’ learning curve
  3. Complexity – Managing multi-cloud
  4. Slow pace of migrating existing apps to containers
  5. Running stateful or data-intensive workloads
  6. Support for Windows and.Net options

The top 3 concerns were:

  1. Managing multi-cloud (33.61%)
  2. Running stateful applications on Kubernetes (32.77%)
  3. The slow pace of migrating apps and the operational complexity of managing Kubernetes both ties at 3rd place with 31.09% each.


It was exhilarating to see the growth and momentum in the Kubernetes community, and how K8s is becoming indispensable for any digital transformation journey – for startups and large enterprises alike. The innovation in the space is awe-inspiring, but there are still a lot of challenges to overcome. Kubernetes is still difficult to run and operate at scale, particularly for multicloud/hybrid environments- spanning on-premises data centers and public cloud infrastructure.

cloud-native, containers, developer, devops, enterprise cloud, infrastructure, kubecon, kubernetes, microservice, saas

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