Study: Kubernetes Poised to Take on More and More Production Workloads

Spectro Cloud booth

The findings of the second annual State of Production Kubernetes research from Spectro Cloud have been made public. Almost all survey respondents said they planned to grow and diversify their Kubernetes infrastructures in some fashion in the upcoming year, indicating that Kubernetes is generating commercial value and is poised to earn an increasing percentage of production workloads.

The study, which was carried out independently by Dimensional Research in July 2022 and was funded by Spectro Cloud, would indicate that adoption of Kubernetes is one of the most fascinating and vibrant fields in corporate technology.

Kubernetes is thriving in production, with adopters reporting that on average 43% of all their production workloads now live in Kubernetes and that 83 percent of them are satisfied with Kubernetes overall. Adopters cite advantages like improved application performance and availability, as well as increased business innovation, as reasons for this success.

Tenry Fu, CEO and co-founder of Spectro Cloud
“Kubernetes is growing at pace as it becomes the first choice for both new and existing applications in production,” said Tenry Fu, CEO and co-founder of Spectro Cloud.

Importantly, Kubernetes is already extending outside of the common data center and public cloud contexts. 35 percent of respondents have already implemented Kubernetes at the edge.

More than 300 technicians (from practitioners to C-level) who work in companies with more than 250 workers and utilize Kubernetes in production were polled for the study. The poll provides information on predicted growth, obstacles, and advantages that enterprises are seeing as a result of using Kubernetes now.

“Kubernetes adoption continues to be one of the most exciting and dynamic areas of enterprise technology,” said Diane Hagglund, principal at Dimensional Research and author of the research study. “The data clearly shows the value of large-scale Kubernetes deployments in production, while highlighting the increasing complexity of operating environments. In particular, the high levels of interest in commercial management platforms shown by Kubernetes stakeholders are a strong indicator of increasing maturity.”

Kubernetes at the Edge

To sum up, key takeaways from the survey would include the following:

  • Usage in production is high and growing as organizations see the benefits of Kubernetes – With 43% of all workloads already running on Kubernetes, 60% of respondents indicated it was their preferred or only approach to deploy new production apps. In the upcoming 12 months, 91% anticipate adding new apps and 79% anticipate migrating current applications to K8s.
  • Multiple distributions, environments and software elements are increasing K8s complexity and diversity – Eighty percent of those polled run more than ten clusters, and fifty percent want to expand or add more. Kubernetes is used in seventy-eight percent of settings (such as one or more clouds, virtualized data centers, bare metal servers, and edge). Eighty-nine percent already employ more than one Kubernetes distribution in a live environment, and 76 percent have a Kubernetes infrastructure stack with more than five different software components.
  • Challenges are widespread and those with more complex environments and K8s stacks see more issues – Ninety-eight percent of respondents claim that operating Kubernetes in production is difficult, and two-thirds claim that their software stack’s interoperability causes them to have availability and performance problems. Eighty-six percent of respondents claim that the difficulties multiply exponentially when using several Kubernetes deployments. Those who had larger clusters often reported having greater difficulties.
  • Edge K8s is compelling but those that have tried it found it extremely difficult – There are ‘compelling’ use cases for edge in their sector, according to 81% of respondents. Over the next 12 months, 55% of respondents anticipate seeing an increase in the use of Kubernetes at the edge. However, 72% of respondents claim that managing and deploying Kubernetes on edge devices is too difficult. Those that are now employing edge have reported facing more difficulties than they had anticipated, particularly in managing too many clusters at scale.
  • Kubernetes has a steep learning curve and the skills shortage is real, but respondents disagree on how their businesses are tackling it – Eighty percent of respondents indicated Kubernetes had a higher learning curve than other technologies they use, while managers and individual contributors highlighted a lack of expertise and resources as the biggest problem, with training being the most effective solution. However, VPs and C-level respondents did not view the skills gap as a pressing problem that requires attention.
  • Commercial management platforms are poised for growth – Only 34% of enterprises run their Kubernetes systems with a for-profit service, while 53% are either intending to or are contemplating doing so. The most desirable quality that they require? an all-encompassing tool for managing and deploying Kubernetes clusters across various settings. Three times as many people now who use a commercial management platform report being “very happy” with their entire Kubernetes experience.

Spectro Cloud’s intention for commissioning this independent, annual State of Production Kubernetes survey is to share our commitment to and focus on modern Kubernetes,” said Tenry Fu, CEO and co-founder of Spectro Cloud. “We are highlighting these insights to put a spotlight on best practices, progress, challenges and opportunities in an effort to help the whole community advance and better serve both developer and IT management teams globally.”

“Kubernetes is growing at pace as it becomes the first choice for both new and existing applications in production – and that growth results in Kubernetes environments that are not just larger, but more complex and more diverse,” added Mr. Fu. “Organizations shouldn’t be constrained in their choice of which environments, distros and software elements make up the right K8s stack for their workloads, but our survey found that more complex stacks create significant challenges for organizations that lack the team resources and management tools to stay in control. The decisions that businesses take now in these areas will dictate how effectively they can continue to get value from Kubernetes as they scale, particularly in embracing new opportunities such as edge workloads.”