Spectro Cloud, a cloud-native startup with the aim of streamlining Kubernetes operations, has released its annual report on Kubernetes in production. Based on an online survey and interviews with 333 IT operations and application development teams, the report reflects the current state of Kubernetes running in a variety of environments, including the edge.
Here are the key takeaways from the report:
1. Almost all businesses that use Kubernetes in production (97%) use more than one cluster. More than half (56%) have more than ten clusters, a significant increase from half (49%) in 2022.
2. Businesses can use public cloud-managed Kubernetes service distributions (for example, AWS EKS-D), self-hosted distributions (for example, RedHat OpenShift), edge-specific distributions such as K3s and MicroK8s, or other CNCF-compliant Kubernetes distributions. 83% of the production deployments have at least two distributions in place.
3. The stack of open-source and paid software that works with Kubernetes makes things more difficult. This encompasses everything from service mesh to observability. The data emphasizes the reality of Kubernetes environments, with nearly 72% of respondents reporting more than five distinct software elements in their Kubernetes infrastructure stack.
4. There is widespread agreement that the operational efficiency of the Kubernetes infrastructure can be improved (98%), with increased automation being the most frequently mentioned opportunity (56%). The fact that the simplification of the infrastructure software stack ranks second (46%), considering the aforementioned environmental complexity, is not surprising.
5. Companies that use Kubernetes expect to do more in the coming year. As technology teams expand their use of Kubernetes, they are discovering new ways to deliver value. This includes 86% who expect to build more Kubernetes containerized applications, 80% who expect to grow their clusters, 78% who expect more development teams to deploy to Kubernetes, and 77% who expect more existing applications to be migrated.
6. A new class of tools has emerged to help engineers work more effectively in a Kubernetes environment in order to simplify the developer experience. The majority of the respondents (95%) are familiar with these tools, and close to two-thirds (62%) are actively using (17%) or piloting (45%).
7. Most of the users who responded (25%) would rather have a process for creating specific environments where code is deployed through a CD pipeline, which starts the creation of a cluster, or a ticket is raised with operations (12%). Other organizations choose to provide their development teams with persistent clusters, which can be a single persistent shared cluster (15%) or a dedicated cluster for each team (14%).
8. Since there is already a huge pool of VM workloads that will keep coming in, it is not a surprise that Kubernetes stakeholders have to figure out how to make these environments work together. 85% of the respondents are considering migrating VMs to Kubernetes, while 46% are planning to move existing containerized software to Kubernetes.
9. Edge computing is gaining popularity among businesses of all sizes. The majority of businesses (93%) that use Kubernetes in production are considering edge computing initiatives. Kubernetes-based edge computing is becoming more common, with one in every five (20%) organizations reporting Kubernetes in production deployment in edge environments. This includes both full-scale (7%) and partial (13%) production deployments. Furthermore, nearly a quarter (29%) are conducting an active trial or pilot of Kubernetes for edge computing.
10. Customers running Kubernetes-based edge deployments are most concerned about compliance and security (62%). The other challenges include field engineering visits (45%) and concerns about performing Day 2 operations (45%). These are more common in advanced environments that have addressed basic deployment issues.