Kubernetes is growing, and so are the teams that use it. Early adopters are now in their own game, able to extend Kubernetes' core capabilities in new ways based on experience and the growth of the cloud native ecosystem.
"We will continue to expand our use of Kubernetes to meet the hybrid cloud, multi-cloud needs of our business." "Going forward, the declarative apis and strong coordination loops provided by Kubernetes are critical to unify and provide a more consistent approach to defining, managing, and securing digital capabilities across public and private cloud environments," said Eric Drobisewski, an architect at Liberty Mutual.
The accelerated use of Kubernetes by Fortune 100 companies as a platform for their broader hybrid/multi-cloud infrastructure reflects the broader trend driving Kubernetes adoption across industries.
Five major trends
Another big trend: many companies are still getting started. And at any stage of their cloud journey, most IT leaders want to run more containerized applications in production -- Kubernetes is a common choice for doing so.
"Gartner predicts that by 2022, more than 75% of global organizations will be running containerized applications in production, up from less than 30% in 2020." Brian Gracely, senior director of product strategy at Red Hat.
This is consistent with red Hat's State of Enterprise Open Source 2021 report, in which 72% of IT leaders say they expect to use containers more and more in their organizations. They also almost universally (85%) view Kubernetes as the key to the cloud native application strategy.
This has a cascading effect on Kubernetes functionality, use cases, skills, and other areas. "As with any new technology, there is a technology maturity and a user learning curve," Gracely said.
With that in mind, there are five key Kubernetes trends to watch for.
- Is Kubernetes the platform for everything?
Kubernetes goes hand in hand with containers. That will not change in 2022. What will continue to evolve in 2022 and beyond are the types of applications that teams manage using kubernetes-based platforms.
"In the early days, users often built their Own Kubernetes platform internally and deployed a simpler set of applications," Gracely said. But with Kubernetes stabilizing, the usage model has clearly matured."
For example, most early applications running on Kubernetes were stateless -- but the idea that Kubernetes was not stateful doesn't hold today.
"All kinds of applications run in containers, but we're starting to see more organizations bring their mission-critical, stateful applications to Kubernetes. Databases, event-driven messaging, and mission-critical applications are all expected to migrate to Kubernetes to take advantage of the extensibility, security, and portability it brings to all applications."
Kubernetes is ready to be more than "just" a container choreographer tool, but the Kubernetes control plane is becoming the backbone of cloudy and hybrid cloud operations.
"The declarative apis, control loops, and robust role-based access control (RBAC) model offered by Kubernetes are in the ready-to-use phase that can extend beyond container orchestrations to meet the hybrid, multi-cloud needs of many organizations," Drobisewski said. This evolution will be centered on the control plane by extending the Kubernetes API mechanism, allowing the definition, management, lifecycle, and security of any resources or infrastructure that is not relevant to the Kubernetes runtime."
Drobisewski also wants more experienced teams to extend Kubernetes' maturity in new ways, including the Kubernetes Operator.
"Organizations will take the next step in the DevOps journey and leverage the Kubernetes Operator framework," Drobisewski said. We will see in Kubernetes built many self-service function extension beyond the resource allocation and lifecycle management of the basic automation, become the service mode of automatic pilot, implementation of data driven insight, promote events automatically repair and self-healing capability, allowing the service can be adjusted dynamically according to the workload of need."
- Kubernetes and AI/ML became stars
Kubernetes' maturity and ability to handle increasingly complex use cases is probably most evident in AI and machine learning. Kubernetes is becoming the preferred service for artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML) workloads in production.
This is a powerful combination that will have a huge business impact for years to come.
"Of all the applications running on Kubernetes, one area that stands out is AI/ML. With data science playing a key role in almost every company, the ability to improve and enhance multiple applications is growing. AI/ML is impacting almost every aspect of modern business, from improving customer interaction to using data to make better decisions to modeling autonomous vehicles."
Just like containerization, the great potential of AI/ML requires a solid IT foundation to realize and an efficient way to manage everything in production.
"Kubernetes brings perfect platform features to AI/ML -- scalability, access to gpus, workload portability, etc. We're already starting to see organizations doing a lot of work with AI/ML on Kubernetes, and we expect the next generation of applications to revolutionize the industry."
- The only thing hotter than Kubernetes is Kubernetes talent
Kubernetes' skills -- and cloud-native capabilities in general -- will be in high demand for the foreseeable future.
"There is no sign of a slowdown in Kubernetes and cloud native adoption." "I would like to see more organizations continue to move to the cloud and increase their use of microservices, serverless, and other cloud-native technologies," said SVP and GM Clyde Seepersad, the Linux Foundation for Training and certification. Most importantly, I hope that more organizations will recognize the important interaction between Kubernetes, Linux, and DevOps."
Yes, we'll be hearing more about the lack of available, affordable Kubernetes talent in the coming year. There will be a more concerted creative effort by various organizations to build Kubernetes capabilities and related skills.
- Business and hosting services will flourish
Commercial Kubernetes platforms, such as Red Hat's OpenShift, are built on open source projects and have become the backbone of enterprise Kubernetes adoption and usage. As more early adopter success stories are told, other organizations will naturally seek similar business results, Gracely said. But then they run into a third problem -- not every company has the desire or money to build the internal capabilities needed to run its own platform.
"They generally don't want to invest in the operational skills to manage and maintain Kubernetes. This is where the use of hosted Kubernetes cloud services is rapidly expanding, such as OpenShift Delicated, Red Hat OpenShift(ROSA)on AWS, and Microsoft Azure Red Hat OpenShift(ARO). "
The growth of hosted Kubernetes services running in public clouds, as well as commercial platforms running in any cloud, including their own data centers, means there is a choice for everyone, including organizations that don't want or need to build a strong internal team to manage everything.
Rob Faraj, co-founder of Kubecost, anticipates a separate but related trend that will affect both cloud native talent and the growth of commercial and hosted services: Vendors and internal platform teams will prioritize making It easier for developers to use Kubernetes functionality without solving more complex problems.
"Organizations need to compete in every way possible to attract developers, and the developer experience management that companies can offer around Kubernetes can -- and increasingly will -- be a key differentiator," Faraj said. I think by 2022 we will see a huge demand to streamline infrastructure scaling and create more development-friendly processes around Kubernetes management."
- The Kubernetes community will continue to prioritize safety
Kubernetes has important security features built in, as long as you adjust the Settings correctly. Its thriving ecosystem also places a high value on platform security -- operatorHub.io has 29 different security applications, as can be seen.
In 2022, enterprises will use the tools and services available to enhance their cloud and cloud-native security strategies. Kirsten Newcomer, Director of Cloud and DevSecOps strategy at Red Hat, predicts that we will see a change in the way organizations screen applications at deployment time.
"This has already begun, Kube itself is shifting to a simpler approach called out-of-tree control. We will continue to see growth in policy-based deployment management using tools such as OPA Gatekeeper, Kyverno, and Argo CD. In addition, you need to focus on new strategy engines that have never been seen before."
Overall, expect the entire community to continue to invest in Kubernetes security, especially in simplifying (not reducing) team security and reducing budgets by embedding it into the tools they use to manage their clusters.
"Kubernetes distributions will start adding more security features directly. This will help enhance the overall security of the distribution and help reduce the cost of securing Kubernetes deployments."