As Kubernetes becomes increasingly integrated across IT environments, organizations are growing more ambitious in how they use the technology, building established use cases like infrastructure management and microservices into new and ambitious fields like machine learning and edge computing.

Is Kubernetes ready for this new era? What obstacles still lie in the way that risk slowing growth?

Our Kubernetes State of Play for 2022 white paper sought to answer these questions and more. We spoke to 1,000 developers about how they are using Kubernetes across their operations, the challenges they are seeing, and the evolving use cases they see for the technology in the years to come.

Growth of Kubernetes

As companies look for ways to scale the capacity of their IT infrastructure, we’ve seen more and more turning to on-premise solutions.

In our survey, we found that 51% of respondents now use Kubernetes and/or containers in their operations. A 2% increase from last year’s report.

There are many reasons for this growth. At its core, Kubernetes offers firms a platform for testing, development and scaling their production workloads across any environment. But there are other significant reasons that developers look for, such as:

  • 36% - Easy scaling of work

  • 35% - Ease of management of containers

  • 17% - Optimising resource usage

  • 11% - Improved Resilience

What’s clear is that Kubernetes offers flexibility to its users. It opens the door for smaller companies to adapt, scale at speed, and compete more efficiently. Whether that be ease of pivoting or cost-saving tactics – Kubernetes is offering a good solution.

Obstacles facing Kubernetes

Despite its growth, there are still several challenges Kubernetes faces. Two of the most significant are security risks and employee confidence in using the technology.

66% of developers expressed concerns about security consequences created by Kubernetes vulnerabilities.

This is an area that the industry is investing resources to firm up. Educating users can be an effective way to reduce risks, and, at Civo, we’ve prioritized making Kubernetes accessible for all by creating the Civo Academy. The academy is a dedicated learning space that helps with free tips and advice as you learn to navigate Kubernetes.

A lack of knowledge is not just an issue for security – it is an issue in its own right. We found that 51% of developers said staff knowledge and training is the foremost issue they face. This is, however, a 6% decrease from last year’s report – a tentative sign of progress.

Experience is the best way to build confidence. So, give your teams hands-on experience where they can learn the practical uses of the technology and build up their knowledge. The crucial next step is empowering your team to overcome their lingering anxieties surrounding Kubernetes.

Build this into your business strategies, nurture your talent, and provide the education needed to get going.

New frontiers for Kubernetes

We can see new and exciting trends emerging as more organizations embrace Kubernetes.

The research shows a growth in the use of containers in production environments – indicating an increasing mainstream acceptance of Kubernetes as a tool for the operations of an organization’s entire stack.

We have seen a steady increase on last year’s report, where 81% of firms were running up to three-quarters of their production workloads on containers – this has risen to 83% in this year’s research.

There are five use cases, in particular, that are capturing the attention of organizations:

  1. App deployment – The speed and scale of deployment mean users get the benefits of evolving apps as efficiently and securely as possible.

  2. Microservices – Once applications have been broken into small independent services, Kubernetes helps organizations to launch and manage these microservices at scale.

  3. Machine Learning – Developers are increasingly being drawn to Kubernetes as an accessible way to rapidly tap into the benefit of machine learning and shape it to closely match the needs of an organization.

  4. Heavy computing – The big draw for developers here has been the promise of Kubernetes clusters taking on the work of the traditional mainframe in a far more cost-efficient manner.

  5. CI/CD – This methodology of rapid app deployment is a natural fit for Kubernetes, helping automate and streamline the journey of code from testing to deployment.

The research indicates that the maturity and complexity of these use cases are only set to grow as the field evolves.

It’s clear that the field of Kubernetes is only set to grow bigger over the next few years. If you’d like to learn more about any of the trends mentioned and further insights, then check out the full report here