The Kubernetes
State of Play

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A Civo white paper into the challenges and
opportunities of Kubernetes in 2021

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Introduction

1

Computing infrastructure has come a long way since the early days of IT teams running their own expensive, dedicated, and invariably underutilised server hardware.

Virtualization was a big step towards allowing applications to securely share the same hardware and more efficiently use resources – especially when it came to private and public clouds - but it comes with a significant overhead of requiring multiple operating systems to run.

Containerization was the next logical step – it strips out the requirement for multiple operating systems by isolating user space instances at the kernel level allowing them to share resources securely. It has a further - and some would say bigger - benefit too. By packaging an application and its dependencies in a virtual container, it can run on any operating system on any location – in the cloud, on-premises, or locally. This portability between different clouds and platforms makes it a truly write once, run anywhere solution.

The principles behind containerization have been around for decades but it was only with the launch of Docker in 2013 and Kubernetes in 2015 that it really took hold.

Docker Engine is the software that hosts containers and Kubernetes is the software that manages (“orchestrates”) multiple containers to allow for automated scaling and deployment. Although there are competitors to Docker and Kubernetes, as of today they are the gold standard for the majority of workloads.

Since its first release, Kubernetes has evolved into a reliable workhorse for larger enterprises to manage their containers and handle their production workloads.

Businesses increasingly recognise Kubernetes as a solution that can easily scale to support growth. Huge global firms like The New York Times, Tinder, and Airbnb have turned to Kubernetes to support their tech stack. These are businesses attracting hundreds of millions of users every month, and each one knows Kubernetes provides them with a stable and high-performance solution to test, develop and run the exciting new services demanded by users.

But these are not reasons for complacency. In our increasingly cloud-native world, Kubernetes needs to continue to evolve and grow to ensure it is serving the needs of modern developers. At Civo, we are always led by our community. In that light, we recently surveyed 1,000 cloud developers about their opinions on Kubernetes and containers. These results point to the value of this technology in the enterprise, obstacles to growth, and crucially, gives us some clues about where our industry goes next.

I hope you find the research enlightening, and if you would like to learn more about Kubernetes and its opportunities for your business – my door is always open!

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Mark Boost, CEO & Co-founder of Civo