State of Kubernetes 2021

Kubernetes is a popular and touted industry technology. When buzz surrounds a platform, like Kubernetes, there are two extreme reactions. Some assume Kubernetes is the answer to all development challenges. People think it’s software-defined evil since it’s hard to use.

New software improvements can be hyped for two reasons. Either the thing has little substance and all the discussion is fluff, or it has so much content that people can’t stop talking about it.

Where do I stand on the love/hate and drug scales? I see substance. Kubernetes and containers are revolutionizing software development and deployment. Long-term losers ignore this tendency. I don’t love or hate it, but my reservations aren’t about its capabilities or industry prospects. In this brief look of Kubernetes, I’ll be honest about its Good, Bad, and Ugly. I’ll also discuss industry trends.

The Good

Every metric shows Kubernetes’s growth. This should reassure Kubernetes users. Customers and vendors are on board. Platform ecosystem is growing. Tools and programs for storage, security, login, etc. Kubernetes is old enough to be mature yet new enough to have room for growth. Increasing momentum.

What does Kubernetes do well? Three major points. Stateless apps first. It can handle stateful workloads like persistent databases, but it excels at stateless apps. Kubernetes is container-friendly. They’re frequently used together.

Kubernetes shines with cloud-native microservices. Kubernetes is the cloud’s OS. Previously, we built Windows and Linux apps differently. We didn’t care what was below. Kubernetes and cloud infrastructure are similar. Kubernetes works across AWS, Azure, Google Cloud, etc.

Let me give you five more benefits of Kubernetes:

  • Flexibility: Run Kubernetes on the cloud, anywhere. 
  • Automatic scalability: Respond to changing requirements in real-time.
  • Self-healing: Automatically fix apps and infrastructure fails.
  • Deploy often: Deploy updates and improvements fast.
  • Futureproof: Migrate between cloud platforms—serverless

The Bad

Kubernetes isn’t perfect, of course. The steep learning curve is a frequent and quite valid concern. The level of complexity is insane. Even though it has improved over the past few years, the average developer still can’t pick it up and use it right away. It’s not like Docker, which appeared and made containers incredibly straightforward. To encourage wider use, Kubernetes must improve at making the tool simpler.

The other drawback of Kubernetes is a result of its popularity and quick expansion. Although I enjoy new features, the platform is evolving at warp speed, and this may not always be a good thing. There are no long-term stables in Kubernetes; instead, it delivers four major releases a year. Does that raise any red flags? For me, it is. I don’t want to use Kubernetes to deploy mission-critical business products if it is constantly changing so substantially.

The Ugly

Thankfully, Kubernetes’ negative aspects are minimal. We have examined its benefits and drawbacks, as well as its strengths and weaknesses. If your organization doesn’t start implementing cutting-edge development techniques like Kubernetes, things are going to get rather unpleasant. You’ll be in danger if your business is unable to deploy software in real-time, perform self-healing, or do any of the other things that Kubernetes permits in a few years. I’ve seen businesses savor their successes and hold off on adopting cutting-edge technology, and it never turns out well.

You ought to follow the trend in your own skill set as well. Begin to become familiar with Kubernetes and other container software. Encourage the usage of innovative technologies by your teams and apps internally. Be receptive to change.

Now, Kubernetes probably isn’t for you if you’re a tiny business without a lot of engineering time or talent. The learning curve and complexity overshadow any potential advantages. However, if your business is more established and has resources, you must join in.

Four Additional Trends

The following four points will outline some of the ways I’ve noticed Kubernetes gaining traction in the market. Each one is indicative of the growth and momentum I’ve been mentioning.

  1. Startups are container and cloud-first. Right out of the gate, new companies are using Kubernetes and similar platforms to build applications. It’s better than buying physical rack space or even a cloud server. The next wave of companies will use Kubernetes to their advantage.
  2. Mature companies are starting to adopt Kubernetes. When I talk to large enterprise-sized businesses, I’m hearing about teams using Kubernetes. Maybe it hasn’t taken hold on the whole business yet, but it’s a positive sign that mature companies are recognizing and experimenting with its power.
  3. Security around Kubernetes is improving. I won’t say it’s perfect, and Kubernetes requires more effort to make it secure than a virtual machine. Still, there are new technologies and policies in the works that make it easier to run secure containers. 
  4. Products offered as containers. Prepackaged applications have been slow to move to containers, but that’s starting to change. Companies like IBM, HP, and Microsoft offer some of their core applications as containers now. The rest of the ecosystem is going to move in that direction, as well.

Explore more