Innovating Freely with Kubernetes
The opportunity and impetus to innovate have never been greater. Around the world, enterprises understand their future success will hinge on their ability to differentiate through digital innovation. As a result, technology leaders are now in a race to put differentiated applications into production, and deploy them in hybrid and multi-cloud environments.
In this recent article, I discussed the factors organisations need to consider in building a robust hybrid and multi-cloud strategy. In another article, we looked at how Kubernetes fosters innovation across hybrid, multi-cloud and edge environments and the capabilities a Kubernetes platform needs to have to address the requirements of both development and operations teams.
Now let’s talk about how organisations can innovate freely with Kubernetes. Kubernetes has quickly become a foundational technology because it is able to abstract the complexity surrounding hybrid and multi-cloud environments and enables digital innovation.
Whether by design or by circumstance, we now see organisations in every sector with Kubernetes deployments. However, for any Kubernetes strategy to be able to drive innovation today and in the future, technology leaders need to consider a couple of things:
- Where is Kubernetes deployed in their organisation today?
- What does future Kubernetes adoption look like?
- How will their technology landscape and ecosystem evolve over the next decade?
Multiple Kubernetes platforms
In the early years of Kubernetes, it was common for organisations to stick to a single Kubernetes platform. Over the years, the maturity around Kubernetes usage has increased and we have seen technology teams gravitating to one or more vendor’s Kubernetes platform for several reasons.
The 2021 Turbonomic State of the Cloud Report shows that 56% of respondents indicated current usage of at least one Kubernetes platform. The evidence of more than one Kubernetes platform suggests that one platform may not fit all application and infrastructure needs.
According to SUSE’s recently commissioned Insight Avenue report, Why Today’s IT Leaders are Choosing Open, 85% of IT leaders ranked multi-cloud strategy as their most important technology approach. The affinity with cloud providers may also lead to the adoption of multiple Kubernetes platforms. For example if AWS and Microsoft Azure are being used by different teams within an organization, it will not be uncommon for these teams to deploy the Kubernetes platforms offered by the respective cloud provider.
Edge computing is also a new trend technology that can result in organizations adopting other edge-oriented Kubernetes platforms such as K3s, MicroK8s and KubeEdge.
What is quite clear is that there will not be a “single Kubernetes platform to rule them all”. Organizations will be adopting different Kubernetes platforms to cater to their unique business and technology requirements. It is therefore pertinent to establish a strategy right from the onset that enables innovation across a heterogenous landscape of Kubernetes platforms. Otherwise, there is a risk of creating innovation siloes and being restrained by specific vendor offerings and updates.
Technology landscape and ecosystem
It’s imperative to maintain a diverse mix of technology providers and partners. This means being able to support your Kubernetes platform on all the major operating systems as well as supporting popular technologies on top of Kubernetes such as Service Mesh, Monitoring and Security. By doing this, organisations will gain true flexibility and freedom to create a fluid technology ecosystem that will help them innovate rapidly.
Consistency in Diversity
A key success criteria for your Kubernetes platform strategy is being able to consistently operate, manage and automate your diverse Kubernetes platform infrastructure as one singular infrastructure. This will significantly reduce operational overhead and free up your teams to focus on innovation.
Our advice is to pay closer attention to the adoption of Kubernetes across your technology environment, and ask yourself these questions:
- Why have I adopted one Kubernetes platform over another?
- Am I likely to have more than one Kubernetes platforms running across my technology environment?
- How will the choice of a particular Kubernetes vendor help or hinder my opportunities to innovate into the future?
- How will I consistently operate, manage, and automate a heterogeneous Kubernetes platform landscape?
About the author
Vishal Ghariwala is the Chief Technology Officer for SUSE for the APJ and Greater China regions. In this capacity, he engages with customer and partner executives across in the region, and is responsible for growing SUSE’s mindshare by being the executive technical voice to the market, press, and analysts. He also supports the global Office of the CTO to assess relevant industry, market and technology trends and identify opportunities aligned with the company’s strategy.
Prior to joining SUSE, Vishal was the Director for Cloud Native Applications at Red Hat where he led a team of senior technologists responsible for driving the growth and adoption of the Red Hat OpenShift, API Management, Integration and Business Automation portfolios across the Asia Pacific region.
Vishal has over 20 years of experience in the IT industry and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from the Nanyang Technological University in Singapore.