June 6, 2024

As Kubernetes turns 10, new Spectro Cloud research finds 76% of adopters still held back by complexity

SAN JOSE, Calif.—June 6, 2024—Spectro Cloud today announced the release of its fourth annual State of Production Kubernetes research report. The data provides deep insights into the state of enterprise cloud-native experiences, exactly 10 years after the first Kubernetes code commit.

Report reveals seismic shift in enterprise attitudes as Kubernetes matures

For four years Spectro Cloud has sponsored research into the realities of using Kubernetes in production, at scale.

This 2024 edition of the report is the biggest yet, based on an extensive survey with 416 Kubernetes practitioners and decision-makers, backed by in-depth interviews to illuminate the data.

“This year we saw accelerating adoption of Kubernetes in production in the enterprise, a trend we’ve been tracking for years,” says Dave Cope, CRO at Spectro Cloud. “But we also surfaced significant changes in IT decision-makers’ attitudes.”

Ten years of change, and the pace isn’t slowing

The 2024 State of Production Kubernetes report comes at a time when the Kubernetes industry is undergoing rapid change and evolution, from the adoption of AI to consolidation of the vendor and open-source project landscape.

The report, titled ‘Building Resilient Futures’, explores these topics, looking at enterprises’ current practices, their future plans, and the headwinds and challenges they expect to face. 

Organizations can use the findings to benchmark themselves, get ready for emerging trends, and challenge the community to tackle persistent challenges such as complexity, cost and security.

“In this tenth year of Kubernetes we dived deep into all the topics that matter at what we think is a turning point for the cloud native space,” says Cope. “Finops, platform engineering, AI, open source consolidation, VM modernization… we have data on all of it.”

Research highlights

The report reveals some home truths about Kubernetes that will prompt community discussion:

Kubernetes is ‘mature’ but complexity remains unsolved

The survey respondents are confident that K8s is a ‘mature enterprise technology’ now that it’s ten years old. 

But they’re facing the same challenges they always have, including complexity and security. 76% say the complexity of Kubernetes has ‘inhibited their adoption’. 

Adoption has exploded — but cost pressure will drive consolidation 

Organizations have significantly grown their Kubernetes scale since last year’s survey: the typical K8s adopter has 20+ clusters running more than 10 software elements, across multiple clouds and data center environments. 

But 61% are facing more cost pressure than a year ago. In response, 40% are already using AI tools to optimize cost, and more than ever (24%) are predicting their Kubernetes estates will shrink in the next 12 months.

Enterprises fear the impact of cloud native market turmoil

75% of organizations say they’re strategically committed to Kubernetes for the future. 

Yet many feel the vibrant CNCF landscape is challenging for users to navigate, and 82% of senior decision-makers say the cloud-native ecosystem is poised for consolidation. 

55% say they already feel locked in by their technology choices, and 52% are concerned that projects they depend on will shut down.

Edge, AI and legacy modernization will drive growth

Edge Kubernetes adoption is up significantly, with 4x year-on-year growth in full-scale production edge Kubernetes deployments. 

Most (70%) believe AI is the biggest trend of the year in Kubernetes and that it’s driving interest in edge computing. 73% of edge Kubernetes adopters are already deploying AI workloads.

74% say their K8s adoption has been inhibited by their organization’s continued use of traditional virtual machines. But 59% now say that Broadcom’s takeover of VMware is accelerating the adoption of cloud-native technologies like Kubernetes. 

Operational best practices emerge but platform engineering still niche

The majority say they are mature in how they manage Kubernetes, yet 27% say they suffer ‘regular’ issues with their clusters, more than doubling year over year. 

Organizations are starting to adopt platform engineering, and 38% of the biggest K8s users have fully adopted it, along with commercial management platforms (49%) to improve effectiveness.

Inspiring new dialog 

With more than 20 charts and hundreds of data points over 40 pages, the State of Production Kubernetes is packed with insights that are key to building the next ten years of Kubernetes in the enterprise.

“This is the fourth time we have published our State of Production Kubernetes report,” says Tenry Fu, CEO and co-founder of Spectro Cloud. “It’s never been so clear that organizations face challenges when adopting Kubernetes, from cost and complexity to market disruption. 

“Now is the time to turn the page and build a resilient future for the Kubernetes ecosystem. We have to work together as an industry to help adopters along their cloud-native journeys, so they can confidently embrace opportunities such as AI and edge.”

The report is available now to download from: https://info.spectrocloud.com/2024-state-of-production-kubernetes

About Spectro Cloud 

Spectro Cloud uniquely enables organizations to deploy and manage Kubernetes in production, at scale. Its Palette enterprise Kubernetes management platform gives Platform Engineering and DevOps teams effortless control of the full Kubernetes lifecycle. With support for both VM and container workloads, Palette is a truly unified management platform across clouds, data centers, bare metal and edge environments.

Ops teams are empowered to support their developers with curated Kubernetes stacks and tools based on their specific needs, with granular governance and enterprise-grade security.

Spectro Cloud is a Gartner Cool Vendor, CRN Tech Innovator, and a ‘leader’ and ‘outperformer’ in GigaOm’s 2024 Radars for Edge Kubernetes and Managed Kubernetes.

Co-founded in 2019 by CEO Tenry Fu, Vice President of Engineering Gautam Joshi and Chief Technology Officer Saad Malik, Spectro  Cloud is backed by Stripes, Sierra Ventures, Qualcomm Ventures, NEC and Translink Orchestrating Future Fund, Boldstart Ventures, Westwave Capital, Alter Venture Partners,  Firebolt Ventures, T-Mobile Ventures and TSG. 

For more information, visit https://www.spectrocloud.com or follow @spectrocloudinc and @spectrocloudgov on X. 

PR contact: Ant Newman - ant@spectrocloud.com