The future of Kubernetes: three developments

20 February 2020

Kubernetes has been one of the tech world’s great success stories in recent years. A story that moreover continues to be written day after day. But what explains Kubernetes’ success? And what new chapters can we expect in the future?

To begin with the first question: Dan Kohn, director of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation, explains its success on the basis of the three following Kubernetes characteristics: it functions well, it is an independent open source platform and (perhaps most importantly) the users of Kubernetes are constantly adding new applications and solutions, which can then be used by others in turn. The continuous building on one another´s expertise and developments is an essential success factor for Kubernetes.

What is all this leading to? The three following developments will largely determine the direction in which Kubernetes is evolving.

1. Personal cloud provider

At present, Kubernetes is above all a platform to which users themselves contribute content: it´s essentially an empty box. It is expected that this will change and applications and functionalities will become available in Kubernetes that right now are only available via cloud providers such as AWS and Microsoft. Think for example of big data solutions, technologies like machine learning or various storage solutions. In this way, Kubernetes will develop into a personal cloud provider.

2. Managed multi-cloud

The managed multi-cloud will play a major role in the application of Kubernetes. This means that organisations that make use of different public cloud environments will deploy Kubernetes to manage containerised applications and data that are located in different cloud environments. And yes, that is complex. But when we look at the tools and best practices that are in development - and some that are even available already -, the moment is coming ever closer when Kubernetes will be seen as the solution for effectively managing a multi-cloud environment. The ability to continue building on one another´s solutions (one of the three conditions for Kubernetes´ success, according to Kohn) plays a vital role in this development.

3. Sector-wide applications

While Kubernetes earlier was primarily an ´engineering thing´, we’re now seeing that the advantages of Kubernetes are being recognised and endorsed elsewhere in the organisation as well. The expectation is thus that Kubernetes will increasingly focus on the business environment. The interest in the possibilities of Kubernetes is enormous, and we see this interest increasing all across the sector. Kubernetes appears to be a solution for a wide range of problems in different market segments and on multiple levels. Naturally, Kubernetes was already mainstream amongst developers and engineers, but it now also appears to have broken through into the other departments within organisations.

This most recent development ensures that the C-level too must be aware of the fundamental principles of Kubernetes. After all, it isn´t just a technology, but also a whole new approach to things. Compare it with the rise of the cloud providers. Before that time, we worked with servers and data centres - until the cloud made its appearance. But the arrival of the cloud not only meant that a new technology had come for data storage, it also signified a different approach to infrastructure management.

The same applies for Kubernetes. It’s not just a new technology, it also calls for a different approach to application development, implementation and management. So many chapters remain to be added to the Kubernetes story. A story that moreover will appeal to an ever-expanding reading public.

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