PORTLAND, Oregon — Many industry pundits – including SDxCentral Research – have declared Kubernetes the de facto platform for orchestrating and managing clusters of containers on both private and public clouds.
With Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure supporting Kubernetes and making it easier to manage containers; Docker Inc. adding Kubernetes support; VMware launching Pivotal Container Service (PKS); and startups like Rancher Labs and Mesosphere, which have their own orchestration solutions, declaring support for Kubernetes, the writing was on the wall. For me, the scale and impact of Kubernetes didn’t fully strike until I was on the ground here at this week’s O’Reilly’s OSCON 2018.
Sitting in the different sessions at OSCON 2018 in what was ostensibly a general open source-focused conference, there were three main themes: artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain, and Kubernetes. Kubernetes was everywhere, from keynotes to tutorials to the lunch table and beyond.
In keynote sessions, Kubernetes was there in the stats, claiming the crown for largest growth (by a big margin) in search traffic ranking to O’Reilly’s Radar site.
Kubernetes also played a prominent role in tutorial sessions on containers. And during IBM’s private after-hours session on Istio, the company made it clear that all its efforts were focused on supporting Kubernetes. Other orchestration platforms are a distant second — “Well, if someone really, asked for it, we might do it someday, maybe.”
During my chat with Heptio’s Scott Buchanan (yes, biased, I know, but even then), he shared how large enterprises on the West Coast, East Coast and Midwest are all happily jumping on the Kubernetes bandwagon, wanting to push into multi-cloud Kubernetes.
It’s one thing for vendors and cloud providers to throw their weight (or at least marketing clout) behind a platform. It’s another when real-world users don’t see any other platform as viable.
At my lunch with senior software executives and architects from the one of world’s largest telcos, a leading sporting goods brand, as well as software engineers from smaller startups, it was Kubernetes, Kubernetes, Kubernetes. We chatted about how they had already deployed Kubernetes and were tweaking it. How they were evaluating Kubernetes for their applications. Or how to get their teams up-to-speed on Kubernetes.
Docker Inc. has to support Docker Swarm because it has customers on the home-built container orchestration platform, but it may eventually migrate them. And Mesosphere will continue to find niche use cases or unique situations where Mesos can play.
Perhaps AWS can eventually hook customers on Fargate — or Microsoft on Azure Container Instances (ACI) — and convince them Kubernetes is not needed. But that’s not in the cards today, and Fargate and ACI will likely only be used for smaller scale deployments.
Here at OSCON 2018 where I’m surrounded by open-source developers, it’s clear that Kubernetes has won the container orchestration game.