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New Study Reveals Biggest Trends And Priorities In Architecting Workloads On Kubernetes

Research Conducted by Cockroach Labs and Red Hat Reveals Building for Transactional Workloads Is the Primary Concern around Deploying Kubernetes

New market research commissioned by Cockroach Labs and Red Hat shows 94% of organizations surveyed deploy services and applications on Kubernetes but how they deploy varies widely. The number one challenge around running Kubernetes in production, as named by survey participants? Deployment of data-intensive transactional workloads.

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Organizations are modernizing their infrastructure to take advantage of the cloud, multi-cloud and serverless environments — and those decisions are rooted in the adoption of Kubernetes. The inaugural Kubernetes Adoption Trends report is based on survey responses from more than 200 senior decision makers and technologists across Fortune 500 companies and small startups. The report aimed to benchmark trends in how organizations are actively modernizing their infrastructure towards multi-cloud and serverless operation. The survey took a pragmatic focus on how they orchestrate their services and applications in production, especially when it comes to handling data workloads.

The report reveals:

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  1. Many organizations use Kubernetes now, but how they use it diverges sharply. Nearly all organizations surveyed (94%) are using Kubernetes in production. Their approach, however, is almost binary: companies either run 5 or fewer deployment workloads on Kubernetes — or at least triple that load, running 15 or more.
  2. The number one priority around architecting and running Kubernetes: Deployment of data-intensive transactional workloads. Nearly half (46%) of overall responses chose transactional workloads as their primary concern around effectively architecting for and deploying with Kubernetes. (In fact, 10% of all respondents named this as their only challenge).
  3. Companies are almost universally managing their cloud infrastructure with their own in-house DevOps/SRE teams. Only 5% of orgs surveyed use external or fully managed cloud services. This data shows the strong trend here is infrastructure still managed with in-house DevOps/SRE, whether that responsibility is shared across teams, (41%) or trusted to a single dedicated team (54%). Or, in six cases, a single dedicated person.
  4. The future is serverless, and that future is now. A large majority of organizations surveyed (88%) plan to adopt serverless computing — or are already there. This signals a strong shift in data management and application development.

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“Many organizations are using Kubernetes now: this we know. What we don’t know, though, is exactly how they are using Kubernetes,” said Spencer Kimball, CEO and co-founder at Cockroach Labs. “This report focuses on how companies are deploying their applications and services on Kubernetes in day-to-day production. Because, as organizations gain confidence around delivering distributed applications, they are naturally curious about how other orgs are approaching the same challenges — and where they might be looking to go next.”

Teasing out potential cloud native evolutionary patterns required going deeper than straightforward survey results. The report also dives into correlations within the data by comparing answers to some of the individual questions. Several interesting insights emerged, including preferred Kubernetes production environments for specific workload types and variable multi-cloud and serverless adoption timelines across different industries.

“Kubernetes is one of the fastest growing open source projects but requires additional components like management and enhanced security features to truly match enterprise needs,” said Mike Werner, senior director, Global Ecosystems, Red Hat. “This report highlights that the need for these additional components is real among respondents, challenges that Red Hat OpenShift and our extensive ecosystem of partners including Cockroach Labs stand ready to address with an optimized, cloud-native technology stack.”

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