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Kubernetes in 2021 – Taking over the enterprise

6 January 2021 Containers | Kubernetes

Happy New Year everyone, let’s bust our asses to make it a good one!

Still here… I’m gonna cut straight to my first Kubernetes prediction for 2021.

In 2021 most enterprises will start using Kubernetes in production.

 

Is Kubernetes ready for the enterprise

In my opinion, three things make Kubernetes ready for the big time:

  1. Kubernetes is mature
  2. Kubernetes is backed by all the big tech companies
  3. Kubernetes handles the three major infrastructure pillars of compute, networking, and storage

 

Without the three pillars of compute, networking and storage, Kubernetes was never going to make a name for itself in large in traditional enterprises. Fortunately, the missing piece of storage came to Kubernetes in a big way in 2020.

 

But why will enterprises deploy Kubernetes

Enterprises aren’t in the business of deploying technology for the sake of it — they need solid reasons before making significant investments in platforms like Kubernetes. So why will they bother?

Well… Kubernetes is fast becoming the de facto platform for deploying applications. This has a lot of implications.

Applications, developers, infrastructure, partners, and more, will start gravitating to Kubernetes. If enterprises don’t get onboard, they’ll be left with second-class apps, developers, infra and more.

Kubernetes is fast becoming the OS of the cloud (public, private, and hybrid). This means it can abstract cloud platforms the same way Windows and Linux abstract server hardware. If you write your applications to run on Linux, you don’t have to care if the server hardware comes from Cisco, Dell, HPE, Supermicro, or somebody else. The same goes for writing apps for Kubernetes — you don’t have to care if the cloud infra is AWS, Azure, GCP, or on prem. This gives massive flexibility and future-proofing to enterprises. 

Also, Kubernetes is here for the long game, making it a safe long-term tech investment for enterprises. Every cloud provider is prioritizing Kubernetes. Every major tech company is contributing to Kubernetes and backing it. It’s one of the biggest and most active projects on GitHub…

How will Kubernetes make it in the enterprise

Slowly and steadily with the three P’s.

The right peoplepartners, and projects will be selected.

People are key. A tried and tested method is to create “SWAT teams” with skilled individuals to build, test and document the early deployments. These teams can then champion Kubernetes throughout the wider organisation.

Partners are key. Enterprises work closely with trusted partners for help and support. Many of the partners already trusted by enterprises (Commvault, HPE, NetApp, Pure Storage etc.) are improving their Kubernetes game and well positioned to play important roles. All of those mentioned have strong storage integrations with Kubernetes (many others also exist).

Projects are key. Selecting the right projects is vital. It’s usually a good idea to start small and insignificant — you don’t want your first Kubernetes deployment to break your main line-of-business application. As a result, most organisations start with something small and potentially new. They make a success of that and build from there.

A word on partners

Whether you like it or not, partners are crucial in several areas. Storage is another good example.

For the longest time Kubernetes didn’t really do storage — not the high-performance highly-available stuff enterprises needed. But instead of creating this itself, it partnered with the likes of Commvault, HPE, NetApp, Pure Storage and more. These partners already had enterprise-grade storage, so it was easier to bring that to Kubernetes and make it easy for apps on Kubernetes to consume.

The same goes for deploying and supporting Kubernetes in enterprises… 

The tried and tested method is to partner with experts. No serious enterprise app or infrastructure is deployed without help and support from partners. Kubernetes will be the same, so be sure to partner with the right 3rd parties.

Summary

Kubernetes is important today, but it’s gonna be critical very soon!

2020 laid the vital storage groundwork that finally made Kubernetes enterprise-ready. 

2021 will see enterprise adoption and use with important business applications.

Let’s make 2021 an epic year!

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