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RSS 2021 Predictions: From 5G to Stateful Apps to Hybrid Cloud, Kubernetes is in the 2021 Driver's Seat

vmblog 2021 prediction series 

Industry executives and experts share their predictions for 2021.  Read them in this 13th annual series exclusive.

From 5G to Stateful Apps to Hybrid Cloud, Kubernetes is in the 2021 Driver's Seat

By Ankur Desai,

Lockdowns, restrictions, election news, protests: nobody could have predicted what happened in 2020. Even at the cusp of the new year, we are still a little hesitant to forecast exactly what 2021 will bring. However, given what we know about the current state of Kubernetes, hybrid cloud, and network transformation, there are a few things that we can be pretty confident about.

Allow me to present to you three predictions for 2021, all centered around the relentless march of Kubernetes:

  1. Kubernetes will drive the hybrid cloud strategy. In the recent Flexera state of the cloud survey, more than 87 percent of respondents reported that they plan to adopt a hybrid cloud strategy going forward. Because Kubernetes is still the common platform across all the clouds, our prediction is that Kubernetes will become the centerpiece of this newfound hybrid cloud standard. Looking at recent trends, Amazon EKS has already come up with an on-prem Kubernetes distribution (EKS-D), and Google is pushing hard for Anthos and Anthos for bare metal. Seeing this, it is pretty clear to us that Kubernetes is going to be the starting point for hybrid cloud in 2021.
  2. There will be a massive jump in stateful applications of Kubernetes. 55 percent of respondents in a recent CNCF survey reported that they are currently running stateful applications on Kubernetes. And we think it is reasonable to expect that number to jump to more than 80 percent in 2021, simply due to the maturity of Kubernetes deployments. In its current stage, the capabilities of storage and data management solutions on Kubernetes make running stateful applications in production not only possible, but optimal.
  3. Kubernetes will drive the network transformation for 5G. As 5G continues to strengthen and improve, the requirements for latency, uptime, and number of connected devices have similarly intensified. As a result, it is becoming very clear to network operators and telco service providers that they will have to make the shift from virtual machines to containers. When that happens, containers will become the standard for running network applications and one platform in particular will take over-Kubernetes. In fact, is already powering the world's first and only cloud native Kubernetes-based 5G network in Japan. And we expect others to quickly follow suit.

These predictions point to significant strides in the space for innovations in enterprise and 5G application management. The industry-us included-are making headway on the important task of simplifying hybrid and multi-cloud portability for complex stateful applications on Kubernetes, and as mentioned in the first prediction, hybrid cloud is going to be the most popular choice going forward. Consequently, there will be growth in cases where users must move stateful applications from one Kubernetes cluster to another. In 2020, that's a cumbersome process. In 2021, it's going to become simpler out of necessity. Automating most of the operations that a storage admin would do on Kubernetes will be critical. This will free developers and DevOps engineers to take care of their stateful applications independently of each other. And of course, we'll also see innovations that optimize Kubernetes for 5G networks and eventually leverage it as the de-facto standard platform for running network applications, bringing our third prediction to fruition.

After a long and uncertain 2020, let's hope we have a pretty solid grasp on 2021-at least for Kubernetes. Based on what we've seen so far, it's clear to us that the platform is more than ready to take on hybrid cloud, stateful applications, and 5G network transformation. We can't wait to watch it all unfold.


About the Author

Ankur Desai 

Ankur Desai is a product management professional with over 13 years of experience in the enterprise software industry. At Robin, he is responsible for the go-to-market strategy and the product roadmap. Prior to Robin, Ankur worked for SAP and MapR where he launched multiple platform products and led the product roadmap.

Published Wednesday, January 06, 2021 7:30 AM by David Marshall
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