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Opsani 2022 Predictions: Big Hello to Cloud-Native. Slow Goodbye, Kubernetes!

vmblog predictions 2022 

Industry executives and experts share their predictions for 2022.  Read them in this 14th annual series exclusive.

Big Hello to Cloud-Native. Slow Goodbye, Kubernetes!

By Amir Sharif is the VP of product and marketing at Opsani

We created the cloud. Then we fell in love with cloud-native software architectures. Why did that happen?

The cloud makes it possible for us to consume IT resources on a pay-as-you-go basis. Instead of allocating a significant capital expenditure and investing in building a data center, we can use small operating expenses to consume what we need when we need it. Effectively, we made it possible for enterprises to go to the gas pump for fuel instead of drilling for oil and building a refinery themselves.  The beauty of the cloud is that IT resources are just an API call and a credit card swipe away.

We created cloud-native software architectures to accelerate time-to-market. For example, containerization allowed us to have OS abstraction and workload portability. Moreover, Git allows us to compose new software quickly by leveraging existing libraries. Copy. Paste. Edit. Glue. Ship. And with this process, the time to ship a version 1.0 of an enterprise-class software package has shrunk from years to months in less than a decade.

Kubernetes, Google's gift to cloud-native computing, is an excellent container management system. It works beautifully by abstracting away many operation complexities, but the rub is that Kubernetes is complex itself. As a result, it requires specialized skills and dedicated staff, even when the platform is a managed service like EKS, GKE, or AKS.

Kubernetes was the first major platform for enabling cloud-native software. It captured hearts and minds. But, dare I say the heretical, Kubernetes, too, is a fad that shall pass like OpenStack. The questions are why this is the case and what will replace it.

Operating Kubernetes is complex and requires expertise, even when the cloud provider manages that substrate. Nevertheless, it is a robust system for solving significant scalability problems. Unfortunately, not everybody has those problems. Moreover, because it is designed for larger deployments, there is an adoption barrier for smaller shops and a cause for common errors.

Because Kubernetes is an overkill for simple applications, transition to it can be cumbersome, and operating it can reduce productivity for smaller software producers. And, because it requires significant resources to work, including skilled humans, it is more expensive than its alternatives.

And this is why Kubernetes will eventually disappear. It's a generic, non-opinionated container orchestration tool. Few organizations operate on a scale where it makes sense to operate managed or self-rolled Kubernetes.

Now, the question is what will most customers migrate. Function platforms, like AWS Lambda or Azure Functions, abstract away many of the infrastructure management complexities that SREs must contend with when dealing with Kubernetes-orchestrated applications.

Function platforms indeed lock the customer into specific clouds, but their relative simplicity will prompt a movement away from Kubernetes as customers progressively adopt cloud-native architectures.



Amir Sharif 

Amir Sharif is the VP of product and marketing at Opsani. Prior to Opsani, Amir co-founded Aporeto in November 2015. Aporeto was a cloud-native security startup that was acquired by Palo Alto Networks in November of 2019. Amir started his career at Sun Microsystems. In 2003, he joined Topspin Communications as a product manager. After the acquisition of Topspin by Cisco Systems, Amir joined VMware as the product manager for VMware ESXi. When not working on inventing the future in a startup, Amir enjoys time with his children and, when the kids let him, he curls up with a history book.

Published Thursday, December 09, 2021 7:33 AM by David Marshall
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