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Canonical 2022 Predictions: Five Kubernetes Predictions for 2022

vmblog predictions 2022 

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

Five Kubernetes Predictions for 2022

By Anton Smith, Product Manager at Canonical | Metal-As-A-Service (MAAS)

Ninety-two percent of roughly 1,300 IT pros surveyed by the Cloud Native Computing Foundation a year ago reported that their organizations are using containers in production, a 300 percent jump since 2016. And 83 percent said they use Kubernetes -- aka K8s -- to manage their container lifecycle.

Such numbers show how far Kubernetes has gone in becoming the default API for infrastructure. As Kubernetes approaches the eighth anniversary of its founding in 2014, the technology has moved beyond a rather rudimentary container orchestration tool designed for internal use at Google to the preferred platform for deploying, monitoring, and managing apps and services across clouds, with a vibrant open-source community supporting it.

So, what will 2022 bring for the K8s juggernaut? Here are five predictions.

1.  Bare metal provisioning will become a standard building block for multi-node clusters at the edge.

This plays to Kubernetes' strength because K8s provides a nice, consolidated API for deployment of applications and containers.

That's not only desirable for public cloud, but also for edge deployments. Edge deployments usually mean many more sites. Operations teams still want to use the same interface that they use with public cloud. One major difference with public cloud is that the physical servers need to be managed. Gone are the days where manually deploying and configuring servers is an acceptable way to do this.

Therefore, tools like MAAS will become crucial components for edge Kubernetes deployments. Equally important are standardized integrations between Kubernetes and bare metal, such as the Spectro Cloud Cluster API MAAS provider and Juju-MAAS integration.

2.  Single-node K8s clusters for edge will be a growing trend.

Edge sites with a single machine will be increasingly important. There are sites where the application does not warrant hardware redundancy or it is not economically viable to do so. However, it is desirable to retain the Kubernetes API for rolling out applications and managing their life cycles.

Small, nimble, production-grade Kubernetes offerings such as MicroK8s are perfectly suited for small deployments. This is critical to offering K8s on single-node clusters. MikroK8s will provide the consistent packaging and deployment experience that is needed to support hybrid cloud.

3.  Bare metal Kubernetes will be the default for all new 5G base stations.

The telco industry is always striving to find more efficient ways to roll out applications. The 5G architecture has disaggregated many functions, allowing them to be containerized and rolled out on COTS (commercially available off-the-shelf) hardware. These are often referred to as CNFs (Cloud Native Functions). Thanks to the maturation of Kubernetes, this allows the deployment and management of CNFs to be more effective. It also allows standardization on an infrastructure abstraction. As a result, the preferred method for deploying 5G base stations and associated functions will be via Kubernetes.

4.  AI/ML or VR/AR workloads will be delivered to the edge on bare metal Kubernetes.

Expect to see these exciting applications drive more deployments to the edge. Due to the way these applications use hardware such as GPUs, they are easier to deploy and offer superior performance on bare metal.

AI/ML (Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning) creates efficiencies by being closer to the data it is processing. VR/AR (Virtual Reality/Augmented Reality) also benefits by being closer to users. In the case of VR/AR, it is because of reduced latency to the end user.

For AI/ML, processing data into meaningful information closer to where it is generated reduces central storage requirements and lowers network throughput. Game streaming where the game engine runs on the edge will also benefit thanks to lower latency. Like other applications, deploying these applications to the edge is easier and operationally more efficient when using K8s, so it should be expected that they will also be deployed as containers on bare metal.

5.  Multi-tenancy at the edge will see more open-source Virtual Machine (VM)-based solutions.

VM-based isolation is important when the strictest security is needed. Hosting tenants on shared hardware is the key driver for this. Open-source solutions such as LXD will see increased adoption at the edge as a result. LXD has a rich set of functionality and offers the ability to lower capital expenditures for VM management.

Containers and orchestration via Kubernetes, will still be important. Containers will co-exist with LXD by being deployed inside VMs.

As these five predictions show, Kubernetes continues to mature as a transformational technology in how software is deployed. It will be exciting to see all the places K8s goes in the new year.



Anton Smith 

Anton Smith is a Product Manager at Canonical - publisher of Ubuntu. He is an experienced product and technology leader skilled at leading teams in production.

Published Tuesday, January 25, 2022 7:35 AM by David Marshall
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