On June 10, 2014, the official Google Cloud Platform blog had a post from Eric Brewer, VP Infrastructure and Google Fellow. This unassuming post talked about Google’s investment in containers such as support for Docker in Compute Engine VMs and the release of a container resource monitoring tool called cVisor.
What was also announced in same the post changed the face of modern infrastructure forever. Eric mentioned about a brand-new open source project from Google called Kubernetes.
This month, Kubernetes community is celebrating its 5th anniversary. Since its launch in 2014, this open source project took the industry by storm. Kubernetes got fantastic support from the whole industry, which resulted in the creation of a thriving ecosystem.
On the eve of its 5th anniversary, here are 5 interesting facts about the most popular open source project of our times:
1. Kubernetes is the darling of the open source community
Kubernetes won the hearts and minds of open source developers. After Linux, it is the most popular open source project of the community. Its contributors range from mainstream platform vendors to independent developers. The Github repository hosting Kubernetes code base has 2100 contributors with 53,139 stars and counting.
There are hundreds of tools and add-ons built by the community that ease the use of Kubernetes.
The Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF), which is the custodian of Kubernetes projects, manages over 30 open source projects related to Kubernetes.
Major cloud providers and platform companies including Google, Huawei, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Red Hat and VMware contribute to Kubernetes.
2. Kubernetes has created a new market and ecosystem
Kubernetes has become the middleware that is placed in between the infrastructure and applications. It abstracts the underlying physical and virtual resources enabling developers and operators to focus on managing applications instead of infrastructure.
In many ways, Kubernetes did to modern infrastructure what VMware did to the data center in the last decade. The rise of vSphere and VMware resulted in many new startups offering virtualized compute, network, and storage products. Between 2005 and 2015, VMware influenced the market through the creation of new segments and categories of products.
With the increased adoption of Kubernetes among enterprises, some startups are offering container-native networks, storage, and security products. Kubernetes is squarely responsible for the creation of this new ecosystem.
Startups such as Portworx and Tigera are leading the new wave of container-native storage and networking.
Portworx is solving some of the inherent problems involved in running traditional line-of-business applications on Kubernetes. It brings familiar storage operations to the cloud-native world, enabling administrators and operators to embrace the new paradigm. Portworx recently raised $27M Series C funding, which shows the investor confidence of this market.
Tigera, the founder of Project Calico – an open source container-native networking stack brings zero-trust network security to enterprises adopting Kubernetes. It enables organizations to scale cloud-native applications without compromising security and compliance.
The cloud-native ecosystem is one of the most vibrant communities growing at a rapid pace. From container registry to CI/CD tools to observability, hundreds of companies are offering product and services to make organizations adopting Kubernetes successful.
Kubernetes has managed to create a niche market that is worth billions of dollars.
3. Kubernetes is winning the enterprise market
In its early days, Kubernetes was perceived to be the choice of web-scale companies. Only those startups and companies that needed hyper-scale chose Kubernetes. However, within the first three years, Kubernetes made it to the enterprise data center.
Pearson, a global education company serving 75 million learners, has adopted Kubernetes to run some of the greenfield applications. The company claims that its developers have achieved 15-20% of productivity gains after switching to the open source orchestration engine.
Capital One, a top 10 U.S. retail bank, considers Kubernetes as a strategic technology choice. It is using Kubernetes to run its Big Data and streaming workloads that find fraudulent transactions in real-time.
The Amsterdam-based ING bank has standardized its infrastructure on Kubernetes. They have adopted Red Hat’s OpenShift Origin to deliver consistent development and deployment experience to the teams.
Philips has built its smart lighting solution that powers the Hue family of bulbs on Google Kubernetes Engine. The platform processes 25 million remote lighting commands per day.
With Microsoft, Google, IBM, Red Hat and VMware backing Kubernetes, it is bound to make inroads into the enterprise.
4. Kubernetes is becoming the backbone of modern infrastructure
Kubernetes is the only platform that is offered as a managed service by top 5 public cloud vendors. Google was the first to launch Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE) in 2015. Today, Microsoft, Amazon, IBM, DigitalOcean, and VMware have their managed Kubernetes offerings in the public cloud. The availability of this technology on all major public cloud platforms brought portability to workloads. It is much simpler and easier to migrate workloads running on Kubernetes from one cloud to another when compared to moving workloads based on virtual machines.
VMware is moving towards integrating its virtual machine orchestration platform with Kubernetes. Through its partnership with Pivotal, VMware is offering managed Kubernetes branded as Cloud PKS on the public cloud as well as on its hyper-converged infrastructure running on Dell EMC hardware.
Huawei has built its Cloud-to-Edge platform branded as Intelligent Edge Framework (IEF) on Kubernetes. It has donated a significant part of that project to CNCF in the form of KubeEdge. This project enables Kubernetes to manage and orchestrate millions of IoT devices through edge computing devices. Microsoft is also working towards integrating its Azure IoT Edge platform with Kubernetes.
Kubeflow, an open source framework enables data processing pipelines and distributed machine learning jobs to run on Kubernetes. Google has extended its machine learning PaaS to support Kubeflow pipelines. Intel has built a machine learning platform called Nauta to build and deploy deep learning models on Kubernetes.
Rancher Labs is bringing a micro edition of Kubernetes called k3s that can run on ARM devices such as a Raspberry Pi.
From edge to cloud, Kubernetes is becoming the front and center of modern infrastructure to run contemporary applications and workloads.
5. Kubernetes is creating tens of thousands of jobs
The rise of Kubernetes has resulted in new job opportunities. A simple search on Glassdoor results in over 15000 open jobs for Kubernetes in North America alone. Even in markets like India and China, Kubernetes is fast becoming the most sought-after skill.
LinkedIn is also reporting 20,000 open positions for DevOps engineers with containers and Kubernetes skills.
The recently launched Kubernetes certifications by CNCF are in high demand. There are tens of thousands of Certified Kubernetes Administrators (CKA) and Certified Kubernetes Application Developers (CKAD) worldwide.
Kubernetes is becoming the Linux of modern infrastructure. The credit goes to Google for open sourcing it and then handing it over to the CNCF to enable community participation.
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