Kubernetes in the wild 2023 report (2023)

The rapid adoption of Kubernetes is both driven and challenged by a growing ecosystem of advanced technologies. In this Kubernetes research report, learn how leading companies are using Kubernetes and related technologies in production, including observability, security, infrastructure models, and open source software.

Kubernetes Adoption Research Executive Summary

It's impossible to separate modern cloud-native computing from containers and the advent of Kubernetes. Although Kubernetes is still a relatively young technology, the vast majority of global companies use it to run mission-critical applications in production. Rapid adoption is driven and challenged by an ever-expanding ecosystem of Kubernetes technologies that add advanced platform capabilities such as security, microservices communication, observability, scalability, resource utilization, and more.

This Kubernetes survey shows how companies are actually using Kubernetes in production. The study analyzes real-world production Kubernetes data from thousands of organizations around the world that use the Dynatrace software intelligence platform to keep their Kubernetes clusters safe, healthy, and performing well.

The results provide insight into the infrastructure preferences of Kubernetes professionals and how they leverage the advanced technologies of the Kubernetes platform. The report also highlights the top programming language pros used for application workloads. As Kubernetes has become more widely accepted and the technology has continued to advance, Kubernetes has become the "operating system" of the cloud.

  1. Kubernetes moved to the cloud in 2022
  2. Kubernetes infrastructure models differ between cloud and on-premises
  3. Kubernetes is evolving into the “operating system” of the cloud
  4. The fastest growing areas of Kubernetes are security, databases and CI/CD technologies.
  5. Open source software fuels a vibrant Kubernetes ecosystem
  6. Java, Go, and Node.js are the top 3 programming languages ​​for Kubernetes application workloads

Kubernetes in the wild 2023 report (1)

Kubernetes moved to the cloud in 2022

By 2022, Kubernetes has emerged as the leading platform for moving workloads to the public cloud. With a CAGR of +127%, the number of cloud-hosted Kubernetes clusters grew five times faster than on-premises clusters. Likewise, the share of cloud-hosted clusters has increased from 31% in 2021 to 45% in 2022. Cloud-hosted Kubernetes clusters poised to surpass on-premises deployments by 2023.

The majority of cloud Kubernetes clusters (73%) are built on managed hyperscaler distributions such as AWS Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS), Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS), or Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE). Consequently, the remaining 27% of the clusters are self-managed by the customer in virtual machines in the cloud.

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Kubernetes hosting decisions are guided by a number of parameters, including cost, ease of deployment and scaling, data security, and regulatory compliance. As hyperscalers invest in all of these areas and expand their footprint into additional geographies, they become more attractive to a broader group of companies.

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Kubernetes infrastructure models differ between cloud and on-premises

A typical cluster running in the public cloud consists of 5 relatively small nodes, each with only 16-32 GB of memory. In comparison, local clusters have more and more nodes: an average of 9 nodes with 32 to 64 GB of storage.

Different infrastructure configurations reflect economic and technical considerations. Hyperscalers offer a competitive price for small to medium sized hosts. A larger number of small hosts offers a cost-effective and scalable platform with effortless deployment. On-premises data centers invest in higher capacity servers as they offer more flexibility over the long term, while hardware purchase price is just one of many cost factors.

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Kubernetes is evolving into the “operating system” of the cloud

As the ideal orchestration platform for running cloud-native microservices applications, Kubernetes offers the benefit of built-in deployment, scaling, and resiliency capabilities. In 2021, application workloads made up the majority of pods (59%) in a typical Kubernetes cluster. In contrast, all non-application workloads such as system and helper workloads played a relatively minor role.

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But in 2022 this picture will be reversed. As adoption of Kubernetes has increased, auxiliary workloads are now outstripping application workloads (63% vs. 37%). This shift reflects organizations implementing more advanced Kubernetes platform technologies such as security controls, service meshes, messaging, and observing tools. At the same time, enterprises leverage Kubernetes for a variety of use cases, including build pipelines, scheduled utility workloads, and more. Kubernetes becomes the platform on which almost anything can run. This makes Kubernetes the “operating system” of the cloud.

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“At Dynatrace, we use Kubernetes for every new software project, from build pipelines to SaaS offerings. We also see the same trend with our customers. Kubernetes has practically become the operating system for the cloud.”

Anita Schreiner, Vice President of Delivery bei Dynatrace

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The fastest growing areas of Kubernetes are security, databases and CI/CD technologies.

In 2022, organizations have identified securing Kubernetes as their top priority. From a low baseline, the percentage of organizations using Kubernetes security tools increased from 22% in 2021 to 34% in 2022, representing a +55% CAGR. This trend is likely to continue as awareness of Kubernetes security continues to grow and a new class of security solutions becomes available.

Of the organizations in the Kubernetes survey, 71% run databases and caches on Kubernetes, a 48% increase year-over-year. In addition to messaging (+36% growth), organizations are increasingly using databases and caches to maintain the state of application utilization.

Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery Technologies (CI/CD) grew +43% YoY. This trend shows that organizations are using significantly more Kubernetes clusters to run software development, testing, and deployment pipelines.

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“The immense growth of Kubernetes brings new challenges for runtime security and increases the complexity in hardening CI/CD pipelines under development. On the bright side, new approaches to application security address these challenges, reducing vulnerability to attacks and mitigating risk."

Andreas Berger, Senior Director Application Security bei Dynatrace

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Open source software fuels a vibrant Kubernetes ecosystem

With a focus on non-application workloads, organizations are using an ever-expanding array of technologies. These results reflect the need to improve Kubernetes through better observability, security, and service-to-service communication. Other technologies also enable specific use cases, such as CI/CD tools or databases. In all categories of the Kubernetes survey, open source projects are among the most used solutions.

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  • Open Source Observability: Prometheus is the undisputed leader in open source observability, used by 65% ​​of organizations. In general, metrics collectors and providers are the most common, followed by logging and tracking projects. Note: The search excluded all commercial observability offerings, including Dynatrace.
  • Database: Among the databases, Redis is the most used with 60%. Redis is an in-memory key-value store and cache that simplifies processing, storing, and interacting with data in Kubernetes environments. Consequently, for classic database use cases, organizations use a variety of relational databases and document stores.
  • courier service: RabbitMQ and Kafka are the two main messaging and event streaming systems used. In particular, they offer asynchronous communication in high-performance distributed systems and microservices architectures.
  • Integration und Continuous Delivery: ArgoCD, Flux, GitLab and Jenkins are the most widely used CI/CD tools. Organizations are increasingly using the flexibility and elasticity of Kubernetes to run CI and CD jobs and their control planes.
  • big data: 32% of companies use Elasticsearch to store, search, and analyze large datasets.
  • security: For security reasons, organizations mostly use checkers and policy enforcers like Gatekeeper. There is a growing need for runtime security visibility to automate vulnerability impact analysis.
  • service networks: Istio is the most commonly used service mesh. Organizations are increasingly using service meshes in large Kubernetes clusters to automate secure service-to-service communications and expose telemetry data for better observability.

“Dynatrace believes in a strong open source ecosystem and welcomes the adoption of cloud-native technologies and practices. That is why we are actively involved and start projects and participate in various functions in the open source community. Dynatrace's investments in open source technologies continue to grow."

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Alois Reitbauer, Chief Technology Strategist at Dynatrace

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Java, Go and Node.js are the main programming languages ​​for Kubernetes

Dynatrace OneAgent automatically detects specific programming languages ​​for each unique application workload running on Kubernetes. This provided a unique insight into the Kubernetes programming languages ​​used by organizations.

Java Virtual Machine (JVM) based languages ​​predominate. As a result, 65% of all application workloads run on a JVM, including related application servers like Tomcat or Spring. Most organizations, 72%, use Java to some extent.

We willsecond with a 58% adoption rate among organizations, with 14% of application workloads written in Go. Kubernetes system workloads, sidecars, and default components of non-application workloads are not counted. Additionally, Node.js ranks third in terms of workload and organizational adoption.

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“With Kubernetes, polyglot programming is finally a reality. As a result, Kubernetes strengthens existing teams and makes it easier for new teams to get started, regardless of programming language and framework usage.”

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Florian Ortner, product manager at Dynatrace

Kubernetes search methodology

This report reflects Kubernetes adoption statistics based on analysis of 4.1 billion Kubernetes pods from thousands of Dynatrace customers in all regions of the world. The data covers the period from January 2021 to September 2022. These customers are among the world's top 15,000 companies across all major industries, including financial services, retail and e-commerce, technology, transportation, manufacturing, healthcare and public sector organizations.

The report only includes production data from Dynatrace customers and excludes any Kubernetes clusters that Dynatrace uses internally or to host SaaS offerings.


Is there a future for Kubernetes? ›

The key takeaway for Kubernetes in the future will be that Custom Resource Definitions (CRD) and extending the API will be “the future” of orchestration platforms.

What is the adoption rate of Kubernetes? ›

Since then, the open-source project has been supported by a community of professional programmers and coders from around the world. As a result, Kubernetes emerged as the leading container orchestration platform. Accordingly, over 60 percent of organizations have adopted Kubernetes already in 2022.

Is Kubernetes still in demand? ›

There will be white-hot demand for Kubernetes skills – and cloud-native capabilities in general – for the foreseeable future. And that demand is almost certainly going to outpace supply again in 2022.

What will replace Kubernetes? ›

If you want a less complicated container management service than K8s, consider using OpenShift, Rancher, or Docker. A serverless platform such as Fargate or Cloud Run simplifies K8s deployments. With managed Kubernetes platforms like Amazon EKS and GKE, you don't need to worry about infrastructure management.

What is the next big thing after Kubernetes? ›

A framework that combines the Kubernetes Deployment model, scaling, and event and network routing is Knative. Knative is a platform that builds on top of Kubernetes and takes an opinionated view on workload management through a Knative-Service resource.

Will Kubernetes replace Hadoop? ›

There are alternatives to Hadoop for processing big data. One of these is Kubernetes. Initially, it was used primarily for stateless services. Now, Kubernetes is growing in popularity amongst data analytics teams and for stateful workloads.

What is the biggest disadvantage of Kubernetes? ›

The transition to Kubernetes can become slow, complicated, and challenging to manage. Kubernetes has a steep learning curve. It is recommended to have an expert with a more in-depth knowledge of K8s on your team, and this could be expensive and hard to find.

What big companies use Kubernetes? ›

  • 1) Google. It's no surprise that the company that created Kubernetes uses the open-source technology. ...
  • 2) Spotify. Spotify is one of the largest audio-streaming services in the world with 381 million subscribers. ...
  • 3) Capital One. ...
  • 4) The New York Times. ...
  • 5) Pinterest. ...
  • 6) Adidas. ...
  • 7) Tinder.

Why is Kubernetes so powerful? ›

Kubernetes provides you with: Service discovery and load balancing Kubernetes can expose a container using the DNS name or using their own IP address. If traffic to a container is high, Kubernetes is able to load balance and distribute the network traffic so that the deployment is stable.

Is Kubernetes killing Docker? ›

You do not need to panic.

This doesn't mean the death of Docker, and it doesn't mean you can't, or shouldn't, use Docker as a development tool anymore. Docker is still a useful tool for building containers, and the images that result from running docker build can still run in your Kubernetes cluster.

Is Kubernetes going away from Docker? ›

With Docker removed, most Kubernetes administrators will migrate to something called containerd. They can choose other applications, such as CRI-O, but containerd is usually the common migration path. And we will see how this change helps Kubernetes run containers in a much more simple and efficient way.

Is Kubernetes getting rid of Docker? ›

Public Cloud solutions like AKS from Azure & EKS/ECS from AWS will need to migrate to a supported container runtime before Kubernetes removes support for Docker. Systems using Docker sockets in their workflow will break so it is essential to migrate to other options like kaniko, buildah or img.

Is Kubernetes an overkill? ›

We've seen that a lot of times where companies adopt Kubernetes because it seems to fit, but when they actually start working with it, it turns out to be an overkill.

What problem is Kubernetes trying to solve? ›

The core problem that Kubernetes is solving is the ability to manage containerized apps at scale. However, Kubernetes isn't the only platform doing this. Remember, you must keep in mind that “technology over platform” is extremely important.

When you should not use Kubernetes? ›

You shouldn't use Kubernetes just because everyone is using it. You should, in fact, because of its complexities, avoid Kubernetes and only use it if it is the best solution for your use case. Kubernetes is great when you have all the right things in place to run and manage it effectively.

Why is Kubernetes so difficult? ›

Kubernetes manages containers, but it's difficult for developers to understand the moving parts in a large enterprise container environment. Having many more moving parts also introduces a larger attack surface.

Does Google run on Kubernetes? ›

Kubernetes builds on 15 years of running Google's containerized workloads and the valuable contributions from the open source community. Inspired by Google's internal cluster management system, Borg, Kubernetes makes everything associated with deploying and managing your application easier.

Is Kubernetes still relevant 2022? ›

Going Mainstream. This year, growth around Kubernetes knew no bounds. An early 2022 report from CNCF found that 96% of respondents are now either using or evaluating Kubernetes. And a full 79% of respondents use managed services, like EKS, AKS or GKE.

Why is Hadoop dying? ›

After all, Hadoop has a large number of users, which means exorbitant costs of platform and application migration. Therefore, the current users will continue to use it, but the number of new users will gradually decrease. This is what we call the “post-Hadoop era”.

Is Hadoop end of life? ›

In 2021, Cloudera's CEO declared that it was the “definite end to the Hadoop era.” Its final Hadoop release, Cloudera 6.3, goes end of life in March, a mere month away.

Is Kubernetes still worth learning? ›

Kubernetes is still the market leader in container orchestration, and it is worth learning if you are engrossed in the platform.

Why is Docker better than Kubernetes? ›

Docker containers are one process per container. Kubernetes is particularly useful for DevOps teams since it offers service discovery, load balancing within the cluster, automated rollouts and rollbacks, self-healing of containers that fail, and configuration management.

Is Kubernetes a threat to VMware? ›

Kubernetes has been exploding in growth at the expense of the traditional virtualized applications that VMware has built its business upon. Kubernetes is nothing less than an existential threat to the company.

Why companies are moving to Kubernetes? ›

Kubernetes simplifies the day-to-day DevOps for your project. It makes deploying and managing applications similar to managing microservices. So instead of worrying about how your app servers will scale with incoming traffic, you focus on building your application.

Does NASA use Kubernetes? ›

To overcome these challenges, NASA has deployed LIS using Docker containers, which allows installing an entire software package, along with all dependencies, within a working runtime environment, as well as Kubernetes, which orchestrates the deployment of a cluster of containers.

Does Netflix use Kubernetes? ›

Kubernetes vs.

Netflix chronicled their container journey in a white paper. Running containers at scale requires orchestration, and Netflix started their journey near the beginning of the Kubernetes open source project.

What is real life example of Kubernetes? ›

The orchestration platform also takes care of resource management by scaling the resources allocated to pipelines and helps make the entire system more resilient. One of the most prominent laboratories in the world, CERN in Switzerland, uses Kubernetes for its built-in monitoring and logging capabilities.

Which language is best for Kubernetes? ›

But Go, also known as GoLang, includes additional features not found in C, such as automatic garbage collection and memory protection. "Docker and Kubernetes are written in Go, and that alone is a good reason to learn it," Forrester said. It is also the language used to create Terraform.

Why do people love Kubernetes? ›

Kubernetes, by nature, is a cloud-agnostic system that allows companies to provision the same containers across public clouds and private clouds (also referred to as the hybrid cloud). The hybrid cloud model is a popular choice for enterprises, making Kubernetes an ideal solution for their use case.

Why Kubernetes is the best for microservices? ›

Kubernetes is a container orchestration platform that lets you deploy, scale, and manage all of your containers. It allows you to automate the deployment of your containerized microservices. This makes it easier to manage all of the components and microservices of your application.

Is Docker becoming obsolete? ›

But now with modern containerisation tools and container orchestration services in place (such as Kubernetes and OpenShift ) docker provides too much then it's needed to get things running. In this article we will see briefly what is containerisation, how does docker came into place and why it's becoming obsolete.

What is replacing Docker? ›

Rkt - Pod-native, app container engine

Formerly CoreOS Rocket, rkt is an application container engine suitable for cloud-native production environments. With its pod-native framework and pluggable execution environment, rkt integrates seamlessly with other systems, making it a top Docker alternative.

Why did Docker swarm over Kubernetes? ›

The major difference between the platforms is based on complexity. Kubernetes is well suited for complex applications. On the other hand, Docker Swarm is designed for ease of use, making it a preferable choice for simple applications.

Why Docker is shutting down? ›

The process inside the container has been terminated: This is when the program that runs inside the container is given a signal to shut down. This happens if you run a foreground container (using docker run ), and then press Ctrl+C when the program is running.

Why does Docker not support Kubernetes? ›

Kubernetes is removing support for Docker as a container runtime. Kubernetes does not actually handle the process of running containers on a machine. Instead, it relies on another piece of software called a container runtime.

Can Kubernetes shut container? ›

The Kubernetes termination lifecycle

This means there are many reasons why Kubernetes might terminate a perfectly healthy container. If you update your deployment with a rolling update, Kubernetes slowly terminates old pods while spinning up new ones. If you drain a node, Kubernetes terminates all pods on that node.

Is Lambda better than Kubernetes? ›

Lambda is also useful when your traffic is unpredictable, as Lambda automatically takes care of autoscaling and follows the pay-as-you-go model. Kubernetes is better suited for applications where traffic is predictable, as you pay for the underlying infrastructure.

Is Kubernetes a security risk? ›

Kubernetes uses a flat network model that allows each pod to communicate with any other pod in the cluster by default. This creates major security concerns, because it allows attackers who compromise one pod to freely communicate with all other resources in the cluster.

Can Kubernetes keep a secret? ›

In Kubernetes, a Secret is an object that stores sensitive information, such as passwords, OAuth tokens, and SSH keys. Secrets give you more control over how sensitive information is used and reduces the risk of accidental exposure.

What are the things that Kubernetes does not do? ›

What Kubernetes Doesn't Do. stack that Kubernetes does not support or supports only to a limited extent. A container runtime is a program that executes containers. Kubernetes doesn't do this; it simply manages the containers once they are running.

What is the main purpose of Kubernetes? ›

Kubernetes, often abbreviated as “K8s”, orchestrates containerized applications to run on a cluster of hosts. The K8s system automates the deployment and management of cloud native applications using on-premises infrastructure or public cloud platforms.

Is Kubernetes worth learning 2022? ›

You need to learn Kubernetes if it is related to your work in any way, whether it's creating containerized applications, managing and deploying, or maintaining a containerized environment. If you are a practitioner, there is a high likelihood that you will encounter K8s in some form or another.

Should I learn Kubernetes 2022? ›

Kubernetes is in fact one of the most sought-after skills by software companies around the world and if you are looking to gain a skill that will stay with you throughout your career, much like SQL and UNIX then learning Kubernetes is a great option.

Do big companies use Kubernetes? ›

For years, Kubernetes shined in big organizations supporting vast container-based deployments. With the staff to support large DevOps initiatives, enterprises have seen increased scalability, improved fault tolerance and better reliability by using Kubernetes in their container-based strategy.

Why we don t use Kubernetes? ›

It's a single executable unit that is indivisible. Code changes for one component mean the entire application is rebuilt and redeployed. It's simple to build and debug but doesn't scale well, and it's also tough to make changes as the application gets more complex.

What are the arguments against Kubernetes? ›

The most obvious argument against using Kubernetes is that organizations often don't need the high availability that Kubernetes provides and don't have multiple containers to deploy.

Should I learn AWS or Kubernetes first? ›

If you want to learn more about the infrastructure as code, you should start with some basics AWS, then terraform. If you want to learn more about how to deploy your app, you should learn some basics of docker then K8s. So, you can start with docker->K8s->Cloud"AWS"->Terrraform.

Is Kubernetes enough to get a job? ›

DevOps Kubernetes jobs can actually be a great way to kickstart your career. As a DevOps engineer, you shall be responsible for the management and deployment of software changes using Kubernetes. Infact Civo Kubernetes Salary for DevOps engineers is greatly promising, making it one of the leading career prospects.

Why do we need Kubernetes over Docker? ›

Kubernetes is open-source orchestration software that provides an API to control how and where those containers will run. It allows you to run your Docker containers and workloads and helps you to tackle some of the operating complexities when moving to scale multiple containers, deployed across multiple servers.


1. State of Spring 2022 Survey, Kubernetes in the Wild - Tanzu Talk News
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2. Cloud-Native: Vom Docker Image über Kubernetes-Manifeste hin zu Helm Charts (Webinar vom 11.01.2023)
3. Is eBPF The End Of Kubernetes Sidecar Containers?
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4. Mein Kubernetes Homelab in 2022
5. Kubernetes hands on introduction (2023) | Amazon EKS Workshop
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6. Deploy to Kubernetes in Google Cloud: Challenge Lab || #qwiklabs | #GSP318 || [With Explanation🗣️]
(Quick Lab)


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