Clueless on Kubernetes? You’re not alone, says Heptio

Forklift and container, image via Shutterstock
Forklift and container, image via Shutterstock

Kubernetes may seem like manifest destiny but just getting started remains one of its biggest hurdles with the single greatest challenge being lack of expertise.

The pain of adoption is being felt most acutely early on according to a Heptio 2018 State of Kubernetes survey, which found 41 per cent of respondents require most help with architecture design.

Heptio, the two-year-old start up recently bought by VMware for a reported $550m, surveyed 378 IT and technology decision makers responsible for “cloud native technology deployment and strategy.”

So, who is driving the architecture decisions? That’s not entirely clear or consistent, meaning responsibility for Kubernetes is a relative concept.

Asked who’s in charge, 67 per cent cited the infrastructure team, 54 per cent reckoned IT operations, 31 per cent said site reliably engineering, 27 per cent pointed to a cross-functional group, 20 per cent claimed line of business people and 10 per cent rely on an external consulting firm.

This appears to be causing follow-on issues. Navigating design and deployment decisions is a top pain point, cited by 47 per cent, while the need to align internal teams around common technologies is challenge for 47 per cent,

While Heptio sees continued Kubernetes uptake – from 60 per cent today – it’s not exactly soaring. A further five per cent will adopt Kubernetes within a year.

Among the 40 per cent not yet using Kubernetes, the number one roadblock was a lack of internal expertise (54 per cent). For those who are growing existing Kubernetes estates, the lack of expertise was a problem for 45 per cent.

When it comes to seeking expert advice, there’s a noticeable lack of knowledge inside organisations with many looking to the outside world.

Just over half, 55 per cent, relied on an orchestration platform provider, 54 per cent use industry peers, 53 percent relied on forums and online help, and 42 per cent external consultants.