This article does a great job of summarizing how containers, and more importantly Kubernetes, have become the “new base unit of compute” for OS-driven workloads – replacing over a decade of VM-based computing solutions. After reading it, take some time to reflect on how nearly every major IT services and platform company, including the public cloud hyperscale leaders, offer a robust and growing Kubernetes (k8s) solution. Amazing when you consider that these solutions weren’t even on the map three years ago. Businesses of every size and level of cloud maturity that are building a modern hybrid strategy should realize that Kubernetes is a required piece of that puzzle.
However, there are a few more considerations when exploring a holistic, modern hybrid cloud strategy. The first would be not over-indexing towards the author’s mention of new standardization efforts like the containerd project. Containers, especially Docker, have become the new normal for these workloads, but as with any tech revolution, a lot of bodies are trying to define “the best way” to do this for the enterprise. The Kubernetes project has excelled by successfully balancing the need to be opinionated to add technical value, while also allowing room for customization and extension. As this trend continues, we expect solutions that focus on “core” Kubernetes (the core open source project and repos managed by CNCF) to be successful, while other solutions from industry vendors, or even governing bodies, promising the “enterprise way” or new standards on top of k8s to dissolve during nascency.
The second point to consider is that modern hybrid solutions must be holistic in nature. Cloud native computing today is more than just OS-centric applications. Rapid innovation in AI and machine learning have brought these technologies to the masses, and event-driven “serverless” or function-as-a-service platforms have enabled a completely new paradigm for developing software. Additional frontiers in edge computing, on-prem public cloud (AWS Outposts and Azure Stack) and 5G mobile broadband are all enabling businesses of any size to solve the most complex problems in truly innovative ways. A successful hybrid strategy in 2020 and beyond will require all of these toolsets – in addition to Kubernetes – deployed to serve the use cases to which they are designed and avoiding the “one size fits all” approach that defined similar strategies only a few years ago.