I: Kubernetes abstracts the operation mode of resources and workloads, unifies the toolset, and standardizes the man-machine interface. Just as the Docker-like tool provides the operation mode of the application runtime; The Spring Framework provides a development pattern for Java applications.

Kubernetes is about the portability of skills, tools, and practices across the cloud. Not the portability of the workload. — Bilgin Lbryam @bibryam

Kubernetes magic is in enterprise standardization, not app portability

Kubernetes won’t magically make your application portable, but it might give you something better.

The cloud offers seemingly limitless choices for businesses. However, that’s not why most companies are adopting cloud-friendly technologies like Kubernetes, according to a survey by Canonical-sponsored sponsors. Instead, Kubernetes’ main goal is standardization — to look and act like everyone else.

Portability is not the goal

I’ve discussed this issue before, referring to Gartner’s guide on Kubernetes and portability. Many people thought that Kubernetes (and containers) would make it easy for them to migrate from cloud to cloud, but it turns out that’s not the case. As Gartner analyst Marco Meinardi wrote, when asked whether companies should adopt “Kubernetes to make their applications portable…… The answer is: no.” Say it again?

Surveys show that the likelihood of [mobile applications between cloud providers] is actually very low. Once deployed in a vendor, applications tend to stay there. This is because data lakes are difficult and expensive to migrate, and thus ultimately become the center of gravity for migration.

Therefore, Kubernetes is generally not accepted by companies to enhance application portability; Instead, talking about people portability or, in other words, skills portability is closer to the truth. Alexis Richardson, the chief executive of Weaveworks, took the theme home:

The focus is on “skill portability” because of the use of the standard operating model and tool chains. Large organizations want developers to use a standard way of working because it reduces training costs and removes barriers to moving employees between projects. It’s also easier and cheaper to apply policies if your “platform” (or multiple platforms) is based on the same core cloud-native toolset.

Which brings us back to the normative investigation.


When asked to identify technical goals related to the adoption of cloud-native technologies such as Kubernetes, survey respondents ranked portability last and more immediate questions first:

  • Improved maintenance, monitoring and automation – 64.6%.
  • Modernization of infrastructure – 46.4%.
  • Faster uptime – 26.5%.
  • Remove vendor dependencies – 12.8%.
  • Global coverage – 12.5%.
  • Agility around peak traffic – 9.2%.
  • Ensure portability – 8.9%

I like the way Google Cloud Developer Advocate Kelsey Hightower commented on these results in her survey report:

A lot of people think that organizations turn to Kubernetes because of scale, or because they want to be super-scale, or because they have the same traffic levels as Twitter. For most organizations, this is not necessarily the case. Many people like the many decisions built into K8S, such as logging, monitoring, and load balancing.

People tend to forget how complicated things are just to build an application without all the automation. If you’re on a public cloud, there are some native integrations and tools you can use. But if you’re local, that’s not a given — you have to glue the solution together yourself. With Kubernetes, you can combine almost 25 different tools into one.

This is what people mean by “modern infrastructure” – they are not talking about doing something that has never been done before. They’re talking about things that have been produced for the last 10 or 15 years. Kubernetes is the checkpoint for all modern models today.

In other words, what people really want from Kubernetes is a standard way of thinking about infrastructure. Going back to Richardson’s previous point, while Kubernetes and cloud-native technologies have enabled companies to operate at higher speeds, the biggest benefit may be in making skills interchangeable across organizations — creating huge performance gains for both employers and employees. This is another reason why companies are increasing their investment in Kubernetes.

Disclaimer: I work for AWS, but the views expressed here are mine.

The article is uniformly published in the public cloud native refers to the north