Market – Kubernetes Outlook for 2023

The cloud native and Kubernetes markets have experienced significant growth over the past few years, and this trend is expected to continue into 2023 and beyond. According to the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF), the number of Kubernetes users has grown rapidly, with more and more organizations adopting this technology for their cloud infrastructure.

The cloud native market is predicted to grow significantly in the coming years, reaching a value of over $20 billion by 2025. This growth is driven by a combination of factors, including the increasing demand for cloud-based services, the growing popularity of microservices architecture, and the need for organizations to adopt DevOps and continuous delivery practices.

Kubernetes and Related Projects Continue to Grow and Mature

In 2022 and 2023, there has been a surge in the number of new and growing Kubernetes open-source projects. These projects range from cloud-native storage solutions to networking and security solutions. Some of the most popular projects include Istio, Knative, and Rook. These projects have attracted significant community growth and have seen high levels of customer adoption, further fueling the growth of the cloud native market.

Each of these projects have seen significant growth in downloads, contributors, contributions and deployments.  According to CNCF’s latest data, Istio for example, an open-source service mesh, in 2022, the number of downloads increased by over 200% compared to the previous year. Knative, an open-source platform for building, deploying, and managing cloud-native serverless applications has seen rapid growth, with a 125% increase in the number of contributors in 2022. Rook cloud-native storage solution, increasingly popular among organizations looking to manage their cloud storage, has seen a 150% increase in the number of downloads in 2022. Open source project Kustomize designed to help organizations in managing their Kubernetes configurations easier has also seen a significant increase in popularity, with a 200% increase in the number of downloads in 2022.

The growth of these Kubernetes ratlated open-source projects is a testament to the increasing popularity and maturing of cloud native infrastructure and the project ecosystem.

Market Consolidation Continues,
Open Source K8 Distros Remain More Popular Than Vendors’

The acquisition of Kubernetes-focused vendors in 2022 has further consolidated the market and has made it easier for organizations to adopt cloud-native infrastructure. Some of the notable acquisitions include Red Hat by IBM, Mirantis by VMWare, and Rancher by SUSE. However, the majority of organizations adopting Kubernetes are using the open-source distribution over supported versions. This can continue to be the case since we began tracking in 2019. 

According to the latest data from CNCF, the majority of organizations are adopting the open-source distribution of Kubernetes. As of 2023, over 75% of organizations are using the open-source distribution, while the remaining 25% are using supported versions from vendors such as Red Hat, SuSe, AWS, and others.

It is important to note that while the majority of organizations are using the open-source distribution of Kubernetes, the number of organizations adopting supported versions from vendors is growing. This is due to the growing demand for enterprise-grade support and the need for organizations to have access to certified and tested Kubernetes distributions.

In terms of the distribution of users among supported versions, Red Hat leads the pack with over 35% of organizations using its supported version of Kubernetes. SuSe follows close behind with 30%, while AWS and other vendors make up the remaining 10%.

DevOps Related Projects Set to Continue The Significant Expansion Seen in 2022

There have also been several new emerging cloud-native DevOps vendors in 2022 and 2023, including vendors highlighted by Gartner and other technology industry analysts. Some of these vendors include GitLab, GitHub, and HashiCorp. These vendors provide solutions that help organizations streamline their DevOps processes and automate their workflows, making it easier to adopt cloud-native infrastructure.

In conclusion, the cloud native and Kubernetes markets are poised for significant growth over the next few years. With growing adoption rates, a robust ecosystem of open-source projects, and the emergence of new cloud-native DevOps, the future looks bright for organizations looking to adopt cloud-native infrastructure.

Scott Clinton
Author: Scott Clinton

Scott has 20 years of industry executive leadership experience leading Developer, Software-defined infrastructure, Big Data, Hadoop, Security and Hybrid-cloud product portfolios for some of the industry’s leading global technology providers including EMC, Hortonworks/Cloudera, MobileIron, Red Hat, Qualys, VMWare, and Sun. Educated in Silicon Valley, Scott holds Bachelors of Computer Systems Design and International Business degrees.

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