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Is 2017 The Year for Kubernetes?

The container space is full of leap frogging technology and it seems impossible to keep up with the pace. Only 2 years ago, Kubernetes was starting to get attention. Compared to the other solutions on the market, it was trailing in a distant 3rd place. It wasn’t stable and had a large learning curve, especially as containers themselves were already part of the learning curve.


However, this week in Seattle marks the final KubeCon as it transitions to Cloud Native Con on in 2017. The conference is oversold and packed tighter than a can of sardines. 7 months ago if you would have asked me how Kubernetes stacked up, I would have said that it doesn’t have a fighting chance. About 4 months ago, customers were asking the {code} team for integrations into Kubernetes so we can stay a part of the larger conversation. With a bit of hacking, Clint Kitson was able to develop a POC with REX-Ray and Kubernetes over a weekend. It all started becoming very real about 2 months ago when we realized that 75% of our customer interactions were all focusing on Kubernetes over competing technologies. 


What changed? Honestly, I don’t know. Perhaps the deployment, configuration, and architecture had stabilized. Did the technology leapfrog what others had to offer? Is the idea of Google being the core contributor the biggest selling point? Is everyone in love with Kelsey Hightower? Or maybe it was a combination of all that with community involvement. 


In the OSS arena, community contributions plays a critical success into the longevity of a project. The first bullet point in an article by Matt Asay, Why Kubernetes is winning the container war, is all about the Kubernetes community and how everyone else pales in comparison. The slide shown at KubeCon displays the role of community contributions. (photo credit to Steve Wong)


The way I see it right now, 2017 is going to be the year Kubernetes has a chance to come out on top and stay on top. For me, I would like to see simplification and ease of use. Running a Kubernetes cluster and knowing the architecture and deployment methods requires a better than average IT professional. I hope that we won't need something like Kelsey Hightower's tutorial of Kubernetes The Hard Way much longer. At this moment, Docker Swarm wins the battle of simplicity with a massive feature set to boot (IMO).


The {code} team has recognized the trend and started adapting to move storage as a first-class technology within Kubernetes. A few of our core developers have been working hard on getting libStorage into the Kubernetes (PR #28599). Read more about libStorage. And join the {code} community on Slack and be a part of the #project-libStorage and #kubernetes channels.


The views expressed here are my own and don't reflect the views of my employer.

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