Why Alternatives to Kubernetes Will Be Dead in Three Years

Lee Hylton / August 24, 2022

Kubernetes: the king of orchestration platforms

You can’t really talk about the rise of Kubernetes without looking at the rise of container orchestration. As enterprises began running more complex workloads and migrating more to the cloud, orchestrating containers became a necessity. Now, you can create and manage containers much more easily, and with a greater degree of flexibility. 

Kubernetes has taken off as the orchestration platform of choice within the open source world, but is now gaining ground against alternatives even in the proprietary space. Since Kubernetes offers greater power and flexibility, many organizations are willing to invest in the training and resources necessary to maximize the orchestration tool’s capabilities. 

Once teams embark on modernization journeys, they typically look for the advanced capabilities Kubernetes provides, which are often highly limited in other platforms. We predict that Kubernetes adoption will far outpace that of other orchestration platforms over the next two to three years.

Why Kubernetes? 

Microservice architectures are being rapidly adopted, and for good reason – microservices bring flexibility, resilience, and responsiveness to applications. To overcome the limitations of monolithic design and development, development has shifted directly to containerized applications in order to create modularized, scalable processes. 

The Kubernetes community, with strong backing by large organizations involved in the open source project such as AWS, Google, and Intel, delivers an adaptable platform that is purpose built for a cloud native world. 

Key reasons that enterprises are quickly moving to adopt Kubernetes: 

1. Open source and flexible

Since Kubernetes is open source, DevOps teams have more flexibility to define how their orchestration platform functions. You can customize Kubernetes to create elegant solutions, manage complex workloads, or to even be part of a managed solution. 

As an open source project with an enthusiastic and supportive community, Kubernetes gets a lot of attention from contributors and users alike. As with all popular open source projects, teams and individuals that become “super users” are driving updates and new features helping to push the platform in new directions while refining capabilities. Kubernetes is constantly getting better.

2. Host anywhere

Whether your needs dictate a multi-cloud approach or a focus on a single public cloud provider, Kubernetes easily accommodates your specific requirements. As a cloud-agnostic container orchestration tool, Kubernetes can be used with Azure, GCP, or AWS. Kubernetes can even be used with your on-premise environment. Kubernetes enables you to move beyond your current infrastructure constraints to achieve a targeted solution.

3. Be efficient – Do it all without GUI

Kubernetes is lightweight, making it easy to reduce workload usage and generate cost savings. When using multiple clusters, the savings in memory and CPU resources when using Kubernetes add up to a substantial cost savings over time – one of the key reasons enterprises transition to the cloud in the first place. Container orchestration enables organizations to achieve the full promise of cloud computing through tangible improvements in workload efficiency. 

4. Abundant Support 

Several well-developed support options are available to meet the needs of any enterprise. These include different tooling platforms, Kubernetes-as-a-service offerings from cloud service providers, as well as, cloud consultancies that specialize in DevOps and microservices deployments. You can be assured that hands-on support is available for any stage of Kubernetes implementation and usage. The varied participants in the community and broad endorsement of Kubernetes mean that Kubernetes support and development continues to expand.

What about Kubernetes alternatives? 

There are certainly alternatives to Kubernetes. For example, Amazon Web Services (AWS) developed ECS as an option for their subscribers early on, but many users are now choosing EKS, a managed Kubernetes toolkit, over ECS. 

Similarly, Docker Swarm is often cited as a viable alternative, yet it offers limited options compared with Kubernetes. However, as adoption grows, alternatives are likely to be developed and refined. The question is where to invest your resources today.

The Future of Kubernetes

For now, Kubernetes appears to have the edge over the alternatives when it comes to broad application in the enterprise. The combination of widespread dev support and unbeatable orchestration features mean that Kubernetes is likely to stay ahead of the competition for at least the next few years. 

And, while even one year is an eternity in the open source world, the demonstrated value creation of the Kubernetes ecosystem in enterprise cloud environments continues to win decisively and is likely to remain the dominant player for the foreseeable future. Our advice for now is to ignore the alternatives and focus on Kubernetes.


Author: Lee Hylton  – Blue Sentry Cloud CTO / Chief Cloud Architect