History of Kubernetes: Today, and Future

Share :
twitter facebooklink din

By Nate Matherson, Co-founder of ContainIQ

In 2022, it is clear that Kubernetes is the go-to container orchestration system. Known for its many benefits, for organizations large and small, Kubernetes adoption has increased steadily in the years since Google open-sourced the technology in 2014.

However, it wasn’t always clear that Kubernetes would be the de-facto choice. The container orchestration wars, between the cloud providers, Kubernetes, and other toolsets like Docker Swarm, caused confusion for many and at times it wasn’t always clear that Kubernetes would be here to stay.
In this article, we explore the history of Kubernetes, highlighting the origins of the technology itself, the path to open-source, current adoption and usage statistics, as well as the future outlook on Kubernetes adoption in the years to come.

Developed By Google

Initially developed as an internal technology at Google, Kubernetes was designed to meet the massive workloads and challenges of one of the world’s largest technology companies. As you can imagine, Google, the provider of services like Gmail, Youtube, and of course Google Search, needed to prioritize performance. Prior to the development of Kubernetes, the company internally developed a technology called Borg, a cluster management system, which allowed the company to run its data centers more efficiently.

The team at Google, led by Urs Hölzle, saw an opportunity to develop and open-source a new container orchestration system to extract even more value and performance from its servers. Taking everything that they had learned about container management through Borg, the team started working on Kubernetes, which was initially named Project Seven of Nine, hence why the current Kubernetes logo has seven sides.

After working on a few projects over the course of several months, Google had a working prototype available. But it wasn’t until 2015 that Kubernetes 1.0 was released, through a partnership with the Linux Foundation. This partnership ultimately formed the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF), and Kubernetes was offered as the seed technology, along with meaningful financial commitments from Google.

Open-Sourced With CNCF

From the beginning, the team at Google knew that the ultimate goal was to open-source the project. And through its partnership with the Linux Foundation, the open-source community has rallied around the project.

Since 2015, the open-source project has grown to a massive scale. As of this writing, Kubernetes v1.24.1, has received contributions from over 3,000 individual contributors. There have been 533 releases and the project now has over 88,000 GitHub stars.

The CNCF has grown to support a number of popular projects including Helm, Prometheus, and Jaeger. And today, the CNCF is supported by many of the largest companies in the world including Apple, AWS, and Cisco. And it is also supported by hundreds of smaller organizations too.

Current Adoption

Due in large part to the support from the cloud providers themselves, Kubernetes adoption has grown massively. In fact, according to Red Hat, 90% of Kubernetes workloads are being run using cloud-managed services.

And according to the most recent statistics, there are now more than 3.9 million Kubernetes developers worldwide. And according to the most recent data from a CNCF study, 96% of the respondents surveyed are using Kubernetes in production or considering it.

Adoption is driven by increased usage of containers, but also by the benefits that Kubernetes offers. By using Kubernetes, organizations can work more efficiently, improve end-user performance, and save money. In fact, according to data from PureStorage, 55% of engineers surveyed believe that Kubernetes has reduced their cloud costs by 20% or more.

Looking Forward

The future is looking bright for Kubernetes, and for the organizations using it to run their workloads. The open-source community continues to improve and maintain the technology. And startup companies are using K8s earlier and earlier, often from the very beginning.

Over the last two years, we’ve seen the number of Kubernetes native tools and projects expand too. Because the size of the market has grown so dramatically, a number of new companies have started to build services and tools specifically for companies running workloads on Kubernetes. 

Today, there are Kubernetes native solutions for everything from monitoring, to load testing, security, and cost management. ContainIQ, is just one such company, building Kubernetes monitoring tools and solutions. With ContainIQ, it is easy to measure and correlate everything from metrics to logs, and traces. And because ContainIQ is a Kubernetes native solution, the setup time and ongoing maintenance are minimal.

Going forward, it is expected that the ecosystem as a whole will grow, and developer productivity should benefit as a result.

Final Thoughts

Kubernetes is here to stay. The engineering team at Google did an incredible job to bring this new technology to the forefront, and the open-source community has rallied around it. 

Adoption has grown significantly in recent years, and it is expected that this trend will continue. 

The future is bright, and continued innovation will lead to new tools and services built for a Kubernetes specific use case.

Request a Demo

Find out more about the monthly raffle

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.