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Kubernetes and other cloud-native technologies saw significant growth in 2022. The adoption of the open source container orchestration platform exploded. The developer experience with Kubernetes has steadily improved to the point where it is now accessible to medium-sized businesses. Additionally, we witnessed the emergence of numerous brand-new K8s-native tools, ranging from open source edge and bare metal packages to enterprise-grade solutions for implementing stateful storage and recovery. That is a ton of progress in a little window of time! So, what is in store for the coming year?

To summarize, cloud-native leaders anticipate that engineers will overcome many of the remaining obstacles to Kubernetes adoption by 2023. Both a mature cybersecurity response to the growing threats posed by cloud-native technologies and additional investments in platform engineering are likely. The developer experience around Kubernetes will keep getting better, and the platforms and tools that wrap it will give developers new features like better edge management and AI-driven capabilities.

I’ve compiled a few predictions for where Kubernetes will be in 2023 in the table below. These projections are informed by a small group of industry professionals who have extensive knowledge of containerization and Kubernetes. Let’s see what the ghost of the cloud-native future has to say about the coming year as we approach the holiday season!

1. Platform engineering will take the place of DevOps

According to Tobi Knaup, CEO and co-founder of D2iQ, “organizations realize the inadequacies of their IT teams to leverage DevOps practices” as a result of the rapid development of Kubernetes and cloud-native applications. As a result, he predicts that platform engineering will soon phase out traditional DevOps methods, aided by an internal development platform that provides a “golden path” to “more easily deploy, manage

2. Cloud-native threats will be addressed by security best practices

The year 2023 will be the year that businesses carefully respond to growing concerns about cloud-native security. According to Red Hat’s 2022 State of Kubernetes Security report, 93% of respondents reported at least one security incident in the previous year in their Kubernetes environment, with 31% reporting that this resulted in revenue loss or customer loss. According to Kubernetes consultant Michael Levan, “security is typically taking a back seat because engineers are still simply trying to get up to speed with Kubernetes because they just need to get the environment up.” This will change as more engineers use security tools and platforms and best practices.

Tenry Fu, Spectro Cloud’s CEO and co-founder, agrees that security will no longer be a “nice to have” in 2023. He predicts that many of these newly discovered security issues will be driven by the edge.

Security will be a top priority for cloud-native customers in 2023, and they will have a very long wish list. For starters, anything that helps guarantee the software supply chain’s integrity and the trusted software bill of materials (SBOM) when it lands in a running cluster,” Fu states. Then, at that point, there’s the security of Kubernetes and the ‘full stack’ that makes up the group: This includes everything from hardened distros to zero-trust access controls. It also includes a closer look at and criticism of traditional methods like relying on namespaces to provide isolation and core manageability requirements like security scans and the ability to patch multiple clusters quickly.

3. Engineers will learn how to use Kubernetes

Today, a variety of users with varying skill levels are attempting to navigate Kubernetes’ complexity. However, according to Levan’s forecast, engineers will finally become familiar with Kubernetes in 2023. According to him, there is a significant shortage of engineers who truly comprehend the platform. As containerization and Kubernetes gain more traction, this will begin to change. Additionally, delving deeper into the platform will assist in avoiding the aforementioned configuration errors.

“Engineers will have to start thinking about what’s going on under the hood.” People typically believe that all it takes to get a Kubernetes cluster up and running is to press a few buttons because of the cloud’s level of abstraction, according to Levan. However, according to the State of Kubernetes Security Report for 2022, 46% of individuals are concerned about security issues caused by misconfigurations. I think that a lot of these misconfigurations are caused by engineers not going deep enough into the platform and having too much abstraction.

4. To close the skills gap, organizations will place an emphasis on technology that is simple to maintain

On the other hand, some stakeholders anticipate increased investment in technology and tools that have an impact on the company’s bottom line in response to the skills gap.

According to Knaup, “Kubernetes is a complex technology that requires deep technical skills to deploy and manage, despite the fact that there are many benefits to using Kubernetes in hybrid and multi-cloud environments.” There aren’t many skilled Kubernetes engineers available because Kubernetes is a new technology. Because of this, we anticipate that businesses will gradually shift their budgets away from DIY Kubernetes projects and toward training and technology for their Kubernetes deployments and projects.

5. The developer experience will take center stage

Recently, a lot of work has been done to improve the developer experience with platform tooling. Because the developer is essentially the customer when it comes to DevOps tools. Fu explains, “We see this realization coming through in the refocusing from DevOps to platform engineering, expressed by platform teams building products for their internal customers with user testing and other rituals.” He goes on to say, “There is an encouraging degree of introspection about what developers are currently getting from Kubernetes and whether it is adequate.” It’s almost certain that in 2023 we’ll see more robotization of dull undertakings and a greater amount of an ‘as-a-administration’ model for getting to group assets, with huge exertion paid to accelerating and working on all touchpoints.”

6. On the edge, more K8s

In 2023, there will undoubtedly be increased interest in operating K8s at the edge. 35% of production Kubernetes users are already deploying Kubernetes at the edge, according to Spectro Cloud research, and many more plan to do so in the coming year.

According to Fu, “Kubernetes may have gained popularity as the operating system for the data center, but its real value may prove to be at the edge, where its portable and resilient application workloads can power an almost infinite variety of digital business processes and customer experiences.” “Kubernetes may have gained popularity as the operating system for the data center.” However, the difficulties are equally enormous, ranging from security to management. The moment when the challenges are confronted head-on and the edge truly becomes mainstream is in 2023.

7. The “big bang” of the landscape will slow

The Cloud Native Computing Foundation landscape now contains 1,1000 cards as evidence of the significant increase in cloud-native projects over the past few years. But businesses that need to stay stable find it hard to keep up with all this exciting change. As a result, the landscape’s “big bang” may slow down in 2023, potentially marking a turning point.

“We think the 2021/2022 acquisitions and mid-2022 cutbacks were significant, yet an interruption from the genuine story: Fu says that K8s is seven years old now and growing up quickly. The balance shifts toward consolidation in a market that is maturing. As K8s moves toward a wider adoption in 2023, we anticipate more stability and greater emphasis on interoperability, support, LTS releases, and standards.

8. Pressure to control skyrocketing cloud native costs grows

Although economic uncertainty probably won’t stop Kubernetes from growing, it might make IT budgets tighter and get managers to control skyrocketing cloud costs. Fu asserts that the time will come when experimental tools and new clusters will be added to the stack.

“Enterprise platform teams will be expected to have a comprehensive understanding of their overall K8s costs, including multi-cloud cloud costs. To reduce expenses without compromising security, they will turn to novel paradigms like virtual clusters. He explains that Kubernetes TCO—which includes costs for team time, hardware, bare-metal overhead, license fees, support fees, and more—will begin to be reported and tracked more aggressively.

Additionally, AI is likely to be used by businesses to assist in maximizing their cloud-native footprint and lowering the escalating costs. According to David Meyer, SVP of product management at Databricks, AI will come to the rescue and cut costs by automatically right-sizing deployments for the best balance of productivity and cost.

9. The multi-cloud strategy will become primarily driven by the data platform

As businesses try to tailor their computing environments to each individual situation, hybrid multi-cloud is becoming the new normal. According to Meyer’s prediction, businesses will prioritize their cloud vendor decisions based on data workload needs as they consolidate all data-oriented use cases on a data lakehouse. These needs will include ease of use, performance, regulatory compliance, and unified cloud management.

10. Data consolidation and architecture simplification are two goals pursued by CIOs

These days, technical executives face challenges such as multi-cloud management difficulties, rising technical debt, persistent labor, and siloed teams—not to mention the various technical stacks utilized by various departments. As a result, it makes sense that some CIOs will try to consolidate some of their IT strategies in order to improve consistency and bring their data strategies into line. “Speaking with other CIOs, I’ve noticed that companies are growing exponentially without a plan to organize their data,” says Naveen Zutshi, CIO of Databricks. A company must combine data science and data analytics and use a single truth source in order to truly progress with digital transformation. In order to simplify their data architecture, more CIOs will reduce vendor spending. Organizations that carry out a design that consolidates knowing the past and prescient examination to convey effective and savvy arrangements will win eventually,” he says.

One last thought: K8s Security Requirement for Cloud-Native Maturation 2023 is anticipated to be a significant year for cloud-native technologies. “Kubernetes isn’t done yet,” as one commentator puts it. In 2023, Kubernetes will undoubtedly become an integral part of core infrastructure, leading to even greater adoption. The distributed, multi-cloud paradigm of today is quite compatible with this movement. Kubernetes has become the de facto standard for managing containerized environments as a result of faster digital transformation, according to Knaup.

However, stable and secure deployments will be required for cloud-native maturation to continue. In a nutshell, the enterprise will begin to seriously consider Kubernetes in 2023, and this will necessitate increased security. According to Fu, “it’s no longer OK for a technology to be untrusted, unstable, and, most importantly, insecure when it moves out of the proverbial playground and into serious production use.”


Cloud-Native Predictions for 2023