Looking to the future with Kubernetes: You will be assimilated…

As the cloud becomes increasingly fragmented, Kubernetes will play an increasingly important role as a universal management platform. What are the main trends for Kubernetes and the cloud in the coming years?

The evolution of the cloud means that compute & storage will no longer take place in one place, but that applications will run in hundreds of places at the same time. This is the trend towards edge computing, where everything can soon become part of a Kubernetes cluster with a processor and a storage memory. Including your cell phone, smart thermostat and all kinds of other smart IoT devices. This actually makes a lot of sense. A laptop of about six to seven years old performs just as well as a new smartphone. In principle, portability allows a Kubernetes cluster to run anywhere in its own container. So why should this only be in a data center, if the end user is somewhere else? Leveraging the distributed compute & storage capacity in networks is the driving force behind the major cloud wave of decentralization that will continue in the coming years.

Lighter and more mobile

Exactly what this is going to mean for Kubernetes is not entirely certain. The necessary development loopswill have to be passed over to build a lighter, mobile variant that can also function as a nodein a cluster. The potential is certainly there, for example, it is already possible to run Kubernetes on Raspberry Pi. Much depends on what early innovatorsare doing in this area, but the first steps have been taken. Privacy in particular is still an important topic for discussion. More than ever, IT users are critical of companies that make mistakes with their personal data; this is a logical result of experiences with various large cloud companies, such as Facebook over the past period.

What do the developments with Kubernetes entail for companies? Portability will remain the most important principle in the coming years. The number of platforms and their speed of development are increasing. The ability to roll out Kubernetes clusters everywhere means that organizations will benefit from this. The biggest chip platform, for example, is no longer Intel, but ARM. The world is rapidly differentiating. A country like China now also has its own chipsets, which reduces dependence on certain providers. All these developments have to come together again somewhere. The logical conclusion is that this will be container technology, with Kubernetes as the standard for shipping to any cloud.

Bots and Borg

In the medium term – in the IT world we are talking about two to five years in the future – the emergence of AI will play a more decisive role. We will see artificial intelligence take over many management tasks. Kubernetes’ declarative configuration(which means: one descriptive language for all components, from network and machine to OS, back-up and routing) will be of great value here. This standardization makes it easier to have collision work with Kubernetes carried out. In a few years’ time, this will mean that a DevOps team can simply put an application module in the cloud, after which “AI-ops” will take care of the distribution. This will of course change the DevOps work: for part of this work, it is simply the case that a bone knows better than a human being.

Finally, development in the slightly shorter term. Increasingly, the convergence of different platforms and services is driving the emergence of Kubernetes as a universal management platform with sustained microservices. At the moment, this is still mainly focused on virtualization, but it would be nice if physical machines were to be controlled by this management platform. This would mean that your organization can bring together all IT resources – from on-premises hardware to VMware clusters and public clouds – under one control platform. This makes IT management much more efficient with Kubernetes, which will make a big difference especially at enterprise level. A nice detail is that this is the thought behind Borg, the internal application management system developed by Google in 2003 that is the predecessor of Kubernetes. Not for nothing was it named after a fictional group of extraterrestrials from Star Trek, who operate as one big entity. With the famous tagline“You will be assimilated”…In short, all resources will be brought together on one platform and then the control under one button.

This blog is part of a series in which we discuss the backgrounds, pros and cons, and working with Kubernetes. Read the previously written blogs in this series here.