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CNCF Survey 'Takes the Pulse' of the Global Cloud Native Community

This week's KubeCon + Cloud Native online event, wrapping up today, dominated our headlines this week, and for good reason. The flagship conference of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) was chock-a-block with vendor announcements and Kubernetes community news.

Among the noteworthy news from the CNCF itself was the publication of the results of its 2020 survey. Based on the responses of 1,324 members of the global cloud native community, the survey "takes the pulse" of that community to provide some clarity on where and how cloud native technologies are begin adopted.

My list of key takeways from this survey includes:

  • The use of containers in production has increased to 92%, up from 84% last year, and up 300% from our first survey in 2016.
  • Kubernetes use in production has increased to 83%, up from 78% last year.
  • There has been a 50% increase in the use of all CNCF projects since last year's survey.
  • Usage of cloud native tools:
    • 82% of respondents use CI/CD pipelines in production.
    • 30% of respondents use serverless technologies in production.
    • 27% of respondents use a service mesh in production, a 50% increase over last year.
    • 55% of respondents use stateful applications in containers in production.

Public cloud continued to be the most popular data center approach in this year's survey (that's three years in a row). It increased slightly in usage from last year (64%, up from 62%). Private cloud or on-prem usage had the most significant increase (52%, up from 45%). Hybrid decreased slightly (36% down from 38% in 2019). Multi-cloud usage, a new survey option this year, accounted for 26%.

"For the purpose of this analysis, hybrid cloud refers to the use of a combination of on-premises and public cloud," the report explains. "Multi-cloud means using workloads across different clouds based on the type of cloud that fits the workload best. The portability that Kubernetes and cloud native tools provide makes it much simpler to switch from one public cloud vendor to another. The addition of multi-cloud as an option this year does not necessarily explain the drop in hybrid unless respondents use a different definition."

The survey compiled responses from the community gathered between May and June 2020. Of those responding, 54% indicated their organization is part of the CNCF End User Community, which comprises more than 140 companies and startups "committed to accelerating cloud native technologies and improving the deployment experience." Many of the respondence were based in Europe and North America, but it was a worldwide survey: 38% were from Europe; 33% from North America; 23% from Asia; and 6% from South and Central America, Africa, Australia, and Oceania. Two-thirds of respondents were from organizations with more than 100 employees, and 30% were from organizations with more than 5,000 employees, showing a strong enterprise representation.

This is a thoughtful survey with more stats on release cycles, normalized use of containers, Kubernetes environments, "container challenges," and more.

Posted by John K. Waters on November 19, 2020