Kubernetes, Microsoft Azure Big Winners In 2019 State Of Cloud Report

Kubernetes is becoming the container orchestration tool of choice and Microsoft Azure is gaining ground, according to the annual RightScale State of the Cloud Report from Flexera.


The State Of The Cloud

Companies are using or experimenting with an average of almost five public and private clouds, but public cloud use is growing at three times the rate among enterprises, according to an annual “state of the cloud” report released today.

Cloud governance and managing cloud costs are the top issues for enterprises at all levels of cloud adoption, and managing the use of software licenses also is a growing concern,based on findings of the eighth annual report on cloud adoption – renamed this year as the RightScale State of the Cloud Report From Flexera.

The findings are based on responses from 786 information technology professionals, 72 percent of which work for enterprises with 1,000-plus employees, while the remainder are employed at small to medium-sized businesses.

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Kubernetes Is De Facto Leader In Container Battle

The open-source Kubernetes is becoming the container orchestration tool of choice, according to the State of the Cloud report.

While there continues to be strong growth in the use of Docker, Kubernetes – which leverages Docker – has a faster adoption rate that’s skyrocketing, survey respondents said.

Kubernetes adoption, meanwhile, jumped to 48 percent from 27 percent last year.Docker adoption, meanwhile, increased to 57 percent among survey respondents, up from 49 percent last year.

“That’s a big jump from last year, and it’s essentially saying that Kubernetes is the de facto leader in the container orchestration space,” said Kim Weins, vice president of cloud strategy at software solutions provider Flexera, which acquired survey founder RightScale in September.

For public cloud container-as-a-service offerings, Amazon ECS and EKZ container services’ adoption rate remained flat at 44 percent. Microsoft Azure Container Service’s adoption rate climbed to 28 percent from 20 percent in the 2018 survey, while Google Kubernetes Engine’s adoption rate inched up to 15 percent from 14 percent.

Microsoft Azure Still Closing the Gap In Horse Race Vs. AWS

Microsoft Azure continues to narrow Amazon Web Services’ lead for cloud adoption among the IT professionals polled.

Overall Azure adoption increased to 52 percent from 45 percent last year, while AWS adoption was relatively flat at 61 percent.

That puts Azure adoption at 85 percent of AWS adoption, up from 70 percent last year, according to the survey.

“We’re looking at what percentage of respondents are using that cloud,” Weins said. “They may be running different numbers of workloads and different spend on those clouds. AWS has the lead, and AWS does have larger number of workloads…but the gap is narrowing.”

Survey respondents said they’re running applications on a combination of 3.4 public and private clouds, and they’re experimenting with 1.5 more clouds.

Google Cloud remained at No. 3, with an adoption rate that increased to 19 percent from 18 percent. Its use escalates among more mature cloud users, according to the survey, which found that 9 percent of beginning cloud users employed Google Cloud, compared to 24 percent of advanced cloud users.

“It’s not that they’re displacing AWS,” Weins said. “They typically bring Google in as an additional cloud option.”

VMware Cloud, in its second year of availability, moved ahead of IBM Cloud for a fourth-place adoption rate of 12 percent, a 50 percent jump from last year’s survey.

“The number of workloads is probably still small in those cases, but that was stronger adoption than we expected,” said Weins, who expected VMware adoption’s rate to be closer to flat.

Cloud Cost Optimization Top Priority For Third Year Running

Cloud cost optimization remains the top priority for the survey’s third consecutive year, with 64 percent of respondents saying that optimizing their existing cloud use and spending will be their No. 1 goal this year, up from 58 percent last year.

The number rose to 70 percent for intermediate cloud users and 76 percent for advanced cloud users.

“It becomes a bigger problem the more mature they are…because they’re spending more,” Weins said. “It’s getting spent by many different parts of the organizations.”

Moving more workloads to the cloud, expanding the use of containers, adopting a cloud-first strategy and implementing automated policies for cloud governance were also cited as top priorities for 2019.

The use of licensed software in public clouds also is becoming a key issue. More than half of survey respondents – 52 percent – said their top challenge with running software on the cloud was understanding the cost implications of the software licenses.

“As cloud is maturing, people are taking their on-premise licenses or traditional software licenses, and they’re deploying the software applications into cloud environments,” Weins said. “That can be a very significant cost.”

And the cost implications can be complicated, because the software providers often have different rules for how their software can be used, she said.

The Use Of Public Cloud Providers’ PaaS Services Is ‘Exploding’

Serverless computing is the top-growing extended cloud service for the second straight year among “State of the Cloud” survey respondents, growing 50 percent to a 36 percent adoption rate, up from 24 percent in 2018.

Stream processing also grew at a 50 percent clip, with a 30 percent adoption rate compared to 20 percent last year.

Machine learning, container-as-a-service, and internet of things ranked as the next fastest growing.

Database-as-a-service and push notifications continued to hold the top two spots for highest adoption rates, while machine learning had the highest interest in terms of future use. Twenty-six percent of respondents currently use machine learning, but 48 percent said they are considering using it in the future.

Enterprises Deploying Central Cloud Teams Or Centers Of Excellence

Central IT cloud teams or cloud “centers of excellence” are becoming more prevalent as companies adopt cloud-first strategies, according to the State of the Cloud report.

Sixty-six percent of responding enterprises said they now have a central cloud team, and 21 percent are planning to add one. Fifty-seven percent of respondents indicated they had central cloud teams in last year’s survey, while 24 percent said they were planning one.

The top responsibilities of those teams include optimizing cloud services costs, deciding and advising on which workloads to run in the clouds and setting cloud use policies. Companies’ business units, meanwhile, typically handle cloud budgets.

Smaller and medium-sized businesses have been slower to implement central cloud teams. Thirty-one percent of those polled have a central cloud team – the same percentage as last year -- and 25 percent are planning one.