TechRepublic | July 7, 2016

Why Kubernetes could be crowned king of container management

Kubernetes does community better than its vendor-controlled peers, and that may make all the difference in its growth.

If there were any doubt that containers are booming in the enterprise, a quick look at the tooling used to scale them should put that to rest. Apache Mesos, Docker Swarm, and Kubernetes are all growing fast, as enterprises seek out cluster managers to automate the deployment, scaling, and operation of containers.

Among these fast-growing open source communities, however, Kubernetes seems to be growing fastest.

The reason, suggests Apprenda executive Chris Gaun, is that Kubernetes offers a “very strong ecosystem that mimics the Hadoop model,” meaning that the “base tech [is] not sold as [an] installable solution by [the technology’s] originators but [instead is] adopted by vendors who productize it.” In other words, when there’s not just one dominant vendor on a project, the underlying project can flourish.

This thing has wings

Kubernetes, open sourced by Google in 2014, is based on Google’s Borg technology that has been running for many years. A decade before containers became trendy, Google had been powering its services with them.

Even so, Kubernetes was late to the container cluster manager party, with Apache Mesos first entering public discussion in 2009. Despite only being out of beta for 11 months, however, more people now list Kubernetes skills on their LinkedIn profiles than either Apache Mesos or Cloud Foundry. Interest can also be measured by the growth in Stack Overflow questions that mention the different container cluster managers, with Kubernetes dominating the category, as this chart from Apprenda shows:


The same trends hold true if we look at relative growth in jobs listing different container managers as a requirement.

The question is why?…