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Are You a Kubernetes Pros or a Kubernetes Novice?

February 27, 2020

I’m a fan of online surveys. It’s a fun, simple, and a great way to check the pulse of our community.

We launched our first survey back in 2018, where we looked at the state of securing cloud workloads. We then continued the motion in 2019 with The Kubernetes Adoption and Usage survey and most recently with the Helm survey, still open for feedback.

In this blog post I’d like to focus on the 2019 Alcide Kubernetes survey. Based on 200 responses from Dev, Ops, Security and Cloud Architects, our survey reveals that 45% of companies are now running Kubernetes in production, while 37% are leveraging hybrid or multi-cloud environments for their Kubernetes clusters.

The 2019 State of Kubernetes Adoption and Security Report was based on Q4 2019 

Screen Shot 2019-12-17 at 12.41.02

survey data conducted by Alcide to gauge Kubernetes adoption changes year-over-year, evolving practices around Kubernetes use and security, and key challenges faced by those with Kubernetes experience as well as those starting out.

This report follows the Alcide’s research and report: 2018 Report: The State of Securing Cloud Workloads, which provided insights into the state of the industry and the adoption of Kubernetes and serverless amongst medium and large enterprises.

Here are my 5 key takeaways from the survey:

  • Kubernetes Streams into Production

We found out that 45% of companies are now running Kubernetes in production, while 37% are leveraging hybrid or multi-cloud environments for their K8s clusters.


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  • Nearly half the market is striving to learn and become proficient withKubernetes, showing the ongoing demand for Kubernetes skills.

The rapid adoption of Kubernetes, driven by the implementation of microservices (60%), improved innovation velocity and time to market (53%), and application scaling (44%), has created a K8s expertise gap with only 20% of teams considering themselves Kubernetes pros. This lack of experience is resulting in 50% of teams not feeling confident their K8s deployments are secure, while 67% anticipate their use of K8s security tools in 2020 to increase.


Alcide K8s Survey Report

  • As traditional enterprises choose Kubernetes, two camps are emerging:the Kubernetes pros and those starting out with Kubernetes.

We found out that nearly half the market is striving to learn and become proficient with Kubernetes, showing the ongoing demand for Kubernetes skills. The continued growth of the Kubernetes marketplace will continue to bring in new professionals who need to be trained. And those professionals won’t find it easy to gain the critical Kubernetes skills they need. The “brutal learning curve,” as described by cloud-native pundit Ian Coldwater after KubeCon 2019, sums the challenge up.



  • The race to wrangle Kubernetes is pushing both Kubernetes pros and novices to seek new security tools.

67% of all respondents plan to increase their number of cloud security tools in 2019. Although this represents a slight decline from 2018, where 75% of respondents said they will increase the number of security tools they rely on in 2019, this points to the pervasive security concerns associated with cloud-native and Kubernetes-based environments across those with Kubernetes experience and those starting out.




  • Securing Kubernetes Workloads in 2020.

As application environments mature, they become more complex, and as speed to market continues to push teams to go faster, intelligent automation of security that covers all of CI/CD, including configuration and deployment vulnerabilities, real-time threat detection, analysis and forensics, will become increasingly important. Research conducted by Alcide in 2019 supports this notion.

Bottom line: K8s gains more steam in production, and scaling Kubernetes will drive continuous innovations in automated security guardrails in 2020.





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