The rise of Kubernetes as a Service
|Richard Harris in Open Source Monday, January 16, 2023|
Stewart McGrath from Section shares his 2023 predictions about Kubernetes, why edge computing will remain a nebulous and disputed concept, why telcos will rise again, how the investment in Edge infrastructure will increase, why data distribution will go mainstream, and tons more.
Kubernetes has been described as an operating system for containers. As workload management continues to expand to serverless and virtual machines, and the operations ecosystem (e.g., security and observability) matures and hardens, we will see Kubernetes more abstracted from users.
The rise of Kubernetes as a Service in 2023
No developer working on building an application really needs (or probably wants) to understand and manage Kubernetes. What they really want is the benefits of Kubernetes when managing their applications in production. In the same way, no developer wants to manage Linux or even the servers on which it runs, so cloud computing gave us computing as a service. Kubernetes is one layer above that compute, and a natural fit for an "as a service" offering; in 2023 we’ll see that take off.
The rise of telcos, again
Doubling down here; I am going to have another pitch on this one. This year we will see some movement from the telcos after spending 2022 watching and planning. We will continue to see investment in Edge infrastructure from ISPs, telcos, CDNs, hosting companies, and hyperscalers. And we will see the emergence of a need from these infra providers for application-level technologies to enable developers to place their workload on that infrastructure.
Data distribution to go mainstream
One of the key concerns for the global distribution of applications is appropriately managing connections to a central data store. The durability of data is a challenge when we are working with distributed systems. For a long time, centralizing data stores have been the solution to solving for consistency and the easy way to achieve ACID (Atomicity, Consistency, Isolation, Durability) properties. Facilitating the distribution of data or Edge applications brings challenges for consistency. Fortunately, there has been significant investment in solving these problems by organizations such as Cockroach, MongoDB, Macrometa, Fauna, and PolyScale. Caching, distribution, and replication are all techniques these organizations are employing to let us have our data available in distributed footprints but still with ACID (or close to ACID) properties
The Edge will remain a nebulous and disputed concept
Edge is a bad name for a distributed computing paradigm. There is simultaneously no Edge to the Internet, and many Edges, depending on your perspective. The debate will continue to rage about where the Edge is and whether some distributed systems are more or less "Edge-y" than others. What will not be disputed is that distribution of applications to wider hosting footprints has advantages with respect to elements such as latency, reliability, redundancy, and data backhaul cost. So maybe a new phrase will emerge with a focus on application distribution rather than Edge.
Stewart McGrath is the CEO and co-founder of Section, an edge computing platform that helps engineers deliver better web applications. With extensive experience leading companies in the technology space, Stewart’s passion for building teams focused on bringing technologies to market drove him to co-found and lead Section. As applications continue to evolve and end-user demands for performance, security, and functionality increase, he envisions a world where developers are unencumbered by infrastructure and a better Internet is powered by the edge.
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