Last Year's Predictions and 4 Kubernetes and Edge Trends to Watch |

Last Year’s Predictions and 4 Kubernetes and Edge Trends to Watch |

The edge computing landscape is changing rapidly. How can businesses best prepare for future trends? In this article, Stewart McGrath, CEO and Co-Founder of Section, reviews last year’s predictions on Kubernetes and the edge and examines four key trends to look forward to.

As this year draws to a close, I thought it would be a good time to throw out some predictions about what 2023 holds for Kubernetes, container orchestration, and the edge computing landscape. But first, I would like to hold ourselves accountable and come back to the predictions we made this time last year. Looking back, how did we score?

Review of our predictions for 2022

1. Container use at the edge will continue to grow
The Internet of Things, online gaming, video conferencing, and a host of emerging use cases mean the use of containers at the edge will continue to grow. Additionally, as usage increases, organizational expectations also increase. Enterprises will demand more from edge platform vendors in terms of support to facilitate deployment and ongoing operations.

This is difficult to measure because there is little data available. This outcome seems inevitable, and anecdotal evidence from conversations with analysts, customers, and other industry players indicates that this is indeed the case. That said, without hard evidence, I have to give us an N/A on checking scores here.

2. Kubernetes will become central to edge computing
Hosting and edge platforms designed to support Kubernetes will have a competitive advantage by flexibly supporting the demands of modern DevOps teams. Edge platform vendors that can facilitate integration with Kubernetes-enabled environments will attract the attention of the growing cloud-native community; for example, leveraging Helm charts to allow app makers to push their app manifest and rely on an intelligent edge orchestration system to deploy clusters accordingly.

How about 7.5 out of 10 on this one? The global ecosystem growing around Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) technologies is growing rapidly and broadly. CNCF projects such as KubeVirt, Knative, WASM, Krustlet, Dapr and others indicate the growing acceptance of Kubernetes as the operating system of choice not only for containers, but also for virtual machines and workloads. working without a server. Limited distribution vendors for Kubernetes clusters, such as VMWare’s Tanzu, Rafay Systems, and Platform9, continue to develop and help customers run on multi-site, always-on footprints, while our global Kubernetes platform location-based as a service has grown dramatically in its ability to help customers instantly run Kubernetes workloads in the right place at the right time.

3. CDN’s attempts to reinvent themselves will accelerate
In the coming year, Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) will increasingly recognize the need to diversify away from the ever-decreasing margins of large object delivery (eg, video and download). In addition to reinventing themselves as application security platforms, CDNs will continue to address the application hosting market. Cloudflare and Fastly relied on their existing infrastructure to provide serverless distribution. We expect other CDNs to enter and/or expand offerings focused on the application hosting market as they seek to capitalize on their investment in building distributed networks.

I’ll take a 10 out of 10 here. Akamai signaled a major shift by spending nearly $1 billion acquiring Linode to dive headlong into the application hosting space and recently announced its investment in data networking company Macrometa. Both Fastly and Cloudflare have continued to expand their Edge offerings and in recent conferences have reinforced the importance of their Edge compute games for the future of their businesses.

4. Telecom operators will increase
Telcos will begin to develop more mature approaches to application hosting and leverage their unique differentiation from massively distributed networks to provide edge hosting options. Additionally, more partnerships will emerge to facilitate the connection between developers and telcos’ 5G and edge infrastructure to address their lack of expertise in this space.

We were overly optimistic, so I’ll give this one a 5 out of 10. Telcos seem to be heading in that direction, but they’re moving at a typical pace. While players like Lumen have continued to deploy hosting infrastructure in distributed footprints, we haven’t seen a monumental change released by a telco in 2022.

Learn more: What’s next for DevOps? Four DevOps predictions for 2023

Overall score 2022

Overall, I’d give it 22.5 out of 30, or 75% (after removing the N/A score). Definitely a passing grade, but room for excellence this year!

Four trends to watch in 2023

  1. The Rise of Kubernetes as a Service
    Kubernetes has been described as an operating system for containers. As workload management continues to expand into serverless and virtual machines, and the operations ecosystem (e.g., security and observability) matures and hardens, we’ll see Kubernetes more abstract from users. No developer working to build an application really needs (or probably wants) to understand and manage Kubernetes. What they really want are the benefits of Kubernetes when managing their applications in production. Similarly, no developer wants to manage Linux or even the servers it runs on, so cloud computing has given us computing as a service. Kubernetes is a layer above that calculus, and a natural fit for an “as a service” offering; in 2023, we will see this take off.
  2. The rise of the telcos – again
    Double here; I’m going to have another pitch on this one. This year we will see some movement from telecom operators after spending 2022 monitoring and planning. We will continue to see investments in edge infrastructure from ISPs, telcos, CDNs, hosting companies and hyperscalers. And we will see the emergence of a need from these infra vendors for application-level technologies to allow developers to place their workload on this infrastructure.
  3. The distribution of data is becoming widespread
    One of the main concerns for global application distribution is the proper management of connections to a central data store. Data persistence is a challenge when working with distributed systems. For a long time, centralizing data stores has been the solution to solve consistency problems and the easiest way to achieve ACID (atomicity, consistency, isolation, durability) properties. Facilitating the distribution of Edge data or applications poses consistency issues. Fortunately, significant investments have been made to address these issues by organizations such as Cockroach, MongoDB, Macrometa, Fauna, and PolyScale. Caching, distribution, and replication are all techniques that these organizations use to allow us to have our data available in distributed fingerprints, but still with ACID (or close to ACID) properties.
  4. The Edge will remain a nebulous and contested concept
    Edge is a bad name for a distributed computing paradigm. There are simultaneously no edges to the Internet, and many edges, depending on your perspective. The debate will continue to rage about where Edge is and whether some distributed systems are more or less “Edge-y” than others. What will not be disputed is that distributing applications to larger hosting footprints has advantages when it comes to things like latency, reliability, redundancy, and the cost of transmitting the data. So maybe a new phase will emerge focusing on app distribution rather than Edge.

Learn more: Predictions for Service Mesh and Microservices: What’s in store for 2023?

Long term predictions for the next five years

Kubernetes environments allow dynamic scheduling of untied workloads in a single cluster. With the development of higher levels of Kubernetes abstraction and increased security and observability, I can see a world where Kubernetes cluster providers advertise the availability of their clusters to a general global pool of available resources on which a developer could deploy workloads.

Each cluster will be able to describe its attributes (location, capacity, compliance, etc.), and developers can let a global orchestration system match workload requirements to underlying attributes of contributed clusters (e.g. , GPU, PCI DSS, slot-specific needs, etc.). This will be the next evolution of cloud computing: a dynamic cloud of clusters.

The Kubernetes ecosystem has continued to show remarkable growth over the past 12 months. I am confident that we will see further evolution in the coming year, as the demand for better automation of deployment, scaling and management of containerized applications is clear.

What do you think of the predicted trends? Share your thoughts with us at Facebook, Twitterand LinkedIn.


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