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Key Criteria for Evaluating Managed Kubernetes Solutionsv2.0

An Evaluation Guide for Technology Decision Makers

Table of Contents

  1. Summary
  2. Managed Kubernetes Primer
  3. Report Methodology
  4. Decision Criteria Analysis
  5. Evaluation Metrics
  6. Key Criteria: Impact Analysis
  7. Analyst’s Take
  8. About Enrico Signoretti
  9. About Jason Benedicic

Summary

Development in the enterprise has been shifting toward microservices-based applications for a while now. Time has been spent developing and testing these applications at smaller scales ready for proof of concept deployments, with business critical applications now ready for production deployments. From an infrastructure perspective, we have advanced from the initial curiosity and learning phases into small-scale training laboratories or non-critical production deployments. There is an increasing interest in solutions that can bridge the gap between user expectations and the operational reality of Kubernetes in action.

Kubernetes remains a complex platform that receives frequent updates and new features. For IT organizations accustomed to the ease of use and stability of technologies such as virtualization, this level of flux is a concern. In order for organizations to operate within the existing high standards of availability and security, they must keep up to date with the latest Kubernetes version and surrounding ecosystem projects, ensuring that security patches, API specifications, and performance improvements are realized as soon as possible. The reality is that most organizations are not geared up to work at this pace; managing existing workload demands and learning new skills simultaneously is a challenge. Managing an ever-evolving platform like Kubernetes is a demanding task, and on top of that, operational complexities in this type of platform can create reliability issues if not addressed correctly.

IT organizations favor containers because they enable true application portability, and Kubernetes is the right platform to manage container-based applications correctly, at scale. Kubernetes realizes the possibility of true hybrid cloud deployments, enabling organizations to build on existing data center solutions and expand into cloud environments seamlessly.

The easiest way to get all the advantages of Kubernetes and none of the complexity that comes with it is to choose the right managed Kubernetes services. There are plenty of options in the market at the moment and, although rooted in the same code base, they present several differences in technical features, consumption models, and support aspects.

Fortunately, Kubernetes didn’t see the proliferation of different distributions or many competing projects that occurred early on with the Linux OS. The core of Kubernetes is the same on all platforms, and they share the same commands, structure, and way of operating, making seamless application portability a reality.

In this report, we analyze the important features of managed Kubernetes systems to see how well they respond to enterprise needs and to enable organizations to evaluate specific solutions based on their own requirements.

How to Read this Report

This GigaOm report is one of a series of documents that helps IT organizations assess competing solutions in the context of well-defined features and criteria. For a fuller understanding consider reviewing the following reports:

Key Criteria report: A detailed market sector analysis that assesses the impact that key product features and criteria have on top-line solution characteristics—such as scalability, performance, and TCO—that drive purchase decisions.

GigaOm Radar report: A forward-looking analysis that plots the relative value and progression of vendor solutions along multiple axes based on strategy and execution. The Radar report includes a breakdown of each vendor’s offering in the sector.

Solution Profile: An in-depth vendor analysis that builds on the framework developed in the Key Criteria and Radar reports to assess a company’s engagement within a technology sector. This analysis includes forward-looking guidance around both strategy and product.

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