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Kubernetes: 3 reasons why containers are becoming essential for midsize companies

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Until recently, experimentation and deployment of new technologies such as containers was largely left to large enterprises – Global 2000 companies with the means to invest in multi-year transformation initiatives and highly talented DevOps teams.

But now that containers are moving past the initial stages of innovation and adoption and reaching maturity, now is the time for midsize businesses to step up their efforts to take advantage of this technology.

Not only do containers work better out of the box, but they are also increasingly delivered as a service and easily consumed. This maturity, along with well-defined APIs and stable functionality, makes it an off-the-shelf technology best suited for mid-size IT companies looking to achieve the desired end result as efficiently as possible.

Whether you are a small retail chain, an educational institution, a municipal agency, or an analytical store serving your industry, reap the benefits of Kubernetes and containers are now much more readily available.

[ Why does Kubernetes matter to IT leaders? Learn more about Red Hat’s point of view. ]

By 2025, more than 85 percent global organizations will run containerized applications in production. For anyone just getting started with a container strategy, here are three reasons why now is the time for developers in small organizations to reap the benefits:

1. Stability gives meaning to innovation

We have navigated the most exhilarating days of Kubernetes experimentation to a more stable state of innovation with purpose. And that helps make it more functional and easier to consume.

As a technology – whether it’s containers themselves, Kubernetes as a platform, or Kubernetes extensions – the maturity is considerably higher than just a few years ago. Most Kubernetes-based offerings are in their third generation. Industry standards bodies, like the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF), have done a good job of standardizing on some APIs, which are now shipping with increasing regularity. Thus, there is greater stability in the APIs and greater reliability in the software. Additionally, the industry has consolidated with fewer suppliers, so there are fewer discrepancies to consider for mid-sized companies.

We have navigated the most exhilarating days of Kubernetes experimentation to a more stable state of innovation with purpose.

2. With portability comes economy

Containers allow applications to be created so that they are easy to run in multiple environments. Essentially, it’s an application packaging mechanism. And because major clouds support Kubernetes, it’s scalable and flexible, enabling portability across many environments without vendor lock-in.

They are also a very elastic resource: more containers are spawned when more users appear, then disappear when those users leave, like a balloon that expands and contracts. Yet the shared infrastructure is the same, so the cost utilization is much better, i.e. there is much higher utilization of the underlying infrastructure for a variable number of users.

[ Also read: 5 Kubernetes trends to watch in 2022. ]

In the past, an IT team might say, “Well, we’re going to peak at about 100 users, so we need to build the infrastructure to scale it to 100 users.” But since containers can run anywhere, they can now start in one place and if they lack infrastructure, they can migrate elsewhere.

3. Flexible consumption, ease of use lower barriers to entry

Midsize IT stores are challenged to drive innovation while living with the reality of smaller budgets and teams. This means that they are more consumers of IT infrastructure than builders and maintainers of it.

The good news is that today’s Kubernetes and containers are so modular – more like a Lego kit than a collection of scattered pieces – that accessibility has become democratized. And major cloud providers are now offering Kubernetes platforms as a service with packaged offerings that are much easier to consume.

From class schedules to e-commerce apps and more, midsize organizations with apps that change content often are discovering the benefits of Kubernetes and containers: transforming them from monolithic to dynamic and highly responsive.

The Bottom Line: Advances in Kubernetes and containers over the past few years have opened the door for small teams to become smart consumers and integrators of IT. They can adopt tools that have become more mainstream, reducing the risk of failure and providing more confidence in delivering results that can propel an organization forward.

[ How can automation free up more staff time for innovation? Get the free eBook: Managing IT with Automation. ]