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Breaking down Kubernetes use stats among OpenStack deployments

Kubernetes on OpenStack deployments — how popular is it really?

OpenStack Foundation leaders cited the organization’s annual user survey as evidence that a combination of OpenStack and Kubernetes — specifically, using an automatically provisioned OpenStack infrastructure to deliver server, networking and storage resources to Kubernetes clusters — is a popular use of the technology.

The group asked what platform as a service (PaaS) tools and what container tools run in today’s OpenStack environments. Jonathan Bryce, executive director of the OpenStack Foundation, said 45% of people responding to the question had answered with Kubernetes.

That question sought to find out what users are doing today, not what they’re interested in or what’s out there in the future, Bryce said. “People are combining these tools in ways that, if you go back a couple years, we certainly weren’t seeing,” he said.

Meanwhile, the biannual OpenStack User Survey released recently painted a more nuanced picture of that question and its responses. In the April 2017 survey, 192 respondents answered the question, “Which container and PaaS tools are used to manage applications on this OpenStack deployment?” Of those 192 respondents, 47% answered with Kubernetes, and 28% of them indicated they run Kubernetes in production.

The 45% number cited by Bryce corresponded to a further breakdown of survey responses from October 2016 and April 2017 that combined and then deduplicated responses to both surveys, for a cohort of 282 respondents. Of those respondents, 45% had answered with Kubernetes, and 29% were in production.

The slide referenced by Bryce did not contain information about the number of survey respondents, and could easily be interpreted to suggest that 45% of all those surveyed use Kubernetes. But of 1,400 completed surveys in April 2017, only those who registered a deployment (583) were given the containers question, according to the OpenStack Foundation. Out of 583 deployments, 192 answered the question about containers.

The bottom line? One third of OpenStack deployments use containers, based on survey answers collected since 2015. And within this group, 45% use Kubernetes, based on the last two survey periods (April 2017 and October 2016).

Beth Pariseau is senior news writer for TechTarget’s Data Center and Virtualization Media Group. Write to her at [email protected] or follow @PariseauTT on Twitter.