GigaOm Key Criteria for Evaluating Kubernetes Resource Management Solutions

Table of Contents

  1. Executive Summary
  2. Kubernetes Resource Management Sector Brief
  3. Decision Criteria Analysis
  4. Analyst’s Outlook
  5. Methodology
  6. About Matt Jallo

1. Executive Summary

Kubernetes resource management platforms analyze resource usage and configuration continuously across all Kubernetes platforms within an organization. These solutions surface configuration issues, guide application and platform owners toward configurations that align with the needs of their business, and optimize the availability of platforms and applications while minimizing the waste of infrastructure resources.

Kubernetes provides an abstraction layer that ensures containerized applications and services can be deployed quickly and run easily across any public or private infrastructure; however, it can also add significant complexity, such as by allowing developers to define or omit their resource requests. Organizations often operate many Kubernetes clusters across public and private infrastructure resources, and capacity management and the proper allocation of resources is put off to a later stage or sometimes neglected entirely. Kubernetes resource management solutions provide a way for developers to shift left this important function in a near-automated fashion, with better results than can be obtained by manual methods.

Kubernetes resource management is a relatively new space, one that continues to grow adjacent to the larger cloud management market. Continued advances in artificial intelligence provide new opportunities for fine tuning operational parameters and optimizing resource usage and costs and have become a key focus of Kubernetes resource management solutions. Established, general-purpose Kubernetes or cloud management platforms focus on the efficient deployment, configuration, DevOps enablement, and runtime management of containerized applications.

While there is significant overlap between more generalized cloud management platforms and Kubernetes resource management solutions, we are focusing on tools that prioritize the optimization of resources (and provide a balance between application availability and cost). These tools tend to provide integrations with other solutions that offer deeper capabilities in DevOps, runtime management, monitoring, and financial operations (FinOps). Some provide all of these capabilities as components of a single larger platform.

Business Imperative
Organizations with a large Kubernetes footprint are likely either paying too much for wasted computational resources or experiencing performance and availability problems with running workloads due to the inherent difficulty of managing this balance manually. The extent to which this imbalance occurs depends on the scale of deployed workloads, how quickly or carefully they were deployed, and how actively those workloads are being managed by skilled operations teams. In any event, better and more responsive results can be achieved by automated resource management platforms than can be achieved by hand. This challenge is likely to grow with time as additional workloads are migrated to Kubernetes or demand for those services increases.

Sector Adoption Score
To help executives and decision-makers assess the potential impact and value of a Kubernetes resource management solution deployment to their business, this GigaOm Key Criteria report provides a structured assessment of the Kubernetes resource management sector across five factors: benefit, maturity, urgency, impact, and effort. By scoring each factor based on how strongly it compels or deters adoption of Kubernetes resource management solutions, we provide an overall Sector Adoption Score (Figure 1) for Kubernetes resource management of 4 out of 5, with 5 indicating the strongest possible recommendation to adopt. This indicates that Kubernetes resource management is a credible candidate for deployment and worthy of thoughtful consideration.

The factors contributing to the Sector Adoption Score for Kubernetes resource management are explained in more detail in the Sector Brief section that follows.

Key Criteria for Evaluating Kubernetes Resource Management Solutions

Sector Adoption Score

Figure 1. Sector Adoption Score for Kubernetes Resource Management

This is the second year that GigaOm has reported on the Kubernetes resource management space in the context of our Key Criteria and Radar reports. This report builds on our previous analysis and considers how the market has evolved over the last year.

This GigaOm Key Criteria report highlights the capabilities (table stakes, key features, and emerging features) and non-functional requirements (business criteria) for selecting an effective Kubernetes resource management solution. The companion GigaOm Radar report identifies vendors and products that excel in those decision criteria. Together, these reports provide an overview of the category and its underlying technology, identify leading Kubernetes resource management offerings, and help decision-makers evaluate these solutions so they can make a more informed investment decision.

GIGAOM KEY CRITERIA AND RADAR REPORTS

The GigaOm Key Criteria report provides a detailed decision framework for IT and executive leadership assessing enterprise technologies. Each report defines relevant functional and non-functional aspects of solutions in a sector. The Key Criteria report informs the GigaOm Radar report, which provides a forward-looking assessment of vendor solutions in the sector.


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