Study: ‘Cloud-Native’ Development On The Rise

There are now 4.7 million “cloud-native” developers in the world, analyst firm SlashData has estimated, as it looks to quantify the shift toward cloud infrastructure technologies such as standardised containers.

In a new study carried out for the Cloud-Native Computing Foundation (CNCF), SlashData said the use of automation is key to what the CNCF considers “cloud-native” technologies, with container orchestration “at the centre” of this process.

As such, the firm limited its definition of cloud-native developers to those using some sort of container orchestration, whether a self-implementation of Kubernetes, use of Containers-as-a-Service (CaaS) or orchestration platform, or a serverless offering – one managed by a cloud provider – that runs an orchestration engine.

Some 36 percent of backend developers qualified as cloud-native developers, SlashData said.

Image credit: SlashData

Kubernetes is ‘industry standard’

The figure includes 2.9 million who are using orchestration and 3.3 million who are using cloud functions or serverless architecture, equating to 22 percent and 25 percent of backend developers respectively.

The estimate also considers the 1.5 million developers using both orchestration and serverless technologies.

The report, “The State of Cloud-Native Development“, was based on a survey of 6,752 developers carried out in the second quarter of 2019.

It found that there are an estimated 1.7 million developers using the Kubernetes container orchestration system, while 3.3 million developers were using serverless architectures and cloud functions, with Kubernetes users more likely to influence buying decisions at their organisations.

Kubernetes is a widespread choice for container orchestration, with 60 percent of developers using orchestration using Kubernetes, and another 21 percent using CaaS and not Kubernetes.

“Any developer interested in containers and cloud-native technology is aware of Kubernetes as it has become the industry standard for orchestration,” the study said.  “However, our research shows that not all these developers are using it, although a majority are.”

Thirty percent of orchestration users were aware of Kubernetes but not using it, while the remaining 10 percent were not aware of Kubernetes.

Image credit: SlashData

AWS popularity

Amazon Web Services’ Lambda was the most popular serverless choice, with 51 percent using it, followed by Google Cloud Functions and Azure Functions.

AWS was a widely used by cloud-native developers in general, with 68 percent using it as a cloud hosting provider.

“Cloud-native developers are significantly more likely to use AWS as a private cloud vendor with 60 percent of cloud-native developers using AWS as their private cloud vendor,” the report said.

It also found that amongst developers using CaaS but not Kubernetes, the vast majority used AWS Elastic Container Service (ECS) or Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS), at 68 percent.

Azure Container Service was used by 25 percent, with 14 percent using Docker Swarm.

Public cloud was the most popular data centre approach, with 62 percent saying they used it, followed by 45 percent saying they were using a private or on-premises cloud and 38 percent using a hybrid cloud.

Image credit: SlashData
Matthew Broersma

Matt Broersma is a long standing tech freelance, who has worked for Ziff-Davis, ZDnet and other leading publications

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