SANTA CLARAFeb. 23, 2023 — Pepperdata, the leading platform for autonomous optimization of big data and Kubernetes workloads, has released “THE STATE OF KUBERNETES 2023,” results of a survey conducted with 800 C-level execs and senior ITOps and DevOps professionals in industries including financial services, healthcare, technology, and advertising. The survey aimed to gain insights into the types and sizes of containerized applications and other workloads on Kubernetes clusters, as well as the FinOps tools and practices used to optimize Kubernetes deployments and control costs.

Key findings from the survey show:

  1. The Kubernetes market is maturing. Evidence of this includes:

    • The number of clusters that are being deployed has grown to six to ten clusters per organization
    • The variety and types of workloads that are now being launched by Kubernetes extend beyond microservices to data ingestion, cleansing, and analytics, databases, and artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML)
    • An emerging challenge has been unexpected infrastructure spend and the growing focus on cost control and optimization
  2. Companies deploying Kubernetes clusters are doing so to stay competitive or ahead of the competition, and need the agility Kubernetes affords them to deploy services rapidly

  3. Cost savings was identified as the top ROI metric for a Kubernetes deployment

  4. Companies are turning to a wide variety of approaches to attempt to remediate infrastructure spend overruns

“The survey confirms that Kubernetes has become the preferred choice for deploying workloads among agile enterprises. However, the speed and ease of deployment can result in unexpected infrastructure cost overruns. Respondents are increasingly turning to FinOps and cloud cost optimization tools to help them remediate the cost of operating in the cloud and optimize their Kubernetes clusters,” said Ash Munshi, CEO, Pepperdata. “Regardless, the survey shows that cost savings is the top metric people are using to measure the ROI of their Kubernetes investments in 2023.”

Other findings included:

  • How many? The average number of Kubernetes clusters among those surveyed ranged from three to ten. 32 percent reported having three to five deployments, while 38 percent reported six to ten clusters. Almost 15 percent said they had between 11 and 25 clusters, and four percent reported more than 25.
  • What for? When asked what types of applications were being deployed, respondents chose from a list of workloads, with the most popular being data ingestion, cleansing, and analytics, including Apache Spark as the choice for 61 percent of those polled. Other popular deployments included databases or NoSQL databases such as PostgreSQL, MongoDB, and Redis; and web servers like NGINX.
  • What challenges? The benefits of Kubernetes are many, but companies also find that getting a Kubernetes project off the ground comes with many challenges. These include significant or unexpected spend on compute, storage, networking infrastructure, and/or cloud-based IaaS; a steep learning curve; and a lack of visibility into Kubernetes spend, leading to cost overruns. Over 57 percent cited the “significant or unexpected spend on compute, storage, networking infrastructure, and/or cloud-based IaaS” as their biggest challenge.
  • Big upsides. There are many ways to measure the return on Kubernetes investments. Those polled found that cost savings was the primary metric they used to measure success. Almost 44 percent of the organizations are implementing cloud cost reduction and FinOps initiatives to reduce cost overruns.

The rise of FinOps for Kubernetes workloads 

FinOps is a budding approach to managing and optimizing cloud spending across different teams within an organization. Given the increased interest in managing Kubernetes costs in the cloud, those surveyed were asked about their experience with FinOps.

The FinOps Foundation defines levels of familiarity with FinOps, from crawl to walk to run. Similar to the results identified in The State of FinOps 2022 survey, most respondents self-identified at the walk stage, meaning they can implement cloud cost reduction recommendations. The second largest group self-identified as the crawl stage, with the ability to visualize cloud costs even if they haven’t yet begun the process of implementing recommendations for remediation. Interestingly, more than 98% of respondents indicated familiarity with FinOps and saw themselves somewhere on the continuum of implementing best practices for cloud cost remediation. In addition, more than 17 percent of respondents identified themselves in the run stage, with the ability to remediate cloud costs autonomously.

More data from the survey is available from Pepperdata here.

About Pepperdata

Pepperdata is the only optimization solution that slashes cloud cost and transforms the performance of big data and Kubernetes workloads without manual interventions or code changes. Pepperdata products autonomously reclaim waste and scale system resources while providing detailed, application-level observability via hundreds of real-time metrics. As a General Member of the FinOps Foundation,Pepperdata powers the most complex and highly-scaled cloud and on-premises infrastructures in the world at top enterprises like Citibank, Expedia, Royal Bank of Canada, and those in the Fortune 5. For more information, visit

Media Contact:
Escalate PR for Pepperdata
Phone: 617-312-5942

Curve Pattern

Take a Free Thirty-Day Trial to See What Big Data Success Looks Like

Pepperdata products provide complete visibility and automation for your big data environment. Get the observability, automated tuning, recommendations, and alerting you need to efficiently and autonomously optimize big data environments at scale.

Explore More

Looking for a safe, proven method to reduce waste and cost by up to 47% and maximize value for your cloud environment? Sign up now for a free Cost Optimization Proof-of-Value to see how Pepperdata Capacity Optimizer can help you start saving immediately.