Multi-Cloud Kubernetes: The Power and Peril

Multi-Cloud Kubernetes

Multi-cloud Kubernetes has emerged as the dominant strategy for deploying and managing applications across multiple cloud environments. This approach offers benefits like reducing vendor lock-in, optimizing costs, and enhancing disaster recovery capabilities. However, it also presents unique challenges that require careful consideration and the right tools and expertise.

Cloud Adoption Soars, Multi-Cloud Reigns Supreme

According to a recent survey, a staggering 76% of organizations utilize multiple clouds, with industries like telecom, financial services, and software leading the charge. The reasons behind this shift are clear: reducing vendor dependency (53%), managing costs (45%), and expanding disaster recovery and cloud backup options (42%).

The landscape of cloud computing is rapidly evolving, with a clear preference for multi-cloud deployments emerging. This trend is driven by a desire to avoid vendor lock-in, optimize costs, and leverage the unique strengths of different cloud providers.

As organizations embrace multi-cloud, Kubernetes has emerged as a crucial orchestration tool, enabling seamless application deployment and management across different cloud environments. However, this transition is not without its challenges.

multi cloud kubernetes cluster

Challenges in Multi-Cloud Kubernetes Deployments

Expertise and Experience

The survey reveals a 6 percentage point increase (58%) in organizations citing inadequate internal experience and expertise as a major hurdle, indicating that IT teams are struggling to keep up with the rapidly growing Kubernetes footprint and multi-cloud operations.

Infrastructure Integration

Difficult integration with current infrastructure emerged as another significant challenge, with a 12 percentage point rise (50%), highlighting the complexities of harmonizing Kubernetes with existing systems.

Application Mobility

While one of the key benefits of Kubernetes is application mobility, 21% of respondents reported lack of app mobility as a concern, likely due to the use of proprietary cloud services or unique features that hinder portability across multiple clouds.

Security Concerns

A staggering 97% of stakeholders reported ongoing security challenges, with misconfigurations/ exposures (55%) being the top concern. Applying consistent policies across clusters and teams (42%), unpatched CVEs (42%), failing compliance (38%), and controlling access to clusters (33%) were also significant security worries.

Multi-Cloud Kubernetes Challenges

Kubernetes, a container orchestration platform, is a perfect fit for multi-cloud environments. However, selecting the right Kubernetes distribution is crucial. This year’s survey reveals a growing focus on distributions that are:

  • Easy to deploy, operate, and maintain (72%)
  • Function well in hybrid environments (55%)
  • Offer commercial support (49%)

Choosing the Right Kubernetes Distribution

Organizations are increasingly prioritizing ease of deployment, operation, and maintenance (72%), hybrid cloud compatibility (55%), and availability of commercial support (55%) when selecting a Kubernetes distribution. Vendor maturity, trust, and modularity are also crucial considerations.

Embracing Automation and Policy-Based Management

Infrastructure-as-code integration (42%), policy management, compliance, and guardrail enforcement (41%), and cluster ingress and networking (29%) have gained significant traction, enabling organizations to automate and streamline multi-cloud Kubernetes operations.

Investing in Security Tools

With 53% of respondents willing to pay for data security, protection, and encryption tools, organizations are recognizing the importance of robust security solutions in the multi-cloud landscape.

Adopting Service Mesh

The survey revealed that 92% of organizations have deployed some type of service mesh, underscoring its growing importance for enterprise application connectivity in multi-cloud environments.

Security Concerns

Security remains a top concern, with 97% of stakeholders reporting ongoing challenges. The focus has shifted from securing deployments to maintaining security across multi-cluster, multi-cloud environments. Misconfigurations and exposures (55%) are the primary threats.

Kubernetes security concerns

Tools for Success

To succeed with multi-cloud Kubernetes, you need the right tools for the job. Significant shifts occurred in the tools that stakeholders view as useful this year, with policy-based management, infrastructure as code, and cluster ingress gaining the most ground. Stakeholders are increasingly willing to pay for critical tools to ensure success.

Tools for operating Kubernetes in production

The right tools are essential for navigating the complexities of multi-cloud Kubernetes. Organizations are increasingly prioritizing:

  • Data Security Tools (53%)
  • Platform Monitoring and Alerting (53%)
  • Policy-Based Management (41%)
  • Infrastructure as Code (42%)
  • Service Mesh Adoption (92%)
Tools that stakeholders are most willing to pay for

The move towards multi-cloud and Kubernetes is transforming the way organizations approach application development and deployment. By addressing challenges like skills gaps and security concerns, and leveraging the right tools, businesses can unlock the full potential of this powerful combination.

Cloud Migration ServicesBridge the Multi-Cloud Kubernetes Gap: Explore Advanced Tools and Strategies

Multi-cloud Kubernetes Use Cases

High Availability and Disaster Recovery

Organizations can leverage multi-cloud Kubernetes to distribute their applications and workloads across multiple cloud providers, ensuring high availability and resilience against provider-specific outages or disasters. This aligns with the stated reason of “expanding disaster recovery and cloud backup options” for adopting multi-cloud (42% of respondents).

Vendor Lock-in Avoidance

One of the top reasons cited for using multiple clouds is reducing vendor dependency (53% of respondents). By deploying applications on Kubernetes across multiple cloud providers, organizations can avoid vendor lock-in and maintain flexibility in their cloud strategy.

Cost Optimization

Managing costs was cited as a reason for multi-cloud adoption by 45% of respondents. Kubernetes can help organizations optimize costs by dynamically scaling workloads across multiple clouds based on resource availability, pricing, and performance requirements.

Global Presence and Data Sovereignty

For organizations with a global customer base or strict data sovereignty requirements, a multi-cloud Kubernetes approach can enable them to distribute their applications and data across multiple regions or cloud providers, ensuring compliance and minimizing latency.

Cloud Migration and Hybrid Environments

As organizations migrate workloads from on-premises to the cloud or between different cloud providers, Kubernetes can facilitate a smooth transition by providing a consistent platform for application deployment and management across hybrid and multi-cloud environments.

Edge Computing

The survey noted that 26% of respondents plan to add or increase distributed edge deployments in the next year. Kubernetes can be leveraged to manage and orchestrate edge computing workloads across multiple cloud providers and on-premises environments, enabling low-latency processing and data processing closer to the source.

Kubernetes Distribution Selection for Multi-Cloud:

  • Easy to deploy, operate and maintain (72%)
  • Works in a hybrid cloud environment (55%)
  • Availability of commercial support/professional services (55%)
  • Vendor maturity and trust (46%)
  • Leverage any Kubernetes across clouds without lock-in (37%)
  • Modularity and works at the edge (around 25% each)


As the multi-cloud and Kubernetes trends continue to gain momentum, organizations must prioritize upskilling their IT teams, streamlining infrastructure integration, ensuring application portability, and adopting advanced security and automation tools. By addressing these challenges head-on, businesses can unlock the full potential of multi-cloud Kubernetes deployments and stay ahead in the ever-evolving cloud computing landscape.

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What is driving the adoption of multi-cloud Kubernetes?

The top reasons for using multiple clouds include reducing vendor dependency (53%), managing costs more effectively (45%), and expanding disaster recovery and cloud backup options (42%). As applications become more distributed, multi-cloud allows organizations to avoid vendor lock-in, optimize spending across providers, and enhance resilience.

What are the main challenges organizations face with multi-cloud Kubernetes deployments?

Key challenges include inadequate internal Kubernetes expertise (58%), difficult integration with current infrastructure (50% - up 12 percentage points), and lack of application mobility across clouds (21% - up 7 points). Managing security is also an increasing pain point, with misconfigurations/exposures being the top concern (55%).

What is Multi-Cloud Kubernetes?

Multi-cloud Kubernetes extends the benefits of Kubernetes to manage containerized workloads across multiple cloud providers (e.g., AWS, Azure, GCP) and on-premises infrastructure. It allows you to orchestrate your containers in a consistent way, regardless of the underlying cloud platform.

Is Multi-Cloud Kubernetes Right for Me?

If you have containerized workloads running on multiple clouds or plan to do so in the future, and you value flexibility, disaster recovery, and consistent management, then multi-cloud Kubernetes might be a good fit for you. However, if you are comfortable with a single cloud provider and have no need for multi-cloud deployments, a single-cloud Kubernetes solution might be sufficient.
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