Then he asked me “Is Kubernetes right for us?”

Alex Ellis
8 min readAug 22, 2020

Is Kubernetes right for us? That’s a question that will have been asked many times, but perhaps not publicly, for fear of looking out of touch, or behind the curve. After all, the term “imposter syndrome” was coined to describe the anxiety we face as we try to keep current with technology and what is happening in the industry.

Gartner’s Hype Cycle

Pictured above: Gartner’s Hype Cycle describe the effect of new and innovating technology on the ecosystem, from inflated expectations, to disillusionment.

In this post I’ll introduce a real-life example from a consulting prospect, who asked me whether he should adopt Kubernetes, and a blog post that I wrote to show that there’s more to cloud than Kubernetes

Part 1 — There’s a spectrum

About six months ago, I wrote a blog post called “Your team might not need Kubernetes.” It was a simple hypothesis and I outlined several ways that a company with legacy IT could begin to modernise their applications, without necessarily making a leap directly to Kubernetes.

It starts off with the idea of cloud technology as a spectrum of complexity vs. potential benefits. At one end, you’re completely on-premises running on bare-metal on servers that you own or rent and are in full-control. At the other end, you’re running everything on public cloud with a managed Kubernetes cluster.

I don’t believe that Kubernetes is the destination for all users.

You can start to leverage the benefits of the cloud just by lifting & shifting existing code to managed compute services. This may reduce the overheads and management costs of bare-metal, and even enable some level of elasticity, enabling faster growth. Remember that just like in the Dilbert cartoon below, you may also need to consider rebuilding or redesigning parts of your system, and that may require going outside of your area of expertise.

You might not actually need Kubernetes, but also you may.

An experienced cloud architect, or DevOps professional should be able to help you make smart choices, and to guide your IT modernisation process.