How to Measure Your Kubernetes Maturity?

Author: Sneha Gopal
February 11, 2021
How to Measure Your Kubernetes Maturity?


What started as an open-source project by Google is now making big waves in the tech industry-Meet Kubernetes.

Startup to tech giants, Kubernetes adoption is skyrocketing and shows no sign of slowing down.

Kubernetes adoption hits a new high

Survey results indicate widespread adoption of Kubernetes (91%), especially in production environments (75%). Supported by a robust community of contributors, Kubernetes has taken significant market share away from other container management tools such as Docker Swarm and Amazon Elastic Container Service (ECS).

Kubernetes (K8s) is a container orchestration tool that has something for every business. From enabling e-commerce companies like Amazon to handle huge traffic on big billion sale days to equipping food ordering apps like Swiggy manage their peak-hour orders.

Despite the numerous benefits, it brings abroad complexity and uncertainties for organizations irrespective of what stage they are at during the cloud-native adoption journey.

So, how exactly do you measure your Kubernetes Maturity?

Kubernetes Maturity Model

This is where the Kubernetes Maturity Model comes into the picture. It helps you self-identify what stage you are at, understand gaps in your environment and gain insights into enhancing and improving your Kubernetes stack.

Using the Kubernetes Maturity Model

Kubernetes maturity is not something that an organization achieves overnight. It is a time-consuming process and requires your tech teams to revisit previous phases even after reaching a particular phase. This approach will help you identify areas you need to pay attention or get external help.

Phase 1 :  Prepare to be future proof with Cloud Native

Your cloud-native and K8s adoption journey begins here. The phase is all about getting prepared as a team before you embark on the journey of digital transformation.

  • Understand the value cloud-native, containers and Kubernetes will bring to your business

  • Define the business objectives the organization wants to achieve leveraging the technology

  • Develop trust in new technologies and accept that the process will require heavy investment both in terms of time and money

  • Determine the associated costs

    Phase 2 : Transform

This phase revolves around setting up Kubernetes infrastructure and shifting workloads.

  • Undertake activities like initial migration, containerizing applications and deploying first clusters. This will also help you verify your foundational knowledge.

  • Shift existing workloads to Kubernetes

  • At this stage, you must become well-versed with  Kubernetes terminology

Phase 3 : Deploy

Once a team gets to phase 3, they become comfortable with the fundamentals by getting over the steep learning curve.

  • The team builds on the strong foundation to deploy Kubernetes across your organization

  • CI/CD pipeline is put into action

  • Exercise basic build, deployment and troubleshooting process

  • Introduce limited monitoring

Phase 4 : Build Confidences inK8s

Phase 4 is about building confidence and understanding the nuances of Kubernetes.

  • Team successfully deploys and ships features

  • Implement standards around Infrastructure as Code (IaC) and configuration

  • Develop confidence in Kubernetes clusters through experience, expert training, managed services, audits, validation, etc.

  • Monitor and identify service challenges

  • Add-ons are selected confidently

  • Team may encounter challenges while deploying and managing tools

Phase 5 : Improve Operations

Reaching phase 5, your team deploys Kubernetes successfully across different business verticals.

  • By improving operations, team achieves a significant milestone in terms of Kubernetes maturity

  • Focus is on improving security, efficiency and reliability of Kubernetes clusters

  • Team is in a position to focus on core business functionalities like developing applications rather than just maintaining Kubernetes

Phase 6 : Measure & Control

In this phase of Kubernetes maturity, team introduces sophisticated monitoring and measurement to gain a deeper understanding of  workloads and environments.

  • Assert stronger opinions around K8s clusters, security, configuration and the overall environment

  • Team is equipped to handle technical debt from previous phases

  • Strengthen CI/CD driven processes and infrastructure as code

  • Gain a better understanding of how to track and  control your Kubernetes by collecting and processing more data, insights and tooling

Phase 7 : Optimize and Automate

Congratulations, you have reached a huge milestone as team. In the last phase, you employ sophisticated tooling and techniques to remove human error, improve reliability and maximize efficiency.

  • Measure and track K8s deployment to ensure it is fulfilling your business objectives

  • Protocols, policies and procedures are established for the team to consistently meet business requirements

  • Team gains better understanding of infrastructure as code

The maturity model can be used as a tool to help your team in the journey to Kubernetes maturity and cloud-native adoption.