What is a Kubernetes "distro," and why are there so many of them?

Here’s the second little interview I did with Torsten Volk at EMA research. We talked about security concerns with Kubernetes. He’s done a great, very thorough look at Kubernetes usage and the state of things. You can get it for free thanks to my work.

Torsten says that last he counted, there were over 140 distress, services, and different ways of getting Kubernetes. As I say, this is probably too many. But how many should there be? I don’t think we actually give a number, but we think through it a bit.

Watch it if you’re into this kind of thing.

More recent estimates on Kubernetes usage

Yesterday, I referenced some 2022 Gartner estimates on containerized applications. By coincidence, I came across an updated estimate from them:

By 2028, more than 95% of global organizations will be running containerized applications in production, which is a significant increase from fewer than 50% in 2023.

By 2028, 25% of all enterprise applications will run in containers, which is an increase from fewer than 15% in 2023.

[And, later in the report, summarizing the state of things in March, 2023:] Gartner estimates that close to 50% of enterprises are running containerized workloads in production and nearly 15%1 of total workloads run on containers today.

This is from March, 2023. So, going into CY2024, I’m guessing it goes up 2% to 5%, depending on what the growth curve looks like. Also, notice that the 25% figure has been extended by a year. The 2022 version of this report had it 25% in 2027.

Here is a crude chart using dates from the 2022 and 2023 report. This kind of chart is dicey to use, so consider it for entertainment purposes only:

From the 2022 and 2023 version of the Gartner report, CTOs' Guide to Containers and Kubernete, Arun Chandrasekaran, Wataru Katsurashima, May 2022 and March 2023. Note: 2021 from 2022 report; in 2022, 2027 was estimated at 25%.

You can get a copy of the report linked here. Also, if you’re into these kinds of charts, here’s my most recent collection of Kubernetes and platform engineering related charts (I hesitate to call it “data,” it’s just charts), including the updates above.


  • “Costservability” Brian.

  • “Optimist: The glass is ½ full. Pessimist: The glass is ½ empty. Excel: The glass is January 2nd.” Here.

  • I’m not really into the idea that devrel people don’t “sell.” (1) If you’re from a public cloud company, you’re going to use your work’s stuff for demos. (2) You don’t need to sell products, you just need to sell the idea of way of working that aligns with your company’s market definition. Just go watch the greats of Kubernetes, Spring, AWS, Microsoft, etc. They call this “thought leadership.” (3) If you’re not selling, you probably need to improve your “non-vendor vendor talk” skills, which are surprisingly not hard to improve if you get over the false idea that it’s “icky.” I mean, have you seen how much those new MacBooks cost?

  • Related: “a bullshitter who delivers” Benedict Evans on Elon Musk.

  • I'm hoping to have a DEEP heart-to-heart about the use of powdered cheese in an American cuisine classic: Kraft Mac and Cheese.

  • I’m pretty sure that the next plot point in this developer productivity metrics nerd-fight is someone saying “this is a meaningless phrase made up by people to sell things.” Reverse the FUD-flow!

  • Q: A couple years later, what has “DevSecOps” ended up meaning? A, from “It still just means "make sure the concerns of each discipline are properly anticipated by the others so they don't become apparent too late and impede delivery", but that isn't reflected in job descriptions.

    In practice, #DevOps is an Ops engineer who uses infrastructure as code, #DevSecOps is someone who sets up a #CVE scanner in the delivery pipeline, and only few folks think about the silobreaking mentality of mutual understanding that it all was supposed to entail.”

Relative to your interests

CFPs: #cfgmgmtcamp 2024

The CFP for cfgmgmtcamp 2024 is open, here. This is a good, under-the-radar conference in Ghent, Belgium, especially for Kubernetes, SRE, DevOps-y kind of talks. I’ve been many times (and finally spoke last year) and it’s always more than worth my time to go.

All the greats often make it. I usually end up spending a couple hours sitting in the cafeteria catching up with someone.

I haven't checked, but you can usually also submit a multi-hour workshop. One year, for example, Tasty Meats Paul (and someone else?) did one along the lines of "getting Kubernetes up and running." It's usually timed to be the week after FOSDEM to attract that crowd and speakers.

If you’re on the “infrastructure stuff” circuit, you should check out speaking there. And, definitely attending if you can.

Here's the talks from last year to get a sense of topics.


Talks I’ll be giving, places I’ll be, things I’ll be doing, etc.

Nov 6th to 9th VMware Explore in Barcelona, speaking (twice, and at a booth). Nov 15th DeveloperWeek Enterprise, speaking.

Discount code for KubeCon US - while I won’t be at KubeCon US this year, my work has a discount code you can use to get 20% off your tickets. The code is: KCNA23VMWEO20.


It’s getting colder here and we got a big pile of wood for the fireplace. I used to know how to light a fire, but now I have no idea.

Meanwhile, if you’re wondering how I’m doing, this best represents my combined current mood about things:


I mean, I guess “fewer than 15%” means 13% or 14%, right?,, @cote,,