The push towards modern application environments is gaining strong momentum despite ongoing cloud and skillset challenges, according to new research by open source pioneers F5 NGINX1.
The annual survey of NGINX’s extensive open source and user community found that, as organisations continue to adapt to increasingly prevalent microservices and containerization technologies, most are now opting for hybrid architectures. Respondents also indicated the usage of both on-premises hardware and public cloud increases in parallel with their workload size.
When asked where they run their apps or services, the top three answers were public cloud (37%), web client/front-end (35%), and on-premises servers (33%). For those that selected public cloud, 42% are also using web client/front-end and 37% are using on-premises servers.
“The increase in modernisation trends is simple: cloud can be expensive and hard to secure. When an app doesn’t need the flexibility and agility offered by a cloud architecture, then it makes sense to choose a traditional architecture located on-premises where it’s generally easier to secure. While the industry once looked like it would go fully cloud-based, these findings align with what F5 hears from its customers: hybrid environments offer a balance of agility, cost savings, and security,” said Jenn Gile, Head of Product Marketing for NGINX.
Kubernetes to the fore
NGINX’s survey also indicates that Kubernetes is the framework of choice for developers and businesses alike. Seventy-seven per cent of respondents using a container orchestration tool or service use a Kubernetes-based one. This is the same proportion as for Kubernetes users in general. Scalability was identified as the main driver for Kubernetes according to 42% of respondents, with 25% citing ease of deployment.
However, the situation changes when considering the percentage of workloads deployed with Kubernetes. For example, those using Kubernetes to deploy more than three quarters of their workloads are more likely to rate scalability as the primary driver, when compared with those deploying less than a quarter (54% vs 37%).
Skill and organisational challenges abound
According to the survey, the main issue when working on API and app delivery projects is a lack of technical skills (21%).
Of those reporting a skill shortage, 27% pointed to the steep learning curve of tools being a major challenge, whereas 25% highlighted a lack of staffing or resources.
“The most frequent challenges faced are likely interrelated: a lack of technical skills can affect how steep the learning curve can seem, and a lack of staff or resources compounds these issues as there are fewer options for tackling the challenge,” Gile explained.
Security in the spotlight
Notably, security remains front of mind when it comes to app and API delivery.
As many as 45% rated at least one security feature as “very important”, with 34% feeling the same for scalability, and 40% for observability.
Protection against the OWASP Top 10 and end-to-end encryption are the security features that matter the most to respondents, with 53% rating one or the other as “very important”.
1NGINX’s annual survey was fielded with its users and open- source community. This year, there were over 2000 respondents.