Key Criteria for Evaluating Kubernetes for Edge Computing Solutions by GigaOm


  1. Summary for Decision Makers
  2. Utilization of Kubernetes in Edge Processing Sector
  3. Analysis of Decision-Making Criteria
  4. Viewpoint of Analysts
  5. About Matt Jallo

1. Summary for Decision Makers

Interconnected and intelligent gadgets are now widely utilized across every sector of business. In every field—from sales to transportation and logistics, healthcare to manufacturing, remote windmills to autonomous vehicles—integrated computing devices are producing vast amounts of data autonomously. This data is generated in various locations far from traditional data centers and cloud setups. Managing this data in conventional, more centralized sites poses several difficulties. Connectivity may be sporadic and unreliable, bandwidth is limited, and latency is increased due to long-distance data transport. Hence, processing this data closer to its source is a logical choice.

As the predominant standard for scaling container orchestration, Kubernetes—when employed in edge scenarios—brings the same orchestration and management features that have made it highly favored in cloud and data center settings. The diverse applications and distinct challenges of edge environments greatly necessitate a solution like Kubernetes to assist clients in handling the intricacies.

Business Necessity
The implementation and utilization of edge Kubernetes into an already saturated hybrid computing market is driven by a variety of significant business necessities. These necessities primarily focus on the need for efficient, expandable, and secure data processing in proximity to the data source’s origin.

From the viewpoint of high-ranking officers, the subsequent business motivators require the use of Kubernetes versions specifically designed for edge operations.

Edge computing enables data processing to occur nearer to the data source. This approach notably minimizes latency and enhances response times, crucial for applications needing real-time or near-real-time responses. Examples include internet of things (IoT) gadgets, self-driving vehicles, and select industrial processes. The ability to process data swiftly and effectively is a vital business prerequisite, especially when reducing latency is crucial to successful use case execution.

Kubernetes is a platform for orchestrating containers tailored to manage and scale applications across multiple servers. This capability suits efficiently managing the potentially sizable number of edge nodes in an edge computing environment. As companies expand and evolve, efficient operation scaling becomes imperative.

Operational safety is another crucial business necessity. Kubernetes provides tools like role-based access control (RBAC), network segmentation, and encryption, enhancing application security at the edge. Due to the distributed nature of edge computing, this is essential as edge operations pose added security challenges. In today’s digital era, with increasingly complex and common cyber threats, edge operations reintroduce classic security risks like theft and vandalism, especially in distant locales. Edge operations decrease the data transferred across networks for processing, potentially resulting in noteworthy cost savings. Kubernetes, with its ability to efficiently manage and scale applications, can further amplify these savings.

Lastly, there’s room for innovation and competitive advantage. Implementing edge Kubernetes versions empowers new types of applications and services, culminating in a competitive edge. For instance, it enables more efficient utilization of AI and analytics at the edge, leading to more enlightening and timely decision-making. In a cutthroat business realm, innovating and attaining a competitive advantage can be the dividing line between success and failure.

It’s essential to acknowledge that while Kubernetes offers various benefits for edge computing, it also introduces complexity and demands specific expertise to manage effectively. Hence, organizations must carefully appraise their requirements and capacities before opting for edge Kubernetes variants. Managed Kubernetes solutions can alleviate some challenges by shifting the operational burdens of maintaining Kubernetes clusters to a vendor. This can enable businesses to efficiently leverage Kubernetes benefits while reducing associated challenges.

Industry Acceptance Rating
To help leaders and decision-makers evaluate the potential influence and worth of deploying a Kubernetes solution for edge computing in their business, this GigaOm Key Criteria report provides a systematic evaluation of the sector based on five aspects: utility, maturity, urgency, impact, and effort. By scoring each aspect according to its influence on Kubernetes solution adoption for edge computing, we assign an overall Industry Acceptance Rating (Figure 1) of 3.8 out of 5, where 5 indicates the strongest recommendation for adoption. This rating signifies that a Kubernetes solution for edge computing is a credible candidate for deployment and merits deliberate deliberation.

The factors contributing to the Industry Acceptance Rating for Kubernetes for edge computing are elaborated further in the subsequent Industry Overview section.

Criteria for Assessing Kubernetes Solutions for Edge Computing

Industry Acceptance Rating

Figure 1. Industry Acceptance Rating for Kubernetes for Edge Computing

This second annual report from GigaOm concentrates on the Kubernetes for edge computing realm within the scope of our Key Criteria and Radar reviews. This report expands on our prior analysis and reflects on the market’s progression over the last year.

This GigaOm Key Criteria report showcases the capabilities (basic functionalities, key attributes, and emerging functionalities) and non-functional prerequisites (business standards) for selecting an efficient Kubernetes solution for edge computing. The complementary GigaOm Radar report identifies top vendors and products excelling in these criteria assessments. Together, these reports furnish an overview of the market, identify leading Kubernetes solutions for edge computing, and support decision-makers in evaluating these solutions to make more informed investment decisions.


The GigaOm Key Criteria report outlines an elaborate decision framework for IT and executive leadership appraising enterprise technologies. Each report specifies pertinent functional and non-functional aspects of solutions within a sector. The Key Criteria report guides the GigaOm Radar report, which offers a forward-looking evaluation of vendor solutions in the sector.

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