Industry analyst firm ESG recently evaluated the StormForge platform for its ability to automate Kubernetes resource allocation to optimize business objectives. You can read the entire report here, but in this blog I’ll provide a short summary.

The promise of cloud and Kubernetes

According to ESG research, the most-cited objective for digital transformation is to become more operationally efficient. Key to achieving this objective is the use of cloud resources, with the ability to easily spin up or down new resources with a pay-as-you-go model. The use of containers and Kubernetes promise further efficiency gains, with granular resource allocation and empowering developers to focus on adding new capabilities without worrying about the underlying infrastructure.

However, ESG points out that the reality often falls short of expectations. Managing costs becomes increasingly difficult due to complexity, the tendency to over-provision in order to avoid performance issues, and the difficulty understanding how effectively resources are being used.

Cloud and container objectives and usage (Source: ESG)

Challenges of Kubernetes deployments

Complexity of resource allocation is a key driver of inefficiency for Kubernetes environments. There are many interrelated factors that affect the cost, performance, and stability of applications running on Kubernetes. For each container, engineers need to specify CPU requests and limits, memory requests and limits, and replicas, along with a host of application-specific parameters like JVM heap size and garbage collection.

With each of these settings having an impact on business outcomes, and the number of possible combinations for multi-container deployments, it is impossible for developers to ensure efficiency.

ESG summarizes organizational needs for solving these challenges:

  • Better visibility into Kubernetes infrastructure and interdependencies underlying their applications
  • A systematic, scalable way to implement changes to assure the achievement of business goals
  • A fast, easy way to intelligently allocate Kubernetes resources to deliver on their performance, availability, and other goals, while keeping costs down

And they need this not just once, but continually as applications are reworked and improved.

Automating efficiency with StormForge

ESG evaluated the StormForge platform and spoke with customers to understand how they were using the product. They found that StormForge can “eliminate time-consuming, manual testing and tuning, helping organizations make better Kubernetes resource decisions, achieve their business objectives, reduce costs, and keep developers focused on innovation instead of manual tuning.”

Key aspects of the StormForge solution that help organizations achieve their business objectives include:

  • Machine learning to automate resource decisions for optimal efficiency.
  • Proactive resource optimization to gain insight into application performance and cost prior to production deployment. 

Single platform, purpose-built for Kubernetes, making it easy for customers to use for any CNCF-certified Kubernetes distribution.

Key elements of the StormForge platform (Source: ESG)

The full report walks through in detail the process of optimizing an application running on Kubernetes, including setting up StormForge in your environment, creating an optimization experiment, analyzing the results, and deploying the optimal configuration into production.

StormForge helps organizations eliminate waste

In its conclusion, ESG recommends organizations take a close look at StormForge to “ensure the right Kubernetes resources while eliminating waste.”

Trilio, a company that offers data management and data protection for cloud-native applications, is using StormForge to right-size its Kubernetes deployment and ensure that development moves quickly. As Prashanto Kochavara, Director of Product at Trilio, says, “Anywhere we can save time, there is a direct correlation to lower cost. StormForge saves us time and money. In my opinion, any development team should be using it.”

“Anywhere we can save time, there is a direct correlation to lower cost. StormForge saves us time and money. In my opinion, any development team should be using it.”

– Prashanto Kochavara, Director of Product at Trilio

For more detail on ESG’s findings, you can read the full report here. Additionally, ESG Practice Director Scott Sinclair will be discussing the results of their evaluation in a webinar on December 1 at 12:00pm eastern time. Register here to attend the webinar either live or on-demand after 12/1.