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CNCF Survey Reveals: Half of Companies Overspend with Kubernetes, Primarily Due to Overprovisioning

CNCF’s recent microsurvey on cloud-native FinOps and CFM revealed insights into Kubernetes’ impact on cloud spending. Nearly half of respondents reported increased costs, while others saw no change or savings post-migration. The main factors contributing to overspending include overprovisioning, lack of awareness, and resource sprawl.

The survey sought details on Kubernetes spending and overall cloud infrastructure costs, along with insights into companies’ FinOps journey and strategies to control Kubernetes-related expenses.

Respondents attributed overspending to overprovisioning (70%), resource sprawl (43%), and lack of visibility (40%). Other factors included technical debt, resource-hungry workloads, fluctuating consumption demands, and poor planning of cloud usage.

The Kubernetes Overspend Survey Responses (Source: CNCF Blog)

Survey participants emphasized that team and individual awareness, along with self-discipline, are crucial for controlling overspending (68%). They also highlighted the importance of improved collaboration, communication (58%), implementing best practices, and standardized tools (48%), as well as executive-level leadership on cost control (50%).

Regarding expenditure tracking tools, respondents primarily relied on cloud platform providers such as AWS Cost Explorer (55%), GCP Cost Tools (28%), and Azure Cost Management (23%). Other tools included Kubecost (23%), OpenCost (11%), Datadog (11%), and CloudCustodian (6%). Some respondents (9%) admitted to using spreadsheets, while others (11%) relied on home-grown tools.

Companies indicated that Kubernetes significantly contributes to their cloud expenditure, with 28% reporting it constitutes 25-50% of their cloud costs. Additionally, 10% attributed 51-75% of expenses to Kubernetes, and 5% spend 75-100% of their cloud budget on it. In monetary terms, 22% of respondents reported paying over $1 million per month for cloud infrastructure, while 21% spent below $10k per month.

The FinOps Journey Survey Responses (Source: CNCF Blog)

Most respondents are either in the initial stages of their FinOps journey, with 10% yet to start and 35% in the evaluation or research phase, or piloting processes and tools (10%). Only 20% have fully operationalized FinOps and can actively monitor and report their cloud consumption and spending, making ongoing improvements to reduce costs. Another 18% have taken some steps to gain insights into their expenses and have seen initial gains.

Previously, InfoQ reported on the FinOps Foundation’s State of FinOps survey report, predicting the FinOps movement’s impact on the observability space in 2024.

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