Companies are spending more and more on cloud services thanks to Kubernetes. A recent microsurvey from the CNCF revealed that for 49% of companies, Kubernetes was responsible for increased cloud spend.

The microsurvey was designed by the CNCF and OpenCost team and responses were gathered between June and November 2023, with just over 100 respondents weighing in. 

Of those respondents who said costs had gone up, 17% said their costs significantly increased and 32% said costs only slightly increased. On the opposite end of the spectrum, 13% managed to significantly decrease their cloud spend after implementing Kubernetes and 11% managed to slightly decrease their spend. Twenty-eight percent of respondents reported no change after adopting Kubernetes.

Half of respondents say up to 25% of their budget is dedicated to Kubernetes, 28% of respondents say 26-50% is, 10% say 51-75% of their budget goes to Kubernetes, and just 5% of respondents are using 76-100% of their budget on Kubernetes. 

Among the users and companies surveyed, there was a wide range in the size of Kubernetes infrastructures. Nearly half of the respondents (49%) have just 1 to 50 nodes in their Kubernetes infrastructure. Fifteen percent have 51-100 nodes, 17% have 101-250 nodes, and 18% have more than 251 nodes. 

According to the survey results, the biggest culprit that leads to overspending is overprovisioning (71%). Other factors include lack of awareness or responsibility (45%), not deactivating resources after they are used (43%), technical debt (43%), lack of visibility into consumption (40%), resource-hungry workloads (25%), fluctuating consumption demands (23%), poor planning (23%), absence of centralized tools or processes to gain visibility across cloud providers (20%), and availability of a self-service infrastructure (15%). 

Only 19% reported that they have accurate monitoring of their Kubernetes costs. Forty percent just make estimates, while 38% said they have no monitoring in place at all.