KubeCon North America 2022 (Detroit) was a blast - but since I knew I won’t be able to talk with every single vendor, I took photos of every single booth.
I love KubeCon because it shows where the industry is headed. Hence, I extracted every word on every booth and analyzed the results.
Without further ado, here is my analysis of 290 KubeCon 2022 vendor booths.
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Here are some of the startup booths:
And here are some of the silver & gold sponsors (click here for the entire library of images):
What are the up-and-coming tools, best practices and philosophies? Let’s start with a simple word cloud of all the text elements of every booth at KubeCon 2022:
Obviously Kubernetes was the most common word (even beating filler words like ‘the’, which are removed from the word cloud). But here are some less obvious findings:
23 booths mentioned ‘minutes’ or other time-based adjectives (‘microseconds’) hinting at fast time-to-value being an important factor.
'Automation' seems to be not front-and-center (yet), a surprising finding for an industry founded on a philosophy around it.
Platforms are the poster child - quite literally beating ‘devops’ in number of mentions
‘Scale’ was mentioned 16 times, because we all know when K8s troubles start…
Only 15 mentions of ‘Cost’ make it seem like the industry is not yet prepared for the current economic situation.
‘Serverless’ was only mentioned 3 times pointing out that in spite of its buzz the adoption is slower than anticipated.
Kubernetes day 2, i.e. the management that follows an organization’s adoption seems to be of growing interest (42 mentions of ‘manage’ and ‘management’).
Here is another view at the data showing how many of the 290 booths had a certain keyword:
It seems that 2023 will be a direct continuation of 2022 focusing on security scaling and Kubernetes day 2 operations management the biggest challenge since adoption has plateaued and or is growing slowly (According to CNCF’s 2021 Annual Survey, 96% of organizations are either using or evaluating Kubernetes).
KubeCon 2022 was a hybrid event. So, here are some stats around the digital buzz accompanying this year’s event:
322 Slack posts (there were channels for every vendor and every topic)
3845 Google searches
237 Reddit comments
Are you more of a visual person? Here is a heat map of the topics discussed on Twitter:
credits @EMA Research
Going through all these booths, I noticed that some truly stood out, so I made a few rankings. These are the booths you would’ve stopped by, had you had more time to explore the solutions showcase (even if you had no clue what the company is offering):
“DevOps is dead”
“Monitoring is worthless”
“Not afraid to commit”
Awesome steering wheel (“drive that observability”)
Extra lights (I know, it's basic - but it stood out)
Star Wars themed
Well, Mustang Mach E
I also took a look at the booth setup stats:
And what did they say? Well, some, like LaunchDarkly, kept it to just their logo. Others put entire essays:
Average words per booth: 17
Range of words per booth: 0 to 142
Here is the number of sponsors according to their sponsoring type:
Were you also curious about how many international guests were at KubeCon? Well, to no surprise, the United States dominated KubeCon North America..
But let's dig a little deeper. Interestingly, the Bay area accounted for more than half of all US companies present. Talk about Silicon Valley dying..
But looking at a graph like this we might as well conclude that Indonesia is wealthier than Iceland, because they have more millionaires. What really matters is putting numbers into perspective. Here I took population size into account:
Israel is where you want to be. Also, all these companies are in just one area: Tel Aviv metropolitan area. Out of all international companies almost half came from this one city. Tel Aviv sent more startups to KubeCon 2022, than the entire European Union combined. You should probably visit sometime 😉.
But to be fair to the US, we might want to take a look at the Bay area - and it turns out that is still the place to be. After all, I met someone who ran into his Bay area landlord at KubeCon.
I found this interesting, here are all the data points in one table. Interestingly, no country but the US contributed higher-tier sponsors. Maybe, because it takes a while to build an ecosystem of mature companies. Maybe, because after a certain size is reached companies move to the US or merge with US companies.
Did I miss something?
Feel free to send me any missing booths, trends, companies or insights to firstname.lastname@example.org
Get the analysis of all 433 KubeCon 2022 talks
This was just an analysis of the booths - if you are curious about the agenda items (i.e. what those 433 talks and sessions were about), then you can leave your email here and I’ll email you the blog post: