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How 8 giant companies use Kubernetes + 60 others that use it

How 8 giant companies use Kubernetes + 60 others that use it

Oct 29, 2021
4 min read

Since the launch of Kubernetes in July 2015, countless companies have shifted to the open-source container-orchestration system to improve the efficiency of deploying, scaling, and managing applications.

This post looks at how eight popular companies use Kubernetes and lists 60 others currently using this technology.

How these 8 companies use Kubernetes

Here is a look at eight companies that currently use Kubernetes, including information about when they shifted to it, what they use it for, and their plans moving forward.

Jump to a company:

  1. Google
  2. Spotify
  3. Capital One
  4. The New York Times
  5. Pinterest
  6. Adidas
  7. Tinder
  8. Airbnb

1) Google

It’s no surprise that the company that created Kubernetes uses the open-source technology. Google engineers Brendan Burns, Craig McLuckie, Joe Beda, and Ville Aikas first announced Kubernetes in mid-2014 and launched the first official version in July 2015.

Google has made over 900 thousand contributions to the Kubernetes project, far more than any other company, according to our Kubernetes Statistics. Google also offers the Google Container Engine (GKE) that allows organizations to run Kubernetes on the Google Cloud Platform.

2) Spotify

Spotify is one of the largest audio-streaming services in the world with 381 million subscribers.

After using Helios, its in-house container orchestration system for years, Spotify started migrating to Kubernetes in 2018 to take advantage of the growing community and robust feature set.

James Wen, a Site Reliability Engineer at Spotify, said the autoscaling of Kubernetes greatly benefits the largest service running on the technology which takes over 10 million requests per second. He also said that Kubernetes also allows engineering teams to get a host to run new services in production much faster than they were previously able to.

3) Capital One

Known primarily for its credit cards, Capital One is one of the largest financial services companies in the world.

Capital One first shifted to Kubernetes to increase the resilience and speed of fraud detection and credit decision systems that worked on millions of daily transactions.

Keith Gasser, the Lead Software Engineer at Capital One, said that Kubernetes helps them launch apps in as little as two weeks—something that would have previously taken an entire quarter or longer.

Capital One also estimates that AWS costs would be nearly three or four times higher without Kubernetes. Additionally, Capital One uses Kubecost to monitor and allocate costs across clusters.

4) The New York Times

The New York Times is the second-largest newspaper in the world, trailing just Wall Street Journal in print circulation. It also has a substantial online presence, requiring sophisticated infrastructure to keep things running smoothly.

The New York Times runs GKE on the Google Cloud Platform (GCP) primarily to increase deployment speed. Today, nearly all of The New York Times website’s user-facing applications run on GCP.

Kubernetes also allow The New York Times to replace many in-house tools and approaches to deployment with a unified system that increased efficiency even more.

5) Pinterest

Pinterest allows hundreds of millions of monthly users to share and discover images on its website and mobile apps. With so much traffic, Pinterest needed a more efficient and secure infrastructure than the thousands of microservices they previously used.

After initially turning to Docker containers in early 2017, Pinterest engineers decided to use Kubernetes for orchestration to manage efficiencies in a decentralized way.

Kubernetes helps Pinterest deploy projects faster and build failover policies. Michael Benedict, Product Manager for the Cloud and Data Infrastructure Group at Pinterest, said Kubernetes allows the team to reclaim over 80 percent capacity during non-peak hours.

6) Adidas

It may be surprising to see a shoe company on this list, but Adidas has a large e-commerce business that requires fast and reliable infrastructure.

A mix of Kubernetes running on AWS and Prometheus cut the Adidas website load time in half and allowed the team to release improvements 10,000% faster—from once every 4-6 weeks to 3-4 times per day.

Adidas uses 4,000 pods and 200 nodes to run nearly half of its most important systems on Kubernetes.

7) Tinder

Tinder, one of the world’s largest dating apps, shifted to Kubernetes in 2018 to move into containerization, build a low-touch operation, and improve scaling and stability. The migration to Kubernetes was finalized in March 2019.

Today, the Tinder Platform operates completely on Kubernetes which can handle all of the individual microservices that Tinder uses. Tinder’s containers can now serve traffic in a matter of seconds instead of minutes.

As of April 2019, Tinder was using a Kubernetes cluster with 200 services, 1,000 nodes, 15,000 pods, and 48,000 containers.

8) Airbnb

Since launching in 2007, Airbnb has grown into one of the largest marketplaces for home-sharing with 5.6 million listings in 220 countries and regions.

Airbnb uses Kubernetes to run the hundreds of services they use to operate on a unified and scalable infrastructure including multiple clusters and thousands of nodes.

Airbnb also created its own tool called kube-gen that allows engineers to configure production, staging, and canary environments consistently and to simplify the Kubernetes interface.

60 other companies that use Kubernetes

Here are some other notable companies that reportedly use Kubernetes in their businesses:

  • Adform
  • Amadeus
  • Ant Financial
  • App Direct
  • Asana
  • Babylon
  • BlaBlaCar
  • BlackRock
  • Bose
  • Box
  • Buffer
  • CERN
  • China Unicom
  • Crowdfire
  • Denso
  • DoorDash
  • GolfNow
  • Haufe Group
  • Huawei
  • Hubspot
  • IBM
  • ING
  • Intuit
  • National Association of Insurance Commissioners
  • Nav
  • Nerdalize
  • Nokia
  • Nordstrom
  • Northwestern Mutual
  • Ocado
  • OpenAI
  • Pear Deck
  • Pearson
  • PingCAP
  • Prowise
  • QA Limited
  • Reddit
  • Robinhood
  • Slack (See Kubernetes Slack communities & channels here)
  • Slamtech
  • Sling
  • SOS International
  • Sling
  • Squarespace
  • StackShare
  • The American Red Cross
  • thredUP
  • trivago
  • US Foods
  • VSCO
  • Walmart
  • Wink
  • Woorank
  • Yahoo! Japan
  • Yelp
  • Zendesk

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Nate Matherson
Nate Matherson is the Co-founder & CEO of ContainIQ. An experienced entrepreneur and technologist, he has founded multiple venture-backed companies and is a two-time Y Combinator Alum.

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