There were some interesting results, and a few things I wish they’d dug a little deeper on. If you’ve ever given a survey, then you know that the results inevitably spawn more questions. No doubt Mesosphere has the same new questions I do.
The first important tidbit I would like to highlight is a cautionary tale. I’ve been around clusters—big data, cloud and, more recently, Mesos-style clustering—for years, and there is one truth this survey shows that is far more global than just Mesos. Clusters always end up bigger than you’d planned. The survey shows that of those using Mesos for more than six months, 25 percent have more than 100 servers backing the cluster.
When planning a cluster, always assume it will be bigger than you plan and grow faster than you think. Organizations that need this type of technology need it to perform and find themselves using it more than they’d planned, so the clusters always grow. I’ve seen orgs do a 20-server cluster that within six months numbered well over a hundred servers and headed to 200. I’ve heard of faster/larger unexpected growth rates, but not seen it or talked to those responsible. Plan for bigger than you think you need—worst case, you’ll have overplanned, which is easier to handle than being caught with too small a cluster.
This is one of the areas I think it would be interesting to have a follow-on question delving into how big survey respondents had planned their clusters to be versus how big they were at this point in their deployments.
The next interesting takeaway from the survey was the usage patterns. While internal/external/hybrid cloud is not a surprising distribution, the fact that so many organizations have moved monolithic workloads to Mesos was a bit of a surprise. The sample size of the survey was relatively small, but still, that’s a lot of “We have Mesos, let’s start running it there” going on.
I think I’ll work with Mesosphere to talk to one of the organizations running monolithic apps on Mesos and see if we can’t get an interesting interview.
For the health of open-source projects, I like to see what is happening with those involved—is the audience growing? Are the number of developers growing? Supplemental survey data says yes.
I double-checked this information, since it should be available publicly, and although the move from GitHub to Apache Git made it more difficult to track down, this Apache post from July does verify the graph above, and offers even more interesting data.
The thing that still intrigues me about Mesos is that instead of allowing users to pool servers to create virtuals, it pools servers to make a massive parallel system. But running containers on it (as this data indicates most are for resource isolation) carves it up into virtuals, of sorts. Very esoteric.
I won’t bore you by going over what I think of each and every question. Follow the survey link at the top of the article and you can get the survey response summaries to support your work.