May 15, 2024 - Matt Krauser, Strategic Sales Executive

The Expensive Cost of 'Free' Kubernetes

In recent years, Kubernetes has emerged as the go-to solution for container orchestration, offering flexibility and scalability for deploying and managing applications. However, organizations quickly realize that the allure of its open-source nature can be deceiving—while free to download, the costs of managing Kubernetes can stack up rapidly.

Initially embraced for its agility, Kubernetes soon reveals its complexity. Managing environments demands substantial time and expertise from DevOps teams, diverting resources from critical tasks. Additionally, integrating essential services like load balancers and storage solutions inflates deployment costs.

Moreover, the growing trend of Kubernetes wrappers, aiming to simplify management complexities, can add another layer of cost and complexity. While these wrappers offer convenience, they often obscure the underlying intricacies of Kubernetes. When issues arise, this abstraction layer can complicate troubleshooting, leading to unforeseen expenses and operational headaches.

Enter Cycle, offering a transformative approach to container orchestration & infrastructure management. With improved infrastructure density, reduced DevOps time, and empowered engineers, organizations find renewed confidence in their journey. With Cycle, they can focus on core objectives, assured of a partner that supports their aspirations.

Why Kubernetes is Expensive

  1. DevOps Time: Managing Kubernetes environments requires significant time and expertise from DevOps teams. From setting up clusters to managing updates and troubleshooting issues, the overhead can quickly add up, diverting valuable resources from other critical tasks. According to's 2021 report, organizations using Kubernetes spend, on average, 16.5 hours every week on tasks like writing or maintaining internal tooling, setting up pipelines, and waiting for CI pipelines to run. In the US alone, this could be costing companies up to $61B/year.
  2. Piecing Together Additional Services: While Kubernetes provides the foundation for containerized applications, it often requires additional services to piece together a complete solution. This encompasses load balancers, storage solutions, and networking infrastructure, each contributing to the often substantial total deployment cost.
  3. Managed Service Costs: Opting for managed Kubernetes services like Amazon EKS, Azure AKS, or Google GKE can further escalate expenses. These services typically charge a price per cluster, in addition to the underlying infrastructure costs, making Kubernetes adoption a costly endeavor.
  4. Cost of Kubernetes Wrappers: While there are a number of companies wrapping Kubernetes in other technologies aiming to simplify management complexities, they often obscure the underlying intricacies. When issues arise, this abstraction layer can complicate troubleshooting, leading to unforeseen expenses and operational headaches. On top of this, organizations will also most likely incur additional costs (such as adding more nodes, support requests, SLAs, etc.) as they scale.

How Cycle Saves Money Compared to Kubernetes Users

  1. Improved Infrastructure Density: Cycle's innovative approach to container orchestration and infrastructure management improves infrastructure density, allowing organizations to maximize resource utilization and minimize costs.
  2. Reduced DevOps Time: By automating updates and maintenance tasks, Cycle saves teams valuable DevOps time, enabling them to focus on strategic initiatives rather than routine management tasks.
  3. Empowered Engineers: With Cycle, existing engineers can become power users in as little as two weeks, thanks to our intuitive platform and simplified workflows. This eliminates the need to hire expensive Kubernetes experts, reducing labor costs and increasing the organization's bus factor.

Customer Spotlight

Qubitro, an end-to-end cloud platform for building & operating scalable connected experiences, found immediate relief in Cycle's platform, significantly reducing costs and DevOps time. Led by Beray Bentesen, Qubitro empowers developers and enterprises to create innovative IoT solutions effortlessly.

“Cycle was instrumental in our transition away from Kubernetes. It enabled us to launch our new platform and onboard enterprise-grade customers within just a few days of us onboarding. Not only did we save on cost, but the time saved was even more critical for our small team. Essentially, Cycle became our DevOps team, allowing us to focus on growth and delivery.”
Beray Bentesen, Founder & CEO at Qubitro

Qubitro's experience highlights the transformative impact of Cycle's platform. By simplifying Kubernetes complexities, Cycle empowered Qubitro to streamline operations, accelerate innovation, and deliver exceptional value to their customers.

Introducing the Cycle ROI Estimator

To help organizations estimate cost savings when making the switch to Cycle, we are excited to announce the release of our ROI Estimator. This tool will provide insights into potential cost reductions and ROI, empowering organizations to make informed decisions about their container orchestration and infrastructure management strategy.


While Kubernetes undeniably provides flexible capabilities for container orchestration, its cost implications often pose a significant barrier to adoption for many organizations. However, with Cycle, engineering organizations can transcend these challenges and unlock a number of benefits. By leveraging Cycle's innovative approach to container orchestration and infrastructure management, organizations not only achieve substantial cost savings but also enhance operational efficiency, boost developer productivity, and foster a culture of innovation. With Cycle as a trusted partner, businesses can navigate the complexities of container management with confidence, propelling themselves towards success in today's competitive landscape.

💡 Interested in trying the Cycle platform? Create your account today! Want to drop in and have a chat with the Cycle team? We'd love to have you join our public Cycle Slack community!