Lessons and Takeaways from Evaluating Kubernetes Migration at Uber

Roman Burdiuzha
4 min readAug 14


Before delving into the technical details, it’s important to understand the scale of Uber’s operations. Uber has completed over 15 billion cumulative trips, operates in more than 700 cities across 65 countries, and has surpassed 100 million monthly active users. Uber’s immense scale requires a sophisticated compute infrastructure to support its services, which include thousands of microservices running on containers.

Scale and Complexity of Uber’s Compute Infrastructure

Uber’s compute infrastructure is vast and complex, with thousands of microservices and containers deployed daily. The platform has over 35 clusters across different regions and zones, with millions of container launches each day. Uber’s stateless workload, represented by microservices, is central to its compute platform. The history of Uber’s compute infrastructure includes significant migrations to support its growth.

Motivation for Kubernetes Migration

The motivation for exploring Kubernetes migration stems from Uber’s business needs. Uber faces challenges related to authentication and authorization for inter-service communication among thousands of microservices. Uber’s existing custom infrastructure couldn’t easily accommodate secure service mesh requirements. Kubernetes, with its native support for pod-sidecar security plugins and init containers, presented a viable solution.

Evaluating Scalability

To assess Kubernetes’ scalability, the team conducted benchmarking exercises. The benchmarking covered performance of etcd (Kubernetes’ storage solution) and Kubernetes API server. The results demonstrated that etcd and Kubernetes API server could handle Uber’s workload, alleviating concerns about scalability. These findings provided confidence in Kubernetes’ capacity to support Uber’s infrastructure.

Addressing Portability Concerns

The team faced portability challenges while integrating Kubernetes with Uber’s existing systems. The chosen solution involved modifying Uber’s custom scheduler, Peloton, to interact with both Kubernetes and Mesos. This solution allowed Peloton to continue supporting unique service deployment characteristics while integrating with Kubernetes.

Logging Integration

The migration required addressing integration challenges, such as logging. Uber’s custom logging infrastructure needed to be integrated with Kubernetes. By using CRI (Container Runtime Interface) customizations and a custom Docker logging driver, the team was able to provide a solution that met Uber’s requirements, integrating its logging infrastructure with Kubernetes.

Clustering Networking Solution

Uber’s unique clustering networking setup posed challenges for migration. The team introduced a CNI (Container Network Interface) plugin and combined it with CRI customizations to enable Kubernetes to work with Uber’s networking system. This approach ensured that the migration could progress without disrupting service discovery and routing.

Lessons and Takeaways

From the evaluation and exploration of Kubernetes migration, the team derived several key takeaways:

  • Active community engagement is crucial for informed decision-making and learning from others’ experiences.
  • Rigorous scalability evaluation provides the foundation for confident decisions about migration.
  • Prioritizing portability simplifies migration and ensures seamless integration with existing systems.

In conclusion, Uber’s exploration of Kubernetes migration underscores the importance of evaluating scalability and addressing portability concerns. Through careful analysis and integration strategies, Uber aims to maintain its sophisticated compute infrastructure while leveraging the capabilities of Kubernetes.

Curious about successful Kubernetes migrations? Explore our collection of Kubernetes case studies to see real-world examples of seamless transitions. Discover how businesses like yours leveraged Kubernetes to enhance their operations and scalability.

If you’re considering migrating to Kubernetes and want expert guidance, reach out to Gart! Our experienced team can help you navigate the migration process smoothly. Contact us today to learn more and get started on your Kubernetes journey.

Roman Burdiuzha

Cloud Architect | Co-Founder & CTO at Gart Solutions | DevOps & Cloud Solutions | Boosting your business performance through result-oriented tough DevOps practices



Roman Burdiuzha

Cloud Architect | Co-Founder & CTO at Gart | DevOps & Cloud Solutions | Boosting your business performance through result-oriented tough DevOps practices