May 3, 2019

Cilium User Survey March 2019 - The Results

Back in March we have asked our users to provide feedback via our first ever user survey. Many of you have responded and the results are in!

The survey was announced on our Slack channel and on Twitter. Participation was anonymous and did not require to leave behind contact information. Most questions had a set of predefined answers plus a field to add additional answers. All questions were optional, some users did not answer all questions.

Current Use of Cilium

In what stage are you with your usage of Cilium?

The initial question captured how many users we have in each stage. The first four answers were predefined.

Current use of Cilium

What are you blocked on?

Those who answered that they are blocked were given a chance to provide a detailed response:

  • End-to-end transparent encryption (Now supported by Cilium 1.4/1.5)
  • SSL/TLS Layer 7 filtering
  • IPv6 /96 prefix requirement (Planned for Cilium 1.6)
  • AWS VPC CNI support (Planned for Cilium 1.6)
  • Usage with Istio 1.1 (Now supported by Cilium 1.5)
  • Better VPC-CNI support (Planned for 1.6)
  • The latest blocker for me is an integration with Istio CNI (Planned for Cilium 1.6)
  • Support of non containers workloads that is on roadmap
  • RKE (Now supported by Cilium 1.5)
  • Openshift v3 (Guide planned for Cilium 1.6)

Note: The survey was published just after we had released Cilium 1.4, we have since released Cilium 1.5 which already includes some of the asks provided via the survey. See the status of each ask in brackets.

What is your motivation to use Cilium?

Why are you using Cilium? The first 9 answers were predefined.

Motivation to use Cilium


The vast majority of our users are running Cilium on Kubernetes so we have decided to include a Kubernetes specific section to the survey to gain some insights into how our users use Kubernetes.

How are you managing Kubernetes?

Are you managing your own Kubernetes or are you using a managed Kubernetes service?

How do you use Kubernetes?

How many nodes do you run in your Kubernets Cluster?

What is a typical size of a Kubernetes cluster?

Size of Kubernetes clusters

How many Kubernetes clusters are you operating?

How many Kubernetes clusters are you operating in total?

Number of Kubernetes clusters

What Linux Distribution do you run Kubernetes on?

Linux distribution

Cilium Feature Usage

We are always interested to understand what features are actually used. The survey focused heavily on new functionality made available as beta feature to understand what areas we should continue to focus on.

What networking mode are you using?

How are our users using Cilium? Are they using direct-routing or tunneling mode? Are they integrating with other networking components? The first 3 answered were predefined.

Use of multicluster

What type of security policies are you using?

Cilium supports a wide set of security policy features. What are our users using? The first 4 answers were predefined.

Security policy usage

How are you managing your security policies?

Everybody's favorite topic: YAML. How are users defining the security policies? The first 3 answers were predefined.

Security policy management

IPv6 vs IPv4?

How is IPv6 usage doing? We will track this metric over time.

IPv6 usage

Are you interested in transparent encryption?

The availability of transparent encryption was announced as beta feature just before the survey. We wanted to understand how many of our users are interested in it. The first 3 answers were predefined.

Use of transparent encryption

Are you interested in multicluster?

Multi-cluster has been introduced a while ago but Cilium 1.4 added support for global service routing. Who is using it and who is planning to use it?

Use of multicluster

Next Features

Pick two features that we should focus on next

What features should we focus on next? We have asked users to pick 2 features from a predefined list:

next features

Additional feedback on the roadmap

In addition to the predefined answers on next features, we wanted to provide an opportunity to provide more details:

  • SRv6 support
  • Weighted cluster preference for global services is highly needed
  • "Integrated ingress" sounds interesting, if it is something that accelerates Istio Ingress Gateway. I am also interested in L7-aware routing, NodePort support, if it accelerates Istio.
  • Non container workloads
  • Great but needs to focus on features to work on Direct routing
  • Interested in bare metal deployment load balancing, e.g. MetalLB

Documentation Gaps

How are we doing on documentation? The first 4 answers were predefined. It is great to see how users provided very specific feedback.

Documentation gaps

Blog Posts

How are we doing on blog posts. What type of blog posts should we post more?

Blog Posts


Ease of Contributing

Every open source project is only as good as the diversity of its contributors.

Ease of contributing

We are currently leaving behind a large potential of highly motivated contributors. We will do better and find ways to encourage a diverse and wide set of contributors.

Bug Reporting Process

How is the bug reporting process working for our users?

Bug reporting process

Personal feedback

Additional feedback provided

At the end of the survey, we provided a free-form text box for additional feedback. Here is a selected list of some of our favourites:

  • Cilium is great, thanks for making it.
  • You guys are doing awesome job, keep making it better..
  • Cilium rocks!
  • Love what you are doing guys, keep going !
  • Concerned about the lack of updates on kops. Currently working around the kops-based installation of cilium

Thank You

A big thank you to everyone who filled out the survey. It has helped us in great length to plan the roadmap of the coming months. We will be repeating the survey in 6 months interval.

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