Survey: 96% increase in container production usage over past year

It seems like things move incredibly fast in the container ecosystem. But at ClusterHQ, we live and breath containers. Maybe we’re just too close to tell.

Just how much change in the ecosystem is what we set out to find in the 2nd annual container adoption survey (view last year’s survey).

In a survey commissioned by ClusterHQ and conducted by DevOps.com of 310 IT pros, one of the most surprising findings was that production operations of containers have increased 96% over the past year.

Containers in production

You can download the whole report or even view the raw responses. For a summary, read on.

Survey highlights

  • Of respondents who had knowledge of their companies’ financial investments, 52% reported that their companies are making financial investment into containers, sometimes in the millions of dollars.

  • Of the respondents who said they have been making a monetary investment in containers, the majority (56%) reported that this has been occurring for less than a year.

  • 72% of organizations using containers met or exceeded business and IT objectives, while on average only 63% of respondents not using containers achieved both business and IT goals.

  • Persistent storage was reported as the number one barrier to container adoption this year, ahead of security.

These results not only serve as a proof point for the viability of emerging container technologies, but also show that there is a huge market opportunity for increased growth and that organizations using containers may be gaining a competitive advantage.

Still Barriers to Overcome before Full Container Adoption

This year’s research also reveals a dramatic shift in the barriers to container adoption. In 2015, 61 percent of respondents cited security as the largest barrier to adoption, followed by data management (53%) and networking (51%). The 2016 survey reports that persistent storage – a challenge that arises when containers running databases are deployed in production environments – is now the most difficult challenge when it comes to deploying containers, with security falling to the third spot. In addition, survey takers who answered that their organizations were not yet using containers, cited that the primary reason for this is because there is still not enough known about container technology to warrant investing resources into this space.

Biggest Challenges to Container Adoption

This year’s survey findings demonstrate the growing popularity of Kubernetes for managing Docker containers. Last year, 50 percent of respondents selected Docker Swarm as the orchestration tool they would be most likely to consider, followed by Kubernetes (38%) and Mesos (35%). This year’s results show that while Docker Swarm maintains a strong position, Kubernetes is the most widely used container orchestration tool. Respondents were asked to select all the container orchestration tools they currently use; findings showed that the top five were:

  • Kubernetes: 40%
  • Internally developed tools: 32%
  • Docker Swarm: 32%
  • Amazon ECS: 24%
  • Mesos: 15%

This indicates that people are still experimenting with multiple container managers to figure out which is the right tool for the job.

Most popular container managers

Developers are not looking for a better VM

Containers are often compared to VMs but developers are not using containers to replace VMs, they are using them to be more efficient and support their microservices.

Why developers are using containers

These are just a few of the survey highlights. To learn more, you can download the whole report or even view the raw responses. Until next year!

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