We’re about to wrap up 2015 and if you take a close look at the past year — and how containers have progressed in 12 short months — it’s quite obvious that it was an incredibly exciting journey, particularly for all of us at ClusterHQ. Our company reached some impressive milestones, including the release of production-ready Flocker 1.0, the creation of an incredible ecosystem of storage partners and new product developments to help spur container adoption.
We’re quite bullish on our support of containers, however, we also recognize that the coming year holds a lot of change for the market. In anticipation of what’s to come, and with an open mind on how quickly this market is evolving, I’ve compiled a short list of predictions about containers and the entire ecosystem for 2016:
###Containers will drive the next wave of public cloud adoption even by large, heavily regulated enterprises. While it might not seem like containers (the supposedly less-secure virtualization alternative) will push the most conservative enterprises towards public cloud, that is exactly what is happening. Netflix was the Amazon Web Services (AWS) customer that most typified the first wave of cloud adoption (high scale, high complexity). Capital One, one of the US’s largest banks and AWS re|Invent keynote speaker, typifies the second cloud revolution that we are experiencing. The benefits in speed and agility for containers are so great that large, established and heavily regulated industries will turn to containers in droves as a way to innovate in the face of stiffer competition.
###Standards will emerge up and down the container stack. A range of standards bodies have emerged recently to deal with the issues around interoperability in container environments, from the OCI to the CNCF. This trend will continue with standards emerging at all levels of the container stack, from runtime and format, to security, to networking and storage. As a community driven by technical merit — not marketing budgets — container projects that get real developer traction will be quickly adopted as the standard in the fast moving container ecosystem.
###Companies won’t begin making large monetary investments in container technology until 2017. This coming year will be a time when Docker progresses from primarily the domain of DevOps and becomes more prevalent in a greater variety of enterprise use cases. However, even with the front office starting to pay closer attention to the benefits of containers from a business perspective, it will be at least another year before million dollar contracts with container companies becomes a regular occurrence.
###Competition will heat up in the container ecosystem. 2016 will be a year of accelerated acquisitions in the container world, and existing and emerging technologies will go head to head to become dominant. We will continue to see the vendor landscape shifting with new entrants. As the industry experiences an increase in mergers and acquisitions, this will also make it more difficult for enterprise buyers to make confident decisions on suppliers or a specific container technology.
###Developers will be kings. They lead their companies in adoption and innovation, but are overlooked by marketers, salespeople and even their own executive teams. In 2016, as the pace of technology continues to accelerate, all eyes will turn to the developers and they will shape the future of the enterprise.
So there it is: five container predictions for 2016. Next year will be characterized as a year of change and new possibilities, and we’re excited to see what comes next. Cheers to a happy and successful new year!
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