Reflecting on a Year of Change and What’s to Come in 2017

2016 is almost a wrap and the internet is rife with technology predictions for the coming year. At ClusterHQ we’ve got our own set of ideas about where we think the industry will move in 2017, but before we get into those I want to take a moment to reflect on what’s been a huge year for the container industry and for all of us at ClusterHQ as well.

We kicked off the year by adding some incredibly talented people to our team, all of whom were critical to the aggressive product roadmap we were able to pull off. Just over a month ago we released two brand new products—FlockerHub and Fli—to bring Git-like functionality to containers. Together, these products allow users to seamlessly move data between laptops, test environments, data centers and clouds, all with version and access controls, and we are still accepting users for the free beta so we hope you’ll join!

In addition to significant traction on the product front, we opened a new office in Silicon Valley, continued to grow an incredibly talented team of engineers, and released two industry surveys this year (1 and 2) in an effort to continue providing resources on container adoption rates and industry challenges to help educate the market.

All in all, 2016 was full of tests and triumphs and I can promise that 2017 will also be a big year for the company. As for the community as a whole, below are some thoughts on what’s in store. Wishing everyone happy holidays and cheers to the new year.

Prediction #1: People will talk less about containers in 2017 and more about applications

Technology comes in waves. When containers exploded a couple years ago, it was all containers, all the time. But containers only serve to make applications easier to build, ship and run to borrow a phrase. People will think more about applications overall in 2017, rather than just the components that make them up.

Prediction #2: But the importance of container management will grow

Individual containers allow for convenient packaging аnd delivery of individual executables, in other words, application components. Individual components are useless, however, and only become useful when connected together with other components. This is where a container manager, sometimes called an orchestration framework, increases in importance since the container manager provides a system for running applications overall, not just individual containers.

Prediction #3: The battle between container management tools will shift to storage

Container orchestration frameworks have focused mainly on managing compute and networking to date. Storage was practically ignored. However, as the heart of every application, data is centrally important. 2017 will become a year of focusing on storage for containerized applications.

Prediction #4: The industry will start to see million dollar contracts with container companies

Large enterprise customers will begin making decisions this year about investments in container technologies across the stack. The vendors in this space that integrate with a large set of players, without imposing restrictions or specific technology requirements, will come out on top.

Prediction #5: Microservices are brought back down to earth

The last few years have undoubtedly seen a trend towards microservices architectures, which is great for agile development, but in some ways sets DevOps teams back in terms of application complexity. It’s much easier to manage one big thing with a single set of rules, than it is 100 small things with multiple rule sets. In 2017 DevOps teams will manage this complexity head on and attempt to figure out which container management tools best solve specific challenges, like security, data management and networking.

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