As cloud computing has matured and gained traction in the enterprise, newer services have emerged to help developers more quickly and efficiently deploy modern applications. An in-depth Datamation survey of cloud computing trends, State of the Cloud, 2019, reveals adoption levels of two leading services: containers and serverless.
With the advent of Docker and modern application architectures like microservices, developers have come to prefer working with the underlying application platforms. They are no longer interested in dealing with the virtual machines on top of which the applications are deployed.
Developers want a simple interface or software developer kit (SDK) to deploy their applications without worrying about the platform's complexities. This shift in thinking has spawned various developer abstractions – particularly containers and serverless.
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As Docker gained traction among developers, enterprises started looking at deploying applications in production, using container technology. With Kubernetes emerging as the standard for orchestrating containers, more and more organizations started using container technology.
In a recent Datamation survey, 31 percent of respondents said that they are using containers as a part of their cloud deployments. Another 28 percent responded that they are actively considering it, even though they are not using containers right now.
This indicates that container technologies have matured and will gain large-scale enterprise adoption in the next few years. As Kubernetes matures to support both stateless and stateful workloads, containers will become the standard way for deploying applications.
Containers are the perfect lightweight encapsulation for microservices and, as enterprises continue to embrace microservices architectures, the adoption trend will move upward.
Some of the biggest drivers for enterprise adoption of containers are:
- DevOps agility across development, test and production environments, accelerating the time-to-market.
- Portability across multiple cloud providers and on-premises datacenter.
- Cost savings through efficient resource utilization.
The survey results show that container adoption is increasing and is driven by the popularity of Docker and Kubernetes. The advantages, mentioned above, will further drive growth for container technologies.
Another area of interest for developers is serverless technologies, driven in a big way by Functions as a Service offerings like AWS Lambda. Serverless technologies allows developers to create event-driven applications without having to worry about the underlying infrastructure. Payment is based on the number of times the function is invoked instead of flat fee.
This granular pricing model is based on invocations of service requests rather than a constant pricing model or virtual machines. Additionally, the flexibility of containers is making serverless more attractive to organizations.
Even though the technology has been available for the past few years, organizations are slowly adopting serverless only now. As shown in the Datamation survey results, a solid 21 percent of the respondents say that they have deployed serverless technology, with another 39 percent saying they are considering it.
Even though the serverless adoption is lagging behind container adoption, it is quite evident that organizations are seriously considering serverless technologies. As these technologies mature and more use cases are supported, we expect serverless to gain more traction.
Both serverless and containers will be used in modern application architectures, depending on the needs of the application components or microservices. As these technologies mature, we expect the organizations to use these two technologies based on specific, increasing needs of applications.
Survey methodology: Conducted in April, 2019, the Datamation survey was taken by 108 qualified technology professionals from a wide spectrum of industries, including financial services, retail, technology and healthcare.