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High-Volume Container Deployments on the Rise

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Docker and other application container platforms are rapidly becoming a fixture of modern enterprise IT environments.

The Cloud Native Computing Foundation, whose parent organization is the venerated Linux Foundation, recently quizzed more than 550 members of its community to determine how containers are being used in the wild for its December 2017 survey. The results indicate that the container ecosystem is maturing, which in turn is encouraging businesses to entrust more of the application workloads to the technology.

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Nearly half (49 percent) of all respondents said they had deployed 250 or more containers, a four percent gain from March 2017 and a dramatic increase compared to earlier surveys from March 2016 (20 percent) and June 2016 (12 percent). Fifteen percent of respondents reported high-volume deployments of more than 5,000 containers this month versus 11 percent in March 2017.

Another sign that containers are taking over the data center is the steady increase in Kubernetes usage in production-grade setups.

Kubernetes is the leading container orchestration platform and IT departments are growing more confident in its ability to keep their critical applications up and running. Seventy-five percent of those polled by the organization said they are using Kubernetes in production.

For comparison’s sake, only 26 percent of respondents said they were using Kubernetes in production back in March 2016. Naturally, Kubernetes is exceedingly popular in both development (89 percent) and test (85 percent) environments.

In terms of where businesses are placing their containers, both cloud-based and locally-hosted implementations are popular.

“Amazon (EC2/ECS) continues to grow as the leading container deployment environment (69 percent). Digital Ocean (seven percent to 14 percent) is also showing increased usage between March 2016 and December 2017,” noted the Cloud Native Computing Foundation. “On premise deployment decreased for the first time in the December 2017 survey since March 2016 (51 percent), but still remains a leading deployment environment.”

Among the major public cloud providers, Google (39 percent) and Microsoft Azure (23 percent) each have a significant share of the cloud container market. Although they’re in single-digit territory, IBM (five percent), Alibaba (three percent) and Oracle (one percent) have managed sparked some interest in their cloud platforms. SAP and Packet have also attracted some application container workloads (two percent apiece), noted the foundation.

Adoption is clearly on the upswing, but it’s hardly smooth sailing for IT professionals who are tasked with managing their deployments.

Security (43 percent), storage (41 percent), networking (38 percent) and monitoring (38 percent) are some of the top challenges that respondents encountered. Nearly a quarter (24 percent) admitted to having trouble scaling their deployments while more than a third (35 percent) took issue with the sheer complexity involved in managing containers.

Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at Datamation. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.

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