Docker and other application container platforms are already changing the way enterprises develop and deliver applications. Over the next year, container adoption will really ramp up, according to new report from the Cloud Foundry Foundation, Hope Versus Reality: Containers in 2016.
Currently, 16 percent of organizations are already using containers in production, noted Abby Kearns, vice president of Industry Strategy at the Cloud Foundry Foundation. But ClearPath Strategies, the research firm that conducted the survey on behalf of the Foundation, asked participants about their plans, she started "seeing an interesting shift in those looking to move into production," she told Datamation.
"Another 64 percent are expecting to move into production in the next year," said Kearns.
The global study involved 711 IT decision makers across seven countries (U.S., Canada, the U.K., Germany, China, Japan and South Korea) at organizations with a minimum of 100 employees. Thirty-seven percent hailed from companies with 100 – 999 employees and another 35 percent worked at organizations with 1,000 – 9,999 workers. Ten percent worked at enterprises with over 100,000 employees.
The most popular uses of containers are in application development environments (54 percent) and as a lightweight approach to resource sharing (42 percent). Organizations are also employing containers as a means to operate a versioned runtime (36 percent) and operating system (33 percent), as well as to replace virtual machines (30 percent).
While increased adoption is a good thing for the container market, enterprises are quickly discovering that the technology's benefits also come with challenges.
Among respondents, "50 percent said that container management was their top challenge," said Kearns. IT leaders often find themselves faced with container sprawl when they begin managing them at scale, she added. Thirty-eight percent said monitoring posed a challenge, followed by persistent storage (36 percent) and security and isolation (30 percent).
Eighty-two percent of current container users said the technology can be a challenge to get to scale, versus 48 percent for evaluators, and 80 percent agreed that it is complicated except in simple use cases (55 percent for evaluators). The vast majority (92 percent) said containers alone aren't enough to carry an application development platform and 84 percent thought managing containers without platform-as-a-service or cloud application platform could prove difficult.
According to the study, the top five container management platforms are Cloud Foundry (42 percent), Amazon Web Services (32 percent), Microsoft Azure (31 percent), Oracle (19 percent) and Google App Engine (16 percent).
Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at Datamation. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.