Container networking is a virtualization method that allows teams to separate groups of containers by application into independent boxes. A set of containers within a network can communicate freely with minimal outside interference.
In some cases, a container can be attached to as many networks as needed to run an application or perform a task successfully.
See below to learn more about the global container networking market:
Container Networking Market
The container networking market is a segment of the container orchestration market, which was estimated to be valued at $379.5 million in 2020. It’s projected to maintain a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 16.8% over the analysis period from 2020 to 2027, reaching $1.1 billion by the end of it.
The container networking segment of the market is estimated to reach a value of $843 million by 2025, maintaining a CAGR of 16.4% from 2020.
Regionally, the container orchestration and networking markets are segmented as follows:
- The U.S. market was estimated at $102.2 million in 2020, with a 26.9% share
- The Chinese market is forecast for a CAGR of 21.5%, reaching $260.9 million by 2027
- Japan and Canada are forecast to grow at a CAGR of 12.2% and 14.7% over the forecast period
- Within Europe, Germany is projected to maintain one of the highest CAGRs at 13.2%
By industry, the IT and telecommunications sectors are expected to drive demand in the container networking and orchestration markets.
Other notable industries driving demand include:
- Banking, financial services, and insurance (BFSI)
- Health care
Container Networking Features
Modern applications of container networking standardize data flows between container zones.
There are common types of container networks, such as:
A bridge container network, also known as a Linux Bridge, is easy to run and manage. They’re limited to container networks on a single host on the Docker engine.
Overlay networks enable containers to communicate via networking tunnels, which can connect multiple hosts. While containers in overlay networks are unable to communicate with containers in different networks, it’s still the most suitable solution for hybrid cloud architectures.
An underlay network is a more simplistic and efficient alternative to a bridge network. It doesn’t require port mapping and is best used for on-premises container networks for optimizing workload balance, traffic, security, and compliance.
MACvlan networks don’t require the use of port mapping or network address translation (NAT), as they connect containers directly to the host interface network. This type of network provides low latency compared to its counterparts.
In host networks, containers share their network namespace with the host machine. All containers within a host network architecture can be accessed through the host’s IP address, allowing for high performance at bare metal networking speeds.
Of numerous networking standards on the market, two stand out the most:
Container Network Model
The Container Network Model (CNM) was first proposed by Docker before being adopted by many containerization projects and solutions.
A CNM has dedicated interfaces for both network plugins and IPAM plugins used to create, delete, and allocate address pools and entire networks.
Some CNM features include:
- Network sandboxing
- Endpoint control
- Define user labels
Container Network Interface
The Container Network Interface (CNI) was first proposed by CoreOS before gaining popularity with mainstream solutions.
It’s a simplified standard that operates as the communication contract between the container run time and network plugins.
Some CNI features include:
- Uses JSON schema and GO libraries
- Run multiple plugins simultaneously
- Describes network configuration in JSON
SDN and Container Networking
On their own, containers are easy to create and deploy with the desired application or service. However, individual containers are limited in capacity when it’s time to work on bigger applications that would normally require many individual containers working together.
“Container networking environments are software-defined networking (SDN) realms where SDN is used to establish communication with other resources within the data center,” says Reza Ramezanpour in a post at Tigera.io.
“In a data center where a massive amount of containers is created and removed every second, SDN can provide the efficiency to process packets inside and outside of the container.”
Benefits of Container Networking
Using container networking solutions can have numerous benefits for companies, such as:
- Sharing an operating system (OS)
- Sharing and combining hosts
- Speeding up container communication
- Unifying container IP addresses
- Improving application portability
- Lowering network latency
- Improving containerized applications performance
Container Networking Use Cases
The following use cases highlight how container networking is being used by organizations in different industries:
STL is an Indian multinational company specializing in optical fiber cables and large-scale network design. STL has partnered with numerous tech companies to build and deploy modern network software.
Serving its customers isn’t limited to the physical installment of optical fiber cables. STL also needed to properly manage its network, enabling its employees to access it remotely.
Working with Google, STL started running a desktop-as-a-service (DaaS) environment based on containers, using the Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE).
“Our architectural landscape and transformation design principles enabled us to avoid running separate data warehouses,” says Manuj Desai, head of IT transformation, STL.
“Creating a data lake enabled us to extract deep insights from historical and real-time data from disparate sources in a unified, clean format. This is a great benefit and big time saver for us.”
STL was able to containerize its DaaS environment, improve collaboration for over 3,000 employees, and generate insights from its networks’ data.
Druva is a cloud-based data backup, protection, and management software company based in Sunnyvale, California. Over 4,000 organizations in 20 countries use its software, including numerous Fortune “500” entities, governments, and public agencies.
Looking to support its growth on a global scale, Druva needed to containerize its architecture to accommodate the increasing demand at a more manageable cost. Working with Amazon, it used Amazon Elastic Container Service (ECS) on AWS.
“Our customers recognize AWS compliance and security certifications, which makes our lives much easier, because we don’t need to pursue time-consuming, costly third-party assessments,” says Kiran Chitnis, senior director of cloud operations, Druva.
“The speed at which we can launch instances and the flexibility of the overall compute infrastructure on AWS are astounding.”
Working with AWS, Druva was able to save anywhere from 20%-50% on monthly computing costs, onboard tens of thousands of users in under three weeks, and achieve a 99.5% uptime.
Draper, Utah-based Nav is a financial technology and services company that works primarily with companies. With offices in Utah and California, Nav works with top commercial credit bureaus, Dun & Bradstreet, Equifax, and Experian.
As Nav’s clientele started growing, it found it challenging to be efficient with its cloud use on a large scale. Aiming to containerize and orchestrate its environment, Nav was on the lookout for a technology partner suitable for its tech team.
Deciding on Kubernetes as a simple solution to orchestrate a containerized solution that fit its exact needs, Nav launched its new network on the AWS cloud.
“Kubernetes gave us a very simple way to be able to step into an orchestration solution that fit our needs at the time but also the extensibility of it allowed us to be able to grow with it and be able to build in more features and functionality later on,” says Travis Jeppson, director of engineering, Nav.
“Kubernetes has brought so much value to Nav by allowing all of these new freedoms that we had just never had before.”
Nav’s team was able to deploy Kubernetes and migrate its 25 microservices in one year. Orchestrating container networks, it increased deployment by 50%, cutting down on half of its infrastructure costs, and using close to 40% of its cloud resources.
Container Networking Providers
Some of the leading providers of container networking solutions and services include:
- Critical Stack