Surveys Say That Companies Are Set To Move Big Into Containers in Next Year
Security is still seen as the chief concern for most admins.
If surveys are to be believed, there are lots of containers in use in enterprises already, but that usage is just a pebble in the landslide that's set to crash down over the next few years.
One survey, from the container security company Twistlock, says that 86 percent of "IT decision makers" claim that their companies currently use containers, or will within a year. Of that 86 percent, 35 percent said containers are in wide use.
Another survey, by ClusterHQ, had similar findings: More than 94 percent of the 285 respondents had "either investigated or actually used some container technology over the last 12 months." The results of this survey differed a bit from the Twistlock survey, in that 38 percent said they were using containers in any production capacity. But 65 percent said that their companies will be using containers in production within the next year. ClusterHQ provides data management for Docker-based containers; Docker is by far the leading type of container in use.
Skin in the Game
It's important, of course, to also understand that both of these surveys were conducted by companies that are hardly objective bystanders: their business is containers, and they have everything to gain by highlighting the growth of the container industry.
For example, ClusterHQ had as the second data point in its summary that Docker is the "container of choice" for more than 90 percent of respondents. Twistlock, for its part, pointed out the three security features that respondents would most like to see in containers (for the record, they were: a consistent security model; keeping development mistakes from reaching production; and detecting vulnerabilities in containers).
There's no denying, however, that containers seem to be on every large IT vendors' mind:
That's just a sampling of what's out there, but it underscores the critical importance attached to containers.
One thing both surveys agreed on was that security is the No. 1 concern surrounding adoption of containers. Sixty-One percent of respondents to the ClusterHQ survey indicated that it was their greatest fear, and fully 91 percent of those in the Twistlock survey said the same thing. Of that 91 percent, half said they were "very" or "extremely" concerned.
Virtual Machines vs. Containers
One interesting finding in the Twistlock survey was the predominance of virtual machines (VMs) as the underlying infrastructure for containers. Just 17 percent run containers on bare-metal servers, while 62 percent run containers on top of VMs. Those figures contain a bit of irony, since some people claim that containers could eventually replace VMs altogether. Others, including VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger, take the view that the technologies are complimentary.
Keith Ward is the editor in chief of Virtualization & Cloud Review. Follow him on Twitter @VirtReviewKeith.