Hybrid Cloud Seen Driving Container Adoption
The growing number of hybrid cloud deployments is accelerating demand for enterprise container infrastructure as companies seek a consistent application development environment across on-premise infrastructure to the cloud, a new survey finds.
The study also found a substantial jump in the use of container orchestration tools in production.
The container adoption survey released Wednesday (May 31) by 451 Research and commissioned by container specialist CoreOS found that more than half the 200-plus IT managers surveyed preferred a combination of hosted and on-premise container services. That approach is seen as the most effective way to manage applications across hybrid cloud infrastructure.
"Organizations are turning to container software to deliver a single platform for application deployment across clouds and operationalized efficiency across the organization," noted Jay Lyman, principal analyst at 451 Research.
Lyman argued that container technology is addressing "an increasingly chaotic IT infrastructure" with multiple computing environments by empowering embattled developers looking to leverage the public cloud while supporting critical on-premise applications.
San Francisco-based CoreOS, a major backer of the Kubernetes container orchestration platform, stressed the survey's findings that 71 percent of respondents are using the Google-backed orchestrator to support hybrid cloud deployments. CoreOS noted that 52 percent of those polled said they are running container management and orchestration software for production workloads. A 451 Research survey in 2015 found that only 10 percent were using a container orchestration tool.
Still, the market researcher stressed that container management and orchestration remains a "mixed-use market," with Kubernetes leading the way but not yet a "de facto standard."
The primary competition comes from container leader Docker and its Swarm orchestration tool. Observers note that each approach has its advantage and disadvantages. Both Kubernetes and Swarm are open source tools, but Swarm is tied to Docker while several vendors including CoreOS contribute to the Google-developed orchestrator.
The vendor survey also identified a "leapfrog effect" in which containers are viewed by developers and IT operators as an alternative to other technologies. The market researcher found that "a majority of respondents think Kubernetes and other container management and orchestration software is sufficient to replace both private clouds" and platform services.
While developers dealing with multiple cloud platforms have embraced container software as a means of boosting efficiency, the survey also found that more infrastructure teams are adopting the technology to help manage hybrid clouds. Twice as many IT operators were identified as "primary users" of containers. Thirty-seven percent of those cited efficiency gains as the main reason.
While container security remains an issue, the survey found that security is now viewed as both a driver and inhibitor of container adoption. Isolating individual application containers from each other was an early security issue. Now, 451 Research found, a growing number of users view the technology as sufficiently stable to securely deliver enterprise applications.