Survey Finds Container Adoption More Pervasive

As containerized applications become more widely employed in production environments, a new survey suggests the level of investment being made in container technologies by IT organizations is increasing exponentially.

The survey of 501 IT professionals conducted by the market research Market Cube on behalf of Portworx, a provider of container storage software, and Aqua Security, a provider of a container security platform, finds 87% of respondents are running containers, with 90% of those respondents now running them in production environments.

A quarter of those respondents (25%) are now also spending more than a half-million dollars a year on container technologies, with 17% of those respondents now spending a $1 million or more, the survey finds.

Michael Ferranti, vice president of product marketing for Portworx, says much of that increased spending correlates with the rise of stateful applications that require access to persistent storage. Most of the first wave of containerized applications were stateless, which lent them to be more easily be deployed on a public cloud. However, as stateful applications that require access to a database have become containerized, the need to invest in associated levels of compute and storage has increased. The survey finds 71% of respondents say they are now running at least 40% of their application portfolio in containers. Another 24 percent are running 21% to 40% of their application portfolios in containers.

In terms of the benefits of containers, 37% listed developer productivity as the top benefit, followed by increased agility (20%) and the ability to avoid being locked into a single vendor, because containers can be moved from one cloud to another (19%).

More than a third of respondents (36%) report they have deployed containers on least two of three major public clouds, with 12% of respondents running containers on Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform (GCP) and Microsoft Azure.

The most popular single option for running Kubernetes was Microsoft AKS (47%), followed by IBM IKS (40%), Google GKE (39%) and Amazon EKS (35%). However, 65% of the respondents also note they are currently using two or more container orchestration tools.

Regardless of how far down the path they might be, it’s apparent that most respondents are now turning their attention to concerns that go beyond merely deploying containers. The survey finds the top three container concerns now are data security (56%), data loss (46%) and planning for disaster recovery and business continuity (40%).

The most widely employed tools for securing container are data encryption (64%), followed by runtime monitoring (49%), vulnerability scanning in registry (49%), vulnerability scanning in CI/CD pipelines (49%) and blocking of anomalies through runtime protection (48%).

Ferranti says the fact that these issues are major concerns reflects a growing level of IT maturity concerning containers.  Organizations are much more concerned about traditional enterprise IT challenges such as data management and security than they are about figuring out how to stand up a Kubernetes cluster. The latest version of Portworx Enterprise for container storage addresses some of those issues via a simplified backup and recovery process that can be invoked via a single command. The challenge now is finding a way to address this and other enterprise-class issues consistently on all the platforms organizations need to deploy their containerized applications.

Mike Vizard

Mike Vizard is a seasoned IT journalist with over 25 years of experience. He also contributed to IT Business Edge, Channel Insider, Baseline and a variety of other IT titles. Previously, Vizard was the editorial director for Ziff-Davis Enterprise as well as Editor-in-Chief for CRN and InfoWorld.

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