Docker Container Usage Growing


A trio of new reports show positive trends for Docker container adoption, despite concerns Docker too complex to integrate into organisations’ environments

As the DockerCon 16 conference gets underway June 20 in Seattle, users and advocates of the open-source container technology are being bolstered by multiple reports that imply adoption is growing, although there are some challenges to adoption.

Container storage vendor ClusterHQ issued a study on June 16 that included responses from 310 IT decision-makers as part of its “Container Market Adoption Survey 2016” report.

Not surprisingly for a study conducted by a container backer, the report found that 79 percent of organizations are running containers. What is somewhat surprising, however, is that 76 percent of respondents indicated that their organizations are now using containers in production, up from only 38 percent in 2015.

Container growth

oracleAlso on June 16, CloudFoundry issued its “Hope Versus Reality: Containers in 2016” report, based on responses from 711 respondents. In contrast to ClusterHQ’s adoption figures, only 22 percent of the CloudFoundry survey respondents said that they are currently using containers.

As to why adoption isn’t higher, 45 percent said their biggest deployment worry is that Docker is too complex to integrate into their environments. In addition, 50 percent indicated that container management is a top challenge.

Among the other key highlights of the CloudFoundry report is that 42 percent of respondents see security isolation as a key benefit of container usage.

Looking at orchestration tools, the ClusterHQ study reported that 43 percent of respondents are using Kubernetes, while 29 percent are using Docker Swarm and only 4 percent are using CloudFoundry. In contrast, CloudFoundry’s study found that 42 percent of its respondents rated CloudFoundry as the top container management platform, followed by Amazon at 32 percent and Kubernetes at 6 percent.


From a deployment perspective, ClusterHQ’s respondents largely deploy on Amazon, with 60 percent of respondents indicating that’s the infrastructure provider used for containers. Twenty percent of ClusterHQ’s respondents are using Google’s Compute cloud to deploy containers, while 16 percent use VMware.

Perhaps the largest study yet of Docker usage is one issued June 20 by Datadog that is a sample of 10,000 companies’ usage of containers on the Datadog cloud monitoring service platform.  Among the top-line highlights of Datadog’s study is that it has seen 30 percent year-over-year growth in the number of its customers using containers, which now stands at 10.7 percent, up from 8.2 percent in May 2015.

Docker is a technology that enables organizations to run applications, so what are the actual applications that organizations are running on Docker today? According to Datadog, 21 percent of companies are running Docker Registry, which is an application that enables organizations to host and deliver containerized apps. Twenty percent of Datadog’s users are running the Nginx Web server.

Large scale adoption

red hatDocker isn’t just a technology used by small companies either. In fact, most adoptions observed by Datadog are by organizations that are monitoring 500 or more server hosts.

“Larger companies are adopting Docker more rapidly than smaller companies,” K Young, director of Strategic Initiatives at Datadog, told eWEEK.

Also of note in the Datadog study is the finding that of the organizations that run Docker, 25 percent will run an average of 10 or more containers simultaneously. In addition, Young said once Datadog classifies a company as using Docker, it has observed that the organization tends to rapidly scale up usage. Datadog found that companies on average will increase their container count fivefold within nine months of first deploying Docker.

“I expect that when we publish new research on Docker adoption again at some point in the future, we’ll see an even larger container count,” Young said. “There is no sign of any slowing down for Docker adoption.”

Originally published on eWeek

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