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Crossing the Chasm of Container Adoption in Production

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Only 38% of IT professionals use containers in production environments, according to a recent survey. ClusterHQ, which ran the survey of the current state of container usage and adoption [pdf], also concludes that 73% of respondents are running containers in a VM environment.

According to ClusterHQ’s research, the biggest barriers to putting containers in a production environment today are security and data management. The report shows other barriers such as networking, IT personnel skills, persistent storage and reliability.

A couple of months ago, Eric Knorr, editor at InfoWorld, wrote about the difficulties when adopting containers in production environments. He wrapped up the most important developments related to Docker since the technology appeared and summarized the article saying that "it’s going to be a while before containers start supplanting VMs in production".

Joyent CTO Bryan Cantrill considers that using containers behind a VM compromises container’s performance:

That is madness, because OS virtualization is that next step function. It allows us to eliminate this layer of fat that is buying us nothing.

Knorr concludes:

Container security needs to be beefed up. Container management and orchestration needs to go beyond what Kubernetes, Mesos and Swarm offer today. Plus, a whole new generation of ops folks needs to emerge that understands how to manage this new infrastructure layer at scale.
Yet there's a ton of sunk cost in conventional virtualization infrastructure, and Docker is just two years old. This revolution has already proven itself much quicker than others, but nothing in enterprise technology happens overnight.

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  • seems low

    by Mark N /

    Your message is awaiting moderation. Thank you for participating in the discussion.

    Since "containers" are relatively new, 38% seems high. Of course since it is "of respondents" it is not "of IT professionals". It all depends on who you ask and of those, who respond. According to my survey it is 0% of IT professionals. :)

  • Re: seems low

    by Guillermo Beltri /

    Your message is awaiting moderation. Thank you for participating in the discussion.

    Exactly Mark,

    this 38% is coming from an specific source. Perhaps we should do an average from the ClusterHQ report and your 0% :)

    What it seems is that not many people are using containers in production yet and for those who are using them, they do it behind VM's!

  • Re: seems low

    by Mark N /

    Your message is awaiting moderation. Thank you for participating in the discussion.

    I highly doubt people will go back to physical machines (for anything but hosting VMs) - not in the "enterprise".

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