Companies with unmonitored Dockers could be dangerously exposed – study

Empty road and containers in harbor at sunsetWhile container technology is sweeping the board and being installed practically everywhere, its progress will be largely unmonitored, says a study. According to the research figures, the majority of Docker adopters could be sleepwalking into chaos.

The report, The State of Containers and the Docker Ecosystem 2015, found that 93% of organisations plan to use containers, with 78% of them opting for Docker.

The primary reason for using Docker was its convenience and speed, according to the survey group, of whom a massive majority (85%) nominated ‘Fast and easy deployment’ as their most important reason for using Docker. However, this haste could lead to mistakes, because over half (54%) told researchers that performance monitoring was not the major focus of attention as they rushed to adopt container technology.

The findings of the study shocked Bernd Greifeneder, CTO at performance manager Dynatrace, which commissioned the research.

“It’s crucial to monitor not just the containers themselves, but to understand how microservices and applications within the containers perform,” said Greifeneder, who works in Dynatrace’s Ruxit division, “monitoring application performance and scalability are key factors to success with container technology.”

Half the companies planning a container deployment in the coming six months to a year will do so in production, according to Greifeneder. Without monitoring, it will be difficult to manage, he said.

While most companies (56%) seem to realise the benefits of having reliable and production-ready solutions, fewer (40%) seemed to understand the flip side of the powers of automation and the dangers inherent in using ‘extraordinarily dynamic’ technology without monitoring its progress.

Since Docker was launched in 2013, more than 800 million containers have been pulled from the public Docker Hub. While container use is skyrocketing there are barriers to success that need to be addressed, Greifeneder argued.

The report was conducted by O’Reilly Media in collaboration with Ruxit. Survey participants represent 138 companies with fewer than 500 people from a variety of sectors including in software, consulting, publishing and media, education, cloud services, hardware, retail and government.