Research explores containerisation drivers with hybrid cloud shift key

In the race to move to hybrid cloud, enterprises are looking at containers to increase efficiency and developer productivity, according to a new study.

Of the more than 200 enterprise IT decision makers polled by CoreOS and 451 Research, their usage of containers was relatively even across the board. A quarter (24%) said they had a broad implementation of production applications, while 17% said they were still as the discovery and evaluation stage.

When it came to the drivers of container usage, greater efficiency (33%) and hybrid cloud and cross-cloud integration (32%) were the most frequently cited. The most popular benefit was developer productivity, cited by 30% of respondents, just ahead of efficiency (29%), but these numbers not surprisingly swung for DevOps (55% developer productivity) and infrastructure (37% efficiency) workers respectively.

Docker Swarm was cited as the most popular orchestration platform overall (36%), ahead of report sponsors CoreOS (27%), Kubernetes (22%) and Mesos (14%). For the largest organisations – those with 5,000 or more employees – Kubernetes saw a rise to 27%, with CoreOS going down to 19%.

The report also found that twice as many IT operations workers were identified as the primary users of containers – in other words, not developers – while a similar trend occurred with purchasing, albeit noting a ‘growing developer influence’ on this area.

“Organisations are looking for ways to create a consistent developer deployment model across on-premises and hybrid clouds,” said Jay Lyman, principal analyst at 451 Research in a statement. “The need to empower developers, the push to realise the benefits of public clouds and need to support mission critical on-premise applications have created multiple computing environments within the enterprise.

“In order to manage this increasingly chaotic IT infrastructure and avoid the mistakes of the past, organisations are turning to container software to deliver a single platform for application deployment across clouds and operationalised efficiency across the organisation,” Lyman added.

According to a report from NetEnrich last July surveying 200 IT professionals, two thirds of respondents described learning the likes of Docker, Kubernetes and Mesos as ‘moderately challenging’. CoreOS was the most popular main container technology cited by 33%, ahead of Kubernetes (32%), Docker (25%) and Joyent (11%).

As a result, it can be assumed that the technology’s usage is proliferating, if a major player has not quite burst through yet. 451 Research concludes that “given these survey results and the strong, growing production use not only of containers, but also container management and orchestration software at this early stage of the market, we expect the container market’s momentum to continue through 2017.”