DevOps people love container technologies, survey confirms

Two-thirds plan to adopt containers at their sites over the coming year -- especially Docker, and for dev/test environments.

Managers and professionals engaged in DevOps say container technologies are the best thing since sliced bread.

That's the finding of a new survey conducted by DevOps.com, which finds that 38 percent of respondents use containers in their production environments at this time, and at least 65 percent expect to do so over the next 12 months. Containers in this sense are abstractions implemented at the operating system layer of the stack to support highly distributed applications.

The survey of 285 IT managers and professionals, underwritten by ClusterHQ, finds that the leading container technology of choice is Docker, with 92 percent of respondents having used or investigated it. Linux Containers (LXC) follows at 32 percent, and Rocket with 20 percent.

The survey also shows that organizations are using containers within different infrastructures, but most frequently in on-premises data centers (57 percent), followed by Amazon Web Services (52 percent).

Dev/test environments are the primary environment for container deployments, cited by 73 perecnt of thiose using or considering container technologies. Another 63 percent say they have pilot projects underway, and 39 percent are targeting production systems.

Container technology and virtualization platforms seem to be co-existing. Seventy-three percent indicate they use containers in hypervisor or virtualized environments. About one-third of this group have deployed containers with VMware settings, and another 20 percent say they simply use whichever hypervisor their cloud or service provider uses.

Container adoption is taking place across the spectrum of business types, from small startups to larger enterprises, the survey also finds.

Barriers to container adoption include security (cited by 61 percent), data management (53 percent), networking (51 percent), skills and knowledge (48 percent), and persistent storage (48 percent).

Security is always important, but the data management aspect is key to container startegy success -- the vast majority of organizations want to run databases and other stateful services in containers, the survey finds. Currently, over half (52 percent) report they are not running databases and other stateful services in production within containers, but 70 percent reported that they want to have this ability.

Respondents were also asked which specific features of container data management they considered to be most important, selecting the "integration of data management capabilities into existing container workflows and tools" as their first choice, with "seamless movement of data between dev, test and production environments" a close second. MySQL (53 percent), Redis (52 percent), PostgreSQL (50 percent) and Elasticsearch (43 percent) were reported as the top four most frequently used stateful services.

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