The growth and democratization of containers in the past two years has been impressive. But how have containers impacted IT Ops? We wanted to discover the benefits and issues as IT teams deploy containers, which have become a critical part of every developer and IT-modernization discussion.
A survey of 648 IT and DevOps professionals we conducted highlighted which business benefits users seek by deploying containers, which workloads are being containerized, and what their experience has been with stateful containers. We then further analyzed how IT teams’ perspective changed as they increased their container adoption.
The survey found that agility (75 percent) and reduced costs (53 percent) were the top container benefits that users sought, followed by performance (40 percent). The survey also revealed that 55 percent of IT professionals would deploy stateful containers within one year if they could resolve storage challenges.
Databases (52 percent) and web (48 percent) are the two application workloads IT professionals are looking to containerize as quickly as possible, followed by batch processing (44 percent) and big data (32 percent).
Other findings from the survey include:
- The leading concern about container storage was lack of sufficient tools (56 percent), followed by concerns about data loss (42 percent), scale (34 percent) and speed (30 percent).
- Thirty-seven percent of respondents agreed that the most important feature a storage solution could provide is the direct provisioning of storage for containers, followed by converged infrastructure (23 percent), hybrid capabilities (20 percent) and DevOps integrations (19 percent), none of which are available with legacy storage solutions.
We further analyzed the survey data to gain deeper insights into the workloads and challenges as IT increased their container adoption. That analysis revealed:
- Users start by containerizing web applications, but quickly proceed to stateful applications. Respondents with less than 20 percent container adoption are already trying databases, batch and to some degree, big-data workloads. As adoption increases to 21-60 percent, databases constitute the largest share of workloads being containerized.
- In the majority of cases, agility was the biggest benefit that users sought. But for the respondents who containerized 61-80 percent of their applications, cost reduction was most important. Cost reduction and performance gains might not be the catalyst for adoption as teams kick the tires of container technology, but both are on users’ minds as they move through the containerization adoption curve.
I see that the survey reinforces what customers are asking us to solve. They want the benefit of containers for all types of applications, stateful and stateless. IT wants their data management solution to handle more sophisticated scenarios at the container level. They are also seeking a wide range of features for their data solutions, such as automatic provisioning, hybrid capabilities and DevOps integrations; none of these are available from legacy storage solutions.