Survey: Containers and Microservices Now Entering Production Environments

An NGINX survey says enterprises are finally adopting containers like Docker's for production use, and looking into other microservices.

Christopher Tozzi, Contributing Editor

March 29, 2016

2 Min Read
Survey: Containers and Microservices Now Entering Production Environments

Containers — the data center technology you’ve heard all about, but probably not seen often in production — are finally making their way into the real world. That’s according to a survey out this week from NGINX.

Titled “2016 Future of Application Development and Delivery Survey,” the report reveals data based on responses from more than 1,800 IT professionals. It covers a broad range of topics related to application development and deployment, ranging from cloud trends to security issues.

But the most interesting finding was about container adoption. According to NGINX, 20 percent of respondents say they are now using containers in production. And those that have already adopted containers are using them in a big way, with one-third reporting running them for more than 80 percent of workloads. This suggests that, while the move to containers may have been slow to get underway, companies are doing much more than just dabbling with them once they finally start putting them into production.

Overall, two-thirds of organizations say they are “either investigating containers or are using them in development or production,” according to the survey. About 70 percent of respondents said they are doing the same thing with other types of microservices, like Unikernels, the technology Docker recently acquired.

NGINX didn’t provide details on which types of containers and microservices are now entering production environments. It seems a safe bet that Docker containers top the list, however, since the company’s container platform has enjoyed the greatest amount of funding and attention in past years.

But the container ecosystem is diverse. You can’t write off the competing container platform from CoreOS. And Docker containers can be combined with tools from a variety of other vendors, such as container orchestration platforms like Kubernetes. For these reasons, no one should make bets yet about any one container solution dominating production environments.

Other notable — if unsurprising — findings from the survey include Amazon AWS’s continuing dominance in the public cloud, and organizations reporting that they are still struggling to deliver satisfactory app performance and security. Full details are available from NGINX’s website.

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About the Author(s)

Christopher Tozzi

Contributing Editor

Christopher Tozzi started covering the channel for The VAR Guy on a freelance basis in 2008, with an emphasis on open source, Linux, virtualization, SDN, containers, data storage and related topics. He also teaches history at a major university in Washington, D.C. He occasionally combines these interests by writing about the history of software. His book on this topic, “For Fun and Profit: A History of the Free and Open Source Software Revolution,” is forthcoming with MIT Press.

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