Linux container technology is making an impact in vertical industries, and for good reason. Containers can foster agile and scalable IT infrastructures, facilitate DevOps, and improve the quality of applications. In June, financial services giant Goldman Sachs threw its weight behind the Open Container Project, an industry initiative to establish standard, open source software and specifications for container formats and runtimes. Earlier in the year, the research and development arm of Deutsche Telekom told Business Cloud News it is testing virtualized network services inside Docker-formatted Linux containers and leveraging the capabilities of OpenV, an open source software-based multilayer network switch, in the container world.
Containers, as many of you know, are similar to compute virtualization, but they aren’t bound to the hypervisors. Instead of virtualizing a server to create multiple operating systems, containers essentially virtualize the operating system, allowing multiple workloads to run on a single host. The benefit is that containers are more lightweight; the file size is reduced and performance improves, and the amount of maintenance can be cut since fewer operating systems need patching and care. Also, containers can be more easily moved across different servers without the need for reconfiguration.
Container adoption is still relatively low, but expect that to change. According to a recent survey of IT professionals, conducted in June, only 32 percent of respondents said they anticipate that they will deploy containers into production within the year (of that 32 percent, 12 percent said within three to six months and 20 percent said within six to 12 months). Slightly more than a quarter, or 26 percent, said they expect to deploy containers in production within 12-24 months. Application development enhancements dominated as the top benefits of containers, with faster application deployment and reduced deployment effort topping the list at 60 percent each.
These statistics were derived from a larger TechValidate survey of more than 3,000 global Red Hat customers that was commissioned by Red Hat. TechValidate is an independent research company that interfaces with business and technology end users to collect and validate information about their deployments.
Is your organization planning for or already using containers? What challenges are you encountering, and how are you overcoming them? Let us know in the comments section below. And stay tuned for future posts that delve more deeply into how the vertical industries are planning to put containers to work in their organizations.