Kubernetes, Docker, ECS, GKE —the containers market is filled with strange names, vague acronyms and confusion.
For developers and system architects, containers are an increasingly fundamental part of how a business runs workloads in a hybrid or multicloud environment. After a strong surge in 2017, containers and orchestration platforms have continued to sweep through the enterprise.
These six charts help illustrate how adoption and execution are shaping up in 2018:
How do they help?
Just over half of organizations use cloud vendors as their primary source for cloud services, according to a CompTIA report on cloud computing and IT operations, making it more difficult for third parties to distribute products and services to customers.
Nevertheless, 39% of organizations still use a mix of cloud vendors and third parties for cloud services.
Containers are a useful tool for provisioning workloads that can package individual jobs and run them on different platforms, maximizing resource utilization.
They are a fleeting tool: Almost 90% of containers live less than a day on an organization's system, and just over one-quarter only live between five to 10 minutes, according to a Sysdig analysis of 90,000 containers.
Containers are highly valued by organizations for efficiency, hybrid and cross-cloud utilization, portability and speed, according to a 451 Research report for CoreOS.
New ways of provisioning workloads are requiring new skills, such as DevOps and containers. As orchestration grows as a means to make the most out of cloud-based systems, businesses must add relevant skills to the list of cloud skills they are already vying for in the market.
Adoption is growing
Docker and Amazon ECS/EKS are the leading container tools across large enterprises and SMBs, according to a RightScale survey of almost 1,000 technical professionals across industries.
In terms of current use, Kubernetes has a greater lead in enterprises than in SMBs at 33% versus 22%, respectively.
But cloud providers' container services are different from the environments a company is deploying containers in. The Cloud Native Computing Foundation broke down the distinction between these tools and how much companies are using them based on a survey of 2,400 developers or IT-related professionals.
Amazon Web Services and on-premise environments have been the most popular deployment environments, but in the last year on-premise has steadily declined, according to the report.
Google Container Engine/Google Kubernetes Engine is holding a close third but also on the downward slide. Microsoft Azure, meanwhile, is on the uptick, and if current trends continue may pass GCE/GKE soon.
Containers have become more popular for development, testing and production among companies. Almost one-third of companies are running up to 50 containers, and just over one-quarter are running between 50 and 249, according to the CNCF.
Kubernetes reigns as the management service of choice for these containers:
In the race for top orchestrator, "First place goes to Kubernetes, followed by Kubernetes and then Kubernetes," according to Eric Carter, director of product marketing at container security company Sysdig, in a company blog post.
AWS, the preferred cloud environment to deploy containers, was the last of the three big cloud providers to provide support for the Kubernetes system. It rolled out Amazon Elastic Container Service for Kubernetes late last November.