How are containers doing in the computing environment?

Sysdig has just issued its second annual docker usage report. The report is composed based on real-world data from 90,000 containers in production. The focus of the paper is on activity, scale, and life cycle of the unique container environment. How are containers doing in the computing environment?

The number of 90,000 containers in production is twice the size of last year. Companies that join the game range from mid-sized to giant firms in North America, Latin America, EMEA, and the Asia Pacific. The study uses the data from the Sysdig Monitor and Sysdig Secure cloud service.

Below are the major 5 findings of the report:

Apps

As users are looking for open source tools to build their microservices and applications, we see the rises of some notable names. Java Virtual Machine is taking the lead, coming together with containers to become the modern-day delivery model. Whereas, databases like PostgreSQL and MongoDB also see an increase in usage.

Runtime

Docker’s share, despite being the highest one, is down to 83% from 99% of last year. Meanwhile, other container runtimes are emerging impressively. CoreOS’ Rkt gains 12% share. Mesos has 4% share. LXC also grows, at the very low rate of 1%. Apparently, the market is more comfortable using non-Docker solutions than it is before.

Orchestrators

It is not a surprise seeing Kubernetes still leading the marketing, being the most frequently used orchestrators at 51% share. Kubernetes is expected to gain even more share when Microsoft, Amazon, IBM, and Google all announced their increased investment in offering Kubernetes for their cloud container services. Docker and Mesosphere also provide support and functionality for Kubernetes.

For the rest, Docker Swarm takes the second place with 11%, leaving Mesos-based tools at 4%. OpenShift and Rancher both make some gains.

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Density

As the server resources are getting utilized in a more efficient way, we are seeing an average of 15 containers per hosts per customers, increasing 50% from 10 containers of last year. There is even one organization running 154 containers on a sole host, 95% up from last year’s figures.

Lifespan

Containers can be spun up and down quickly but how about the lifespan of containers, container images, and container-based services. How long can containers live? The answer is not long. 17% last less than 1 minute. 78% live no longer than 1 hour. 89% live up to 1 day. 95% survive less than 1 week.

The reason for the short lifespan of containers is that customers can create containers for a specific work. After the work is done, the container needs to go away.

Regarding container images lifespan, 69% of them can live up to 1 week. For container-based service, the average lifespan of 67% of them is more than 1 week since customers need the services to be available for the applications to work.

It is clearly shown in the report that containers are improving their role in the computing environments. They are becoming more critical and gain more popularity. And it doesn’t seem like they are going to stop here.

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