Why Containerization Will Explode in 2022
February 08, 2022

Alex Thurber

Containers provide users with a host of benefits, including faster delivery, agility, portability and modernization. The popularity of the technology will continue to grow, from 30% of global organizations running containerized applications today to more than 75% by the end of 2022, according to Gartner.

The growth of containerization goes hand in hand with the growth of new applications. According to International Data Corporation (IDC), by 2023, more than 500 million new logical applications will be created — equivalent to the number of applications created in the past 40 years.

This growth in applications predicted by IDC is a result of organizations' efforts to become "digital innovation factories" over the next five years. As such, organizations will develop digital products and services with digital-native speed and scale.

These future apps and services will be at the core of every industry's digital value proposition, according to IDC. So, the research firm expects the installed base of container instances to grow at a 62.1% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) from 2019 to 2023.

The popularity of containers is tied directly to their relative simplicity. They are lightweight software components that bundle an application — including its dependencies and its configuration — in a single image, offering IT organizations a dedicated space to build, test, and deploy new applications. They are the next evolution of a virtual machine environment.

Containers operate in isolated user environments on a traditional operating system, on a traditional server or in a virtualized environment. Since containers are smaller than virtual machines, users can deploy them and scale much faster, enabling organizations' user containers to be more nimble than those relying on virtual machine technology.

Containers also offer the flexibility to be deployed in virtual infrastructures or bare metal environments.

Some other advantages containers offer over virtual machines as noted by Capgemini:

Reduced cost: Several containers can run on one VM.

Enhanced security: Since containers are isolated from one another, enabling the separation of each application's major process.

Automatic replicationof microservices through deployment sets and replicas.

Flexible routingbetween services natively supported by containerization platforms.

Other benefits include the ability of containers to support cloud migration strategies and to enable companies to pivot to fully automated deployment and operations to eliminate slowdown and errors with manual processes.

As such, containers are perfect for today's environment in which companies are using combinations of private and public clouds. The containers can be written once, then easily moved from one private cloud to another, to a public cloud and back again without the need to write the software component over and over again.

Containerization is Not a Silver Bullet

Yet, like any technology, containers come with their own challenges that users must consider in deploying them. Organizations need to have the skills and knowledge to manage this technology. In order for them to be deployed across multiple clouds, users need a way to store container templates for easy access and deployment. Additionally, containers need to be designed in such a way that they fit in with an organization's DevOps environment as well as its security and governance models and practices.

So, while there is little doubt that containerization will be a technology pursued by a majority of companies — and for good reason — there are also potential downsides that each organization should consider before pursuing containerization for its own needs.

Alex Thurber is CRO of Virtana
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