Despite some challenges, organizations of all sizes are using containers in more of their initiatives, including AI and machine learning.
A recent survey by International Data Corporation (IDC) of IT and business personnel that are in charge of technology purchases found that enterprise container adoption is being driven by three factors: improved security, operational efficiency and the reduction of management costs.
On the project side, big data, machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) were the top drivers for end user interest in container technologies, according IDC's survey.
The use of containers and Kubernetes has picked up steam in the telecommunications industry over the past few years as service providers and enterprises look to move to cloud-native environments. Because containers have the bare minimum operating software that's needed to run an application, they can be more efficient than virtual machines while running multiple applications or workloads on the same operating system.
Dell Technologies/Dell EMC, Cisco, HPE and NetApp were named by survey respondents as the top strategic suppliers of IT infrastructure, which included servers and storage, for key initiatives such as AI, digital transformation and modernization of server and storage infrastructures.
"Adoption of containers technology is growing and growing fast, which should come as no surprise given the benefits associated with container use," said Natalya Yezhkova, research vice president for infrastructure systems, platforms, and technologies at IDC, in a prepared statement "At the same time, end users pointed out a number of challenges related to container use. While these issues will need to be addressed, it seems clear that containers will be used in more and more initiatives by organizations of all sizes."
While IDC's survey identified security as one of the top drivers for container adoption, security has also been a key concern for IT professionals. Tripwire, along with Dimensional Research, conducted a survey of 311 IT security professionals that manage environments with containers with a head count of more than 100 employees. In that survey, 60% of the IT security professionals said they had experienced security incidents with their container usage over the past year while 47% of those security professionals who manage environments with containers responded that they deployed containers with known vulnerabilities.
Launched last year, IDC's Enterprise Infrastructure Market Pulse gauges end users' adoption plans for emerging technologies and their potential impact on IT infrastructure decisions.
IDC's survey of 1,000 IT and business users focused on private and hybrid clouds in the first quarter and containers in the second quarter. Artificial intelligence and accelerated computing are slated for a third quarter survey with flash technologies to follow in the fourth quarter.