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Credit: Container Market Adoption Survey 2016.

The movement toward containerized software continues to grow, with production container use increasing 96 percent over last year, according to a just-released survey. Commissioned by container data-management firm ClusterHQ and conducted by news site DevOps.com, the 32-page survey polled 310 people, most of whom identified themselves as developers (41 percent) or DevOps team members (35 percent).

The results come in advance of the annual DockerCon conference, taking place starting this weekend in Seattle. Container technology, such as Docker, bundles up an app and the components needed to run it in an easy-to-deploy package, ensuring that the app runs consistently across different environments.

About 76 percent of respondents said their organizations now run container technologies in production environments, a sharp increase over last year’s 38 percent. Among respondents using containers, 38 percent said they did so to increase developer efficiency, while 36 percent said it was to support microservices architectures. Fully 68 percent said containers are providing the expected results.

Over half the respondents (56 percent) said their company has been investing in containers for less than a year. That finding “confirms the rapid pace of container adoption that is reported anecdotally,” the survey concluded. A few respondents reported they’re spending more than $500,000 a year on personnel (12 percent) or license and user fees (5 percent) for containers, though the rest report spending less, “leaving substantial room for commercial growth by container companies,” the survey said.

Persistent storage, a challenge that arises when containers running databases are used in production environments, was cited as the single largest barrier to container adoption (25 percent), followed by networking issues (15 percent) and security (11 percent).  That stands in clear contrast to 2015, when 61 percent cited security as their largest concern.

Docker maintained its position as container of choice, cited by 94 percent of respondents, followed by Linux Containers (15 percent) and rkt (10 percent).

Kubernetes was cited as the orchestration tool most likely to be used (27 percent), followed by Docker Swarm (19 percent) and internally developed tools (18 percent).  Last year, 50 percent of respondents cited Swarm.

Container firms still have some educational work ahead of them. Fully 42 percent of organizations not using containers said not enough is known about them to justify any investment.

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