Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Container Trends – Bitnami User Survey 2017 (Part 1)


Each year Bitnami conducts a survey of our user base. This year, we’ve gathered quite a bit of data about orchestration, automation, application development, development environments, containers and of course some very specific data about the wants and needs of full-time developers. Over the course of the next few weeks, we plan to share some of the industry trend information that we’ve captured in a series of blog posts and infographics.

One of the key technologies that we’ve been tracking for the past few years has been containers. In this year’s survey, we were impressed by the growth in container interest and the rapid growth in production usage. The first evidence of the increased interest was that the number of developers who told us they were using containers grew more than 2x from 2016 to 2017. The second significant piece of information from our survey was the large shift to production usage, seeing only 27% of users with containers in production in 2016 grow to over 65% in 2017. This trend was also supported by a decline in users reporting that they are using containers only for dev/test use-cases with no intent to run in production.

This indicates not just a maturation among the early adopters of containers from 2016 but a growing user base that is rapidly adopting and moving from dev/test to production.

Figure 1. Container Usage Dev/Test-Only vs. Production - 2016 vs 2017 


  • More than 2x increase in production container usage
  • 50% decrease in dev/test-only usage YoY

Looking deeper into what “production” meant to our users and at what scale, our survey data showed that large scale production usage (defined as 50+ container host machines) grew more than 100% year over year while respondents with fewer than 50 container images grew more than 250% year over year.

Figure 2. Container Usage – Production Scale – 2016 vs 2017


We can clearly see that container usage is shifting from dev/test to production environments, and we’ve established that usage is starting to reach some critical mass at scale. Let’s look at where the usage is coming from. Breaking down our data and reviewing production container usage by company size shows us that it is well distributed regardless of the number of employees. Small companies of less than 50 employees make up the largest percentage of production usage, however mid-sized business (50-1,000 employees) and large businesses (1,000+ employees) are not that far behind in their usage of containers in production environments.

Figure 3. Container Usage by Company Size


The Bitnami User Survey clearly shows that container orchestration has moved rapidly from dev/test to real production in the last year and that rate of adoption is likely to accelerate further as the small-scale deployments scale up. Look for our next post in this series where we’ll review what tools are the most popular for container management and what platforms are being selected for container hosting.

To accelerate container usage in your company, be sure to check out Bitnami containers for the latest stable versions of your application stacks and development environments. If you are a Kubernetes user, be sure to visit kubeapps.com to discover and launch Kubernetes-ready apps.

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