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Leading Concern About Container Storage: Lack of Sufficient Tools

Survey by Portworx

Portworx, Inc., the storage company for containers, announced the results of its survey, which analyzed feedback from 648 IT professionals on the benefits they look to achieve with containers; it also determined their current container usage.

The survey of small, mid-size and large enterprises found that the leading concern about container storage was lack of sufficient tools (56%) and that more than half (55%) would deploy stateful containers if existing storage challenges could be resolved.

By the time IT pros work in an almost all-container environment, their most serious storage challenge becomes the lack of adequate management tools. While other concerns remain, it’s clear that providing the right kind of tools for managing data storage in a containerized environment fulfills a critical need.
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The survey identified which business benefits IT professionals are seeking through the deployment of containers. Agility (75%) and reduced costs (53%) were the top benefits sought.

The survey results also revealed which application workloads users are planning to containerize in the next year. According to respondents, database (52%) and web (48%) applications are the two workloads IT professionals are looking to containerize as quickly as possible.

IT professionals recognize that containers are lighter in weight, faster to provision and more efficient at using resources when compared to software builds and VMs,” said Murli Thirumale, CEO and co-founder, Portworx. “Yet container technology is still maturing, and users are seeking more sophisticated management tools and data protection to support enterprise deployments. Container users are also seeking a wide range of features for their storage solutions: automatic provisioning takes a slight lead, followed by converged infrastructure, hybrid capabilities and DevOps integrations, none of which are available with legacy storage solutions.”

Other findings from the survey include:

  • 55% of IT professionals would deploy stateful containers within one year if storage challenges could be resolved.
  • The leading concern about container storage was lack of sufficient tools (56%), followed by concerns about data loss (42%), scale (34%) and speed (30%).
  • Agility (75%) and reduced costs (53%) were the most desired container benefits of respondents, followed by performance (40%).
  • 37% of respondents agreed that the most important feature a storage solution could provide is the direct provisioning of storage for containers, followed by converged infrastructure (23%), hybrid capabilities (20%) and DevOps integrations (19%), none of which are available with legacy storage solutions
  • Respondents plan to containerize databases more than any other workloads. Databases (52%) and the web (48%) are the two application workloads IT professionals are looking to containerize as quickly as possible, followed by batch processing jobs (44%) and big data workloads (32%).

Portworx further analyzed the survey data to gain deeper insights into the benefits and challenges of container adoption. The analysis revealed that, as users increased their container adoption rate from less than 20% to more than 80%, lacking adequate tools was consistently identified as their top challenge; with only one exception, for users who have have containerized 61-80% of their applications, scalability was the top concern.

Regression analysis of data also revealed:

  • Users start by containerizing web applications, but quickly proceed to stateful applications. Respondents with less than 20% container adoption are already trying databases, batch, and to some degree, big-data workloads. As adoption increases to 21-60%, databases constitute the largest share of workloads being containerized.
  • For the majority of cases, agility was the biggest benefit that users sought. But for the respondents who containerized 61-80% of their applications, cost reduction was most important. Cost reduction and performance gains might not be the catalyst as teams kick the tires of container technology, but both are on users’ minds as they move through the containerization adoption curve.