Despite Tales of Massive Container Adoption, DockerCon Left Questions Unanswered

“There is widespread confusion about virtual machines versus containers, as well as what containers can realistically do for legacy applications…”
– Yaron Haviv, Founder & CTO, iguazio Systems Ltd.

Some enterprises have put an incredible amount into containers

Yaron Haviv sat down for an interview with the Cube/Silicon Angle at DockerCon 2017, and in that chat, Yeron spoke candidly about what is on a lot of minds these days. Amidst all the tales of rapid, successful container adoption in the enterprise, there’s still a long way to go when it comes to understanding the entire container ecosystem today.

There were articles being written two-and-a-half years ago that container technology wasn’t anything new even back then (which was a century ago in technology years) so what’s preventing even larger levels of container adoption than we’re seeing today? IBM’s James Bottomley points out that “persistent storage will remain a roadblock for containers for the foreseeable future,” but I think there’s an entirely different problem that needs addressing first. It may make sense at a high level to have your best and brightest stand up and tout how much success they’ve had adopting your product; but when the majority of the audiences I was a part of were asked how many containers they’d successfully launched, the numbers were low. Really low.

Scot Peterson nails this point in a recent post-DockerCon article for eWeek:

Even as Docker matures, new models and tools around microservices are emerging that threaten to disrupt a still nascent industry and could leave users late to the party confused about which direction to take.

DockerCon’s general session keynotes were full of new product announcements and big reveals. But if the majority of attendees (or, more likely, a majority of the entire software community) is still simply kicking the tires on containers and asking early adoption questions that the champions stopped answering long ago—even greater confusion is absolutely where we’re headed.

Peterson interviewed Abby Kearns, executive director of the Cloud Foundry foundation who echoed this sentiment:

“Technology is evolving exponentially, but user adoption and use of that technology at scale in production is trailing pretty far behind. There’s a huge gap between where the tech is and where the users really are…

One of the things we should continue to do is as a community is be cognizant of that, not just in the capabilities of technology, but how do we do a better job of enabling those users who are still trying to figure out these technologies and what they mean for their organizations.”

Skytap’s Dan Jones on eliminating container and cloud confusion

To help address those particular needs, Skytap hosted a panel discussion at DockerCon, titled, “Docker, DevOps, and Reality.” After three days of nothing but “containerize everything!” we wanted to take a step back and answer our audience’s questions around real problems—cultural and technological—around container adoption. Our panelists from IBM, Twistlock, and Puppet tackled misconceptions around container security, whether we were heading toward “NoOps” and the (wrong) belief that containers eliminate the need for configuration management.

I thought the event was a success, not because we got our entire audience off the ground on their container journey, but because I think we all realized that further education is going to go a lot further than product features alone.

Skytap is committed to providing what was an obvious need at DockerCon for greater ground-level container adoption education and we’re excited to have been given a number of opportunities at future conferences to provide just that. If you’re attending any of the conferences below later this year, we highly encourage checking out some of the sessions led by our industry veterans. They’ll share their own hype-free observations and proven approaches to modernization efforts around cloud, DevOps, and containerization.

“How Do You Eat a Whale? One Byte at a Time”
Kelly Looney, director of DevOps consulting & Petr Novodvorskiy, principal software engineer
OSCon 2017
May 9th, Austin, Texas
Cloud Expo
June 6th-8th, New York, NY

“Contain Yourself: Incremental Adoption of Containerization”
Dan Jones, director of product management & Petr Novodvorskiy, principal software engineer
CoreOS Fest
May 31st, San Francisco, CA

Skytap helps organizations get their container journeys started faster by allowing easier experimentation, parallel development, and choice of tooling. Click here to learn more about Skytap Container Management.


Join our email list for news, product updates, and more.