In a survey of more than 300 software developers, Shippable reported that a majority are increasing their use of containers for their applications, but a few challenges are still in the way of widespread container adoption.
Shippable worked with research firm Survata to conduct the survey, which found that one third of developers think release cycles are much faster with containers. The survey also found that more than half (52%) are using containers in production for their new applications, and 89% expected to increase their use of containers within the next year.
The survey showed popular registries that developers are using include Google Container Registry (54%), Amazon EC2 Container Registry (45%), and Docker Hub (34%).
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While the survey found an increase in container adoption, there are a few common reasons why developers are not using containers. One challenge they cited was a lack of skills to fully leverage container technology, and their company infrastructure is not designed to work with containers. Additionally, developers do not have the technology skills in-house, are concerned about container technology being too “immature,” and see the technology as having security risks.
A primary security risk developers said concerned shared elements on the host, according to Tom Trahan, vice president of business development at Shippable. He said that, theoretically, if a person can access these shared elements, they can access all other containers running on the system. However, Trahan said that, according to people he met at the Container Security Summit last month, this is an issue caused by improper use of containers, not one inherent in them.
“Overall, containers reduce risk to an organization since they enable more DevOps automation, and have a reduced surface area for attack since containers only include the software dependencies required for the application running in it and no more, reducing the number of potential vulnerabilities and requiring fewer elements to be patched,” he said.
As for the lack of technology skills to fully adopt containers, Matt Carter, vice president of marketing at Shippable, said that developers can start to understand the leading container technologies by looking at the pros and cons of each. He said that a majority of these technologies can be purchased at little to no cost, and then a developer can start understanding the role of a container and how to “pull an image or build one of your own,” he said.
For full adoption of container technology, Carter said that Shippable has seen developers become a driver for container evaluation, but in the last year, Ops teams have become key players as well. With the help of the Ops team, it could increase the amount of developers that are fully adopting container technology.
“As Ops and developers see the benefits of containerized apps, the adoption rate will increase rapidly,” said Carter.