New Docker Survey Highlights Container Adoption and Orchestration Trends

Who’s using Docker in production, which workloads are they deploying on containers and how are they orchestrating Docker containers? A new survey sponsored by the company reveals some enlightening data regarding these trends.

Docker published the survey results, which were based on responses from more than 500 IT professionals collected in March 2016, on April 14. You can read the full report for all the details, but here’s what I found most interesting:

  • 90 percent of respondents report using Docker for development, versus 58 percent using it for production environments. This suggests that Docker containers are still more popular with developers than with data center or cloud admins. But using Docker for development still counts as a sort of “production” deployment, of course, in the sense that the containers are being used for a real-world (rather than experimental) purpose.
  • 34 percent of respondents say they are “using or evaluating” Docker Swarm for container orchestration, compared to 32 percent for Kubernetes. This finding is at odds with the latest OpenStack survey, which showed Kubernetes being much more popular than Swarm — albeit for a different set of users and workloads. (I also thought it was interesting that Docker was a little vague in the way it reported this part of the survey results — it did not say on its blog how many people are actually using Swarm in production as compared to Kubernetes. I have a feeling the company wants to present the data in a way that makes Swarm look particularly good.)
  • 80 percent of those surveyed said they are using Docker in conjunction with the cloud, including 50 percent who plan to use it as a solution for migrating to the cloud. That’s notable because containers are not the first solution that make it easy to migrate to the cloud. You can run OpenStack perfectly well, or move services to a public cloud, without using Docker. But if the survey results are any indication, Docker is finally convincing more professionals that it’s time to adopt the cloud.
  • Web apps, Web APIs and app servers top the list of of workloads for which admins are using Docker containers. There’s nothing surprising there, but it adds some quantifiable precision to understandings of how people are actually using Docker.

Have your own thoughts on the latest Docker survey? We’d love to see them below.

Christopher Tozzi

Christopher Tozzi

Christopher Tozzi has covered technology and business news for nearly a decade, specializing in open source, containers, big data, networking and security. He is currently Senior Editor and DevOps Analyst with and

Christopher Tozzi has 254 posts and counting. See all posts by Christopher Tozzi

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