451’s container orchestration usage survey – Notebook


As part of CoreOS’s conference this week, 451 put out a sponsored study on container orchestration. It’s been much cited and is free, so it’s worth taking a look. Here’s my highlights and notes:

  • Leadgen yourself to CoreOS get a copy of the report.
  • This report is really more of a “container orchestration usage” report than much about “hybrid cloud.”
  • Demographics:
    • “We surveyed 201 enterprise IT decision-makers in April and May 2017. This was not a survey of developers; rather, we received responses from those in C-level and director-level positions, including CISO, CTO, CIO, director of IT, IT Ops and DevOps, and VPs and managers of IT.”
    • All from the US
    • “All of our survey respondents came from organizations using application containers, and all were familiar with their organization’s use of containers.” – This survey, then, tells you what people who’re already using containers are doing, not what the entire market is thinking and planning on.
    • “A significant slice of the survey respondents represented large enterprises.”
  • Organizations are hoping to use containers for “[a] ‘leapfrog’ effect, whereby containers are viewed as a way to skip adoption of other technologies, was tested, and a majority of respondents think Kubernetes and other container management and orchestration software is sufficient to replace both private clouds and PaaS.”
  • Obviously I’m biased, being at Pivotal, but the question here is “to do what?” As we like to say around here, you’re going to end-up with a platform. People need a “platform” on-top of that raw IaaS, and as things like Icito show (not to mention Pivotal’s ongoing momentum), the lower levels aren’t cutting the mustard.
  • There’s an ongoing semantic argument about what “PaaS” means to be mindful of, as well: in contexts like these, the term is often taken to mean “that old stuff, before, like 2009.” At the very least, as with Gartner’s PaaS Magic Quadrant, the phrase often means means “only in the public cloud.” Again, the point is: if you’re developing and running software you need an application development, middleware, and services platform. Call it whatever you like, but make sure you have it. It’s highly likely that these “whatever you want to call ‘PaaS’ PaaSes” will run on-top of and with container orchestration layers, for example, as Cloud Foundry does and is doing.
  • That said, it’s not uncommon for me to encounter people in organizations who really do have a “just the containers, and maybe some kubernates” mind-set in the planning phase of their cloud-native stuff. Of course, they frequently end-up needing more.
  • Back to the survey: keeping in mind that all respondents were already using containers (or at least committed to doing so, I think), ~27% had “initial” production container use, ~25% of respondents had “broad” containers in production. So, if you were being happy-path, you’d say “over half of respondents have containers in production.”
  • In a broader survey (where, presumably, not every enterprise was already using containers), of 300+ enterprises, production container use was: 19% in initial production, 8% were in broad production implementation.
  • Nonetheless, 451 has been tracking steady, high growth in container usage for the past few years, putting the container market at $2.7B by 2020 and $1.1bn in 2017.
  • As the report says, it’s more interesting to see what benefits users actually find once they’re using the technology. Their original desires are often just puppy-love notions after actual usage:

  • Interesting note on lock-in: “Given that avoiding vendor lock-in is generally a priority for organizations, it might seem surprising that it was not ranked higher as an advantage since much of the container software used today is open source… However, our respondents for this study were users of containers, and may have assumed that the technology would be open source and, thus, lock-in less of a concern.” (There’s a whole separate report from Gartner on lock-in that I’ll take a look at, and, of course, some 140 character level analysis.)
  • On marketshare, rated by usage, not revenue:

  • On that note, it’s easy to misread the widely quoted finding of “[n]early three-quarters (71 percent) of respondents indicated they are using Kubernetes” as meaning only Kubernetes. Actually, people are using many of them at once. The report clarifies this: “The fact that almost 75% of organizations reported using Kubernetes while the same group also reported significant use of other container management and orchestration software is evidence of a mixed market.”

As one last piece of context, one of the more recent Gartner surveys for container usage puts usage at around 18%, with 4% of that being “significant production use”:


Of course, looks at more specialized slices of the market find higher usage.

This early in the container market, it’s good to pay close attention to surveys because the sample size will be small, selective, and most people will only have used containers for a short while. But, there’s good stuff in this survey, it’s definitely worth looking at and using.

Telcos becoming cloud providers doesn’t seem to work

Since the late 2000’s, one of the cloud strategy theories was that existing telcos and network providers could become public cloud providers. Many, if not all have tried and/or trying. Thus far, it’s been a rocky road: few synergies seem to be sleeping on the ground, ready to roused up to go fight the giants, or, at least, carve out niche spaces. As summarized in a 451 report on CenturyLink:

That’s the idea that a connectivity provider should be better positioned to take advantage of cloud computing infrastructure because it controls the means of access to those resources, leading to a natural synergy. So far, none of the major carriers has managed to make that work, hampered by scale, traditional mindsets in network operations, and sales. Companies like AT&T, Verizon, Orange, BT and other global carriers got started on similar telco transformation efforts many years ago with varying degrees of success, and with major detours toward trying to out-Amazon Amazon in the IaaS space with network-focused cloud services. Instead vendors like Amazon Web Services and others have all but run away with the managed infrastructure and cloud markets, which are slated to reach a combined $100bn by 2020, according to 451 Research’s Market Monitor.

Furthermore, from another report on Verizon:

Verizon is not the first company of its kind to move away from infrastructure services in this way. Rackspace, at the time the world’s largest independently managed infrastructure and cloud provider, pivoted away from selling basic cloud infrastructure (and spinning off its low-cost web-hosting operations, Cloud Sites, to LiquidWeb), taking a more services-led approach. UK-based Colt Technology Services canceled its Managed Cloud offering (the go-to-market brand for its IT Services’ €80m revenue business) in 2016, selling it to German IT services company Getronics. Other IT vendors such as Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) have chosen to keep out of the commodified public cloud service market, choosing instead to focus on hybrid and third-party services.

That said, there’s plenty of work – and spending – to be done to keep the tubes flowing and (eventually) costs optimized, e.g.:

[CenturyLink] has spent $700m on upgrades and improvements in its network, partly to serve NFV needs but also to address rates of failure in service delivery, repair times and other customer satisfaction areas.

And, for Verizon, there’s always money in the banana stand:

Focusing its efforts on managed networking services, managed security and professional services is a smart move for Verizon, given the lower costs, higher margins and double-digit growth rates of these sectors…. Managed security services and managed network services (in the ‘other’ category) – are expected to grow at 16.3% and 21.5% respectively during the same time.

We’ll see if one of the telco’s whacks it out, but the market window seems, if not painted shut, pretty firmly slid closed.

OpenStack-related business models to exceed $4bn by 2019, 451 Research

New OpenStack market-sizing and -forecast from old pals at 451:

  • Al & Jay say $1.8bn in 2016, going to $5.4bn in 2020.
  • Public cloud dominates now, but is expected to switch – “[public cloud providers are] 49% of total OpenStack revenue in 2015. However, we expect OpenStack private cloud service provider revenue to exceed public cloud providers by 2019.”

How they bucket-ize:

451 Research’s Market Monitor focuses on 56 vendors that provide direct OpenStack offerings, including products, services and turnkey offerings around OpenStack deployment and management, different distributions of OpenStack, service providers and training services. Although we do consider some vendors with integrated hardware, systems and software offerings based on OpenStack, our market-sizing estimate does not include hardware-centric revenue, nor does it include revenue from indirect third-party vendors, such as those in storage or software-defined networking.

Source: OpenStack-related business models to exceed $4bn by 2019

CPI case study: IBM and SoftLayer would be greater together

Data from 451 Research’s Cloud Price Index suggests that IBM is missing a trick. By going all-in and baking SoftLayer with Bluemix, IBM would gain a leading position in the market in terms of completeness of services and global availability, as well as finally delivering a single user experience.

Owen over at 451 suggests that IBM hasn’t yet merged SoftLayer into Bluemix totally, missing out on a high ranking in cloud providers (by functionality, geographic availability, etc.). Also: “The company claims $10.2bn in cloud revenue, a growth rate of 46% Y/Y, and 20,000 new users per week.”

Source: CPI case study: IBM and SoftLayer would be greater together

CloudBees launches certification and new private SaaS offering backed by Jenkins 2.0

2014, when the company pivoted away from its public PaaS offering to focus on Jenkins. That seems to have been the right move – headcount has grown from 60 to 164 since then, and revenue increased 150% year over year in 2015.

There’s pricing in there too and some notes on enterprise customers if you have 451 access.

Source: CloudBees launches certification and new private SaaS offering backed by Jenkins 2.0

What cloud trends mean for you – an analyst’s view (Red Hat Summit 2014)

I just wrapped up my Red Hat Summit talk, which is always fun. The recording of it is above, and the presentation is embedded below.

There’s a fair amount of market-sizing data and some results from our first DevOps market study in the slides. Tell me if it’s useful for you, I’m looking to hone this general body of work in the coming the months.

Gordon Haff has a nice write-up of the session on the Red Hat Summit blog.


What cloud trends mean for you – an analyst’s view (Red Hat Summit 2014)