The State of Container Workloads in 2019

For the last 5 years Spotinst has been managing millions of instances in AWS, Google Cloud and Azure. As of today Spotinst concurrently runs ~500K servers for our 1,500+ customers at any given moment. Among all these customers, hundreds of them are (collectively) running over 5 million containers. Based on the anonymized data of these container workloads, we have published a new white paper The State of Containers 2019 which sheds light on container orchestration best-practices, successful technologies and surprising use cases for containerization. 

Here are some highlights from the white paper.

Containers Are No Longer Experimental

While in previous years it might have been argued that enterprises were running containers for non-core projects, but not for production. Today it is clear that organizations are running more of their applications, including core applications in containers.

percentage of applications running in containers

Containers Are Not Just for Stateless Workloads

We are seeing a large number of stateful workloads being run on containers. To see which databases are being used the most by containerized applications, download the white paper here.

Kubernetes vs. ECS Among AWS Customers

We also looked at the Kubernetes traction in AWS as they also offer a competing offering called Amazon ECS, the elastic container service using their own proprietary technology. We see an interesting mix in our customer base with more than 60% users using Kubernetes as the orchestration plane. Around 31% of our users use ECS for their container workloads. A small chunk of users use both ECS as well as Kubernetes for their workloads. It could either be due to users evaluating both the options as they decide to standardize on a single orchestration plane. Spotinst Ocean makes it easy to use Kubernetes and/or ECS, giving users the flexibility of choice for container orchestration. Based on all the data we see among our customers as well as external surveys, Kubernetes has emerged as the standard for container orchestration.

Modern CI/CD Tools Are Beating Out Traditional Vendors

Find out which continuous delivery tools are capturing the DevOps market, by downloading our white paper.

Container Orchestrators in Use

Among the Kubernetes customers, we see a range of deployment options. Almost 43% of our users use Managed Kubernetes Service like GKE or EKS. Among the remaining who use DIY approach on cloud, KOPS stand out as the default mechanism for deploying Kubernetes with 19.8% of users using the deployment tool. The other tools including Kubeadm are used by the remaining DIY Kubernetes customers. Even though it is early, there is clearly a trend that shows the users wanting to use managed services or better automation to deploy Kubernetes and avoid the operational overhead that comes with the platform. With more customers looking to simplify their container infrastructure management, we expect “serverless containers” options such as Spotinst Ocean, to be increasingly adopted in 2020.

Container Orchestration Breakdown

These are just some of the insights that we have gleaned from our dataset of over 5 million running containers. For all the information we collected, feel free to download The State of Containers 2019 today!