2019 Container Adoption Survey results

Container ecosystem in 2019: Organizations challenged by container security

Sarah Schlothauer
© Shutterstock / Julia von Siebenthal

Container adoption continues to grow, according to the results of Portworx and Aqua Security’s annual research. The 2019 Container Adoption Survey reveals some trends about containers and what organizations use them for, and want from the technology. This year, security was a pressing topic of discussion. How does your team’s container usage compare to the survey results?

The annual report from Portworx and Aqua Security reveals the current trends and status regarding container adoption in 2019. This survey examines container usage statistics, what tooling, troubles teams have with tech, and environments, in order to help teams make guided decisions in their container journey.

This year, the questions focused on the topic of security. Containers continue growing in popularity and usage and thus, security concerns have become a hot button topic. Here are some of the highlights and takeaways from the 2019 Container Adoption Survey, and what importance the data has for developers.

Container adoption continues to grow

How has container adoption spread and why is the technology proliferating?

A total of 89.7% of the respondents use container technologies in production. The survey reports that this number continues to grow year after year, showing the increasing dominance of the technology.

This adoption is not limited to organizations either. According to the latest quarterly report from Upwork, Kubernetes ranks as one of the top 20 fastest-growing skills for freelancers.

SEE ALSO: Lokomotive: Production-ready Kubernetes distribution with Linux technologies

The most cited reason for adopting containers is increased developer speed and efficiency, followed by an increase in agility.

Security concerns

According to the survey, security ranks as the number one most difficult challenge to overcome when deploying containers.

Respondents were concerned about data security, potential data loss, and how to plan for disaster recovery and business continuity.

What steps are teams taking in order to ensure security in their containerized applications? From the survey results, these are the top ten most used security methods and the percentage of respondents that use them:

  1. Data encryption: 63.9%
  2. Runtime monitoring: 49.4%
  3. Scanning for vulnerabilities in registries: 49.2%
  4. Scanning for vulnerabilities in CI/CD: 48.7%
  5. Runtime protection: 47.6%
  6. Micro-segmentation/container firewall: 40.5%
  7. Secure secrets management: 39.5%
  8. Image signing: 32.6%
  9. Hardening the cluster: 28.7%
  10. Hardening the hosts: 28.3%

Top tools

There’s no shortage of cloud providers on the market. What do respondents think about each service?

Multi-cloud also sees a rise in popularity, with many organizations either already using multiple clouds, or planning to in the future. According to the survey results, one in three respondents run on “at least 2 of the 3 major public clouds, with 12% of the sample running on all three: AWS, Google and Azure”.

This data supports a prediction from Banjot Chanana, VP of product at Docker: “As we watch Amazon, Microsoft and Google compete to take over the cloud market, it’s clear that companies will employ a multi-cloud strategy to take advantage of cloud providers’ strengths, while guarding against vendor lock in and consolidation.”

SEE ALSO: Seven Security Sins: The 7 biggest security problems of agile projects

Most used container orchestration tools:

  • Azure AKS: 47%
  • IBM IKS: 40%
  • Google GKE: 39%
  • Amazon EKS: 35%
  • Amazon ECS: 33%
  • Red Hat OpenShift: 23%
  • Docker Swarm: 11%
  • Pivotal Cloud Foundry: 11%
  • Mesosphere DC/OS: 7%

When it comes to running Kubernetes, 34.5% of respondents trust Amazon as their provider, followed by a tie between Microsoft and Google (17%). Although, for multi-cloud and hybrid deployments, 42.9% of respondents turn to Microsoft Azure. Microsoft Azure also polled as the best value for its money, followed by Google Cloud Platform, and Amazon Web Services.

Check out the survey and download the results. Individual answers are available at the end of the survey for your examination.

Sarah Schlothauer

Sarah Schlothauer

All Posts by Sarah Schlothauer

Sarah Schlothauer is the editor for She received her Bachelor's degree from Monmouth University, West Long Branch, New Jersey. She currently lives in Frankfurt, Germany with her husband and cat where she enjoys reading, writing, and medieval reenactment. She is also the editor for Conditio Humana, an online magazine about ethics, AI, and technology.

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