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Interview with Banjot Chanana, VP of product at Docker

“We’ll see an increase in enterprises taking advantage of containers in a multi-cloud architecture”

Gabriela Motroc
containers
© Shutterstock / Koldunov

Containers provide real, tangible benefits to development and IT teams but even though one cannot ignore their growing popularity, now that we’re just one year away from 451 Research’s prediction that containers will be a $2.7 billion market by 2020 we need to ask ourselves: what’s next for containers? Banjot Chanana, VP of product at Docker believes that “in the next year, we’ll see an increase in enterprises taking advantage of containers in a multi-cloud architecture to ensure they receive the right business benefits each cloud can offer.”

JAXenter: A couple of years ago, 451 Research estimated that containers will be a $2.7 billion market by 2020. Although one cannot ignore their growing popularity, now that we’re just one year away from 451 Research’s prediction, we need to ask ourselves: what’s next for containers?

Banjot Chanana: There is little doubt in the market that containers are now mainstream. To put the growth of container usage in perspective, there have been nearly 100 billion container image downloads, over two million Dockerized applications stored in Docker Hub and over 2 million active developers using Docker Desktop. When Docker was initially released, it enabled companies to build, ship and run applications in a more seamless manner. Now companies are scaling out their deployments and running containers in production and at scale – and in order to do this with control and security while maintaining portability, they are turning to Docker Enterprise.

Keep in mind that Docker launched less than six years ago, but quickly galvanized a vibrant community and container ecosystem that have been instrumental in guiding the container industry through ongoing innovation and collaboration. In previous years, many companies were just beginning their containerization journey through smaller, early-stage deployments, but this year will build on the use of containers in production environments. 2019 will mark the year that container platforms will be run at scale within enterprises worldwide.

JAXenter: Are containers a big opportunity or just a big distraction?

Banjot Chanana: Containers provide real, tangible benefits to development and IT teams – and our customers are experiencing immediate ROI as a result. Every company is now a software company, which enable organizations to take advantage of the possibility for industry disruption, application modernization for better customer experiences, and eventual digital transformation of their business. We now have over 700 customers using Docker Enterprise with 100 added every quarter, including some of the largest enterprises in the world – ADP, GlaxoSmithKline and Liberty Mutual to name a few.

Companies are turning to Docker Enterprise because it provides the foundation for their strategic IT initiatives, whether that be application modernization, cloud migration, microservices or edge computing. These businesses are seeing immediate value with 300% faster time to market and 40% reduction in infrastructure spend.

Container technology powers serverless frameworks – the underlying infrastructure for these platforms is either a proprietary infrastructure managed by a cloud provider, or a container platform like Docker Enterprise.

JAXenter: Do you think serverless technology spells the death of containers or can they find a way to complement each other

Banjot Chanana: Serverless technology and containerization are used in a complementary fashion, and we only expect this to become more common as serverless gains adoption within organizations. Container technology powers serverless frameworks – the underlying infrastructure for these platforms is either a proprietary infrastructure managed by a cloud provider, or a container platform like Docker Enterprise. As a result, typical use cases for serverless are deployed on top of the Docker platform, using frameworks such as OpenWhisk and Iron.io.

We’ve designed Docker Enterprise to be open and extensible enabling companies to utilize various serverless frameworks. It’s important for organizations to keep infrastructure and cloud independence at the forefront when investing in serverless while also helping them avoid creating a new IT silo.

JAXenter: Can containers safeguard the enterprise against cloud consolidation and lock in? After all, these are the biggest threats right now given the fact that every company today is becoming a software company.

Banjot Chanana: 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. An example of this is reflected in recent research from IDC that cited that container deployers use more than three clouds on average; organizations that use containers can move freely between cloud environments and even back on premise. Container platforms are key to achieving this level of flexibility so that companies can easily adapt as their needs evolve.

In the next year, we’ll see an increase in enterprises taking advantage of containers in a multi-cloud architecture to ensure they receive the right business benefits each cloud can offer. Container platforms will be the vehicle to making this a reality by giving companies the freedom to move between clouds without fear of lock in.

SEE ALSO: “The technology stack of the future will be composed of containers, serverless & SaaS services”

JAXenter: Let’s talk about multi-cloud strategies. What are the benefits of such a strategy and is multi-cloud here to stay?

Banjot Chanana: Multi-cloud is here to stay, but it’s also important not to dismiss the value of on-premise deployments. In fact, an Uptime survey estimates that organizations have more than 65% of their workloads on premises. What’s important is that companies have the freedom to move workloads to the cloud(s) that best suits their business needs, while also allowing workloads to be moved back on-premises if it’s determined that’s the optimal location based on security compliance needs or data locality.

The benefits of multi-cloud range from disaster recovery and cost-optimization (trying to pull data out of one cloud has a hefty price tag) to needing access to best-of-breed services. In addition to these benefits, companies should not be overly dependant on one cloud provider. What happens if the vendor suffers downtime or is snatched up? Or what happens if your cloud provider doesn’t have the best tools for your use case? Cloud providers may decide to optimize for machine learning, for instance, while others for big data services or IoT.

JAXenter: Is there a technology that’s crucial for the widespread adoption of multi-cloud or is this group work?

For many organizations, hybrid and multi-cloud are either already a way of life or on the roadmap.

Banjot Chanana: Containers specifically have enabled the widespread adoption of multi-cloud for development teams by unlocking the potential for portability across cloud providers. Docker Enterprise container platform is foundational to enabling that widespread adoption and successful implementations of multi-cloud for enterprise IT.

It provides the flexibility to work with any infrastructure, or application type and unify a company’s applications – both old and new – under one platform. Combined with the rich ecosystem of tooling like security, monitoring, and logging tools and the acceptance of open standards will ensure that optionality to use multiple cloud providers remain.

JAXenter: How can companies capture the multi-cloud opportunity

Banjot Chanana: For many organizations, hybrid and multi-cloud are either already a way of life or on the roadmap. Having a container platform like Docker Enterprise assures companies they have the ability to select the clouds that compliment and advance their business today as well as the future as their needs evolve. Most companies don’t want to rely solely on one cloud provider and want options that aren’t influenced by vendor lock-in.

Container platforms act as a first step to providing this freedom of choice and setting them on the path to successful multi-cloud deployments.

Thank you!

Author
Gabriela Motroc
Gabriela Motroc was editor of JAXenter.com and JAX Magazine. Before working at Software & Support Media Group, she studied International Communication Management at the Hague University of Applied Sciences.

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