Well, in case you’ve been living in a dark cave with no WiFi for the last decade, I should inform you that Docker and its containerization technology spent a chunk of time in the limelight. Docker gobbled up hundreds of millions of dollars in venture capital funding since its founding, and eventually even crossed the $1 billion valuation threshold in 2015. To add a little further perspective, the first DockerCon in San Francisco took place only 8 years ago in 2014, and according to Docker, there are now over 12 million registered Docker developers representing more than 200 countries around the world. If that doesn’t illustrate how quickly the world of IT can evolve, I’m not sure what does.
But at least within the scope of Enterprise IT, Docker has fallen off.
How did we get here?
Docker’s hype was fueled by a universe with an insatiable demand for new applications. Docker containers brought the promise of unicorn-like portability, so developers could build-containerized apps in one server with the confidence they would work in any server. Even still, recent innovations such as and continue to enhance the efficiency at which developers can spin new applications up.
However, big changes over the last few years like Docker’s partial sale of its business to Mirantis, and the more recent deprecation of Docker container runtime by Kubernetes has taken its toll. Docker is still as popular as any container runtime in enterprise IT right now, but not for much longer. Kubernetes’ Docker deprecation announcement has put Docker on a defined path towards irrelevancy in the enterprise space. It’s a big changing of the guard, but don’t view this as the end of Docker as a whole. The Docker team is back to going all-in on its DevOps roots, and we think they are going to be around for a long time.
What about the rest of the containers?
There’s not really a different way to say it. “Docker” really was (and still is to some extent) to containers what Ziploc is to plastic baggies, essentially an interchangeable synonym to refer to the technology that everyone used.
However, Docker was just the first organization to bring containers to the mainstream, and while they did it in a huge way, there are plenty of other container runtimes ready to fill the void in enterprise IT. There are going to need to be too, because organizations are starting to adopt containers in production at rapid pace in this era of digital transformation. Organizations adopting this technology are achieving huge enhancements in portability, scalability and overall speed of deployment—all things needed for organizations to embrace a cloud-based future.
At DH2i we’ve been excited to hear about how our current customers are endeavoring into containers in production. Some of them have even reached the point of deploying their most vital, heavy-duty SQL Server workloads in containers. The sky is the limit for deployments of this nature, but only if you do it carefully. Containerization definitely adds another layer of complexity to the high availability (HA) equation, and you certainly can’t just jump into it with container orchestration alone.