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The Biggest Trends in Containers: What’s In Store for 2022?

With 97 percent of organizations using multiple clouds, the coming year will see an accompanying increase in containerized applications.

The past two years have seen a massive acceleration in the shift to the cloud and the trend shows no signs of stopping. In addition, new research from IBM found that only 3 percent of respondents reported using just one private or public cloud in 2021, compared to 29 percent in 2019. That means that 97 percent of organizations have moved to a distributed IT infrastructure that is spread across multiple clouds.

For Further Reading:

The True Cost of Moving to the Cloud

Navigating the Lines Between Container-Native and Container-Ready Storage

How to Implement Containers and Virtual Machines on the Same Bare Metal Cloud for Performance and Cost-Efficiency

Meanwhile, container adoption continues to grow. By 2023, Gartner expects that 70 percent of organizations will be running more than two containerized applications. With that in mind, here are three emerging trends that will dominate the landscape in 2022.

Trend #1: Kubernetes moves from theoretical to "let's do it now"

One of the major trends we've seen in 2021 -- and which we anticipate will continue at a faster pace in 2022 -- is a change in customer perspective about Kubernetes from "How do I do this?" to "Let's start deploying this." More organizations are deploying Kubernetes in production; the State of Kubernetes Security report found that the majority of survey respondents are running production workloads in Kubernetes.

Moving into 2022, more customers will start defining their cloud infrastructure with Kubernetes at its heart. Although many users have taken the first steps toward using Kubernetes for production deployments, there are fewer large-scale deployments. Most enterprises are still in the beginning stages, but the trend will accelerate as more organizations adopt Kubernetes as their primary IT platform. The types of applications that move into Kubernetes will also be more varied, including a mix of traditional business applications built around databases, and emerging applications built around AI/ML and data analytics. For greenfield applications, the platform of choice will be Kubernetes.

Trend #2: Less talk, more action about multicloud environments

Multicloud will not just be what people are talking about but what they're doing. Although organizations have been deploying applications across multiple cloud providers and in hybrid clouds across public and private clouds for a while now, what's different with Kubernetes is it enables enterprises to define the cloud on their terms as a collection of distributed resources across data centers and providers. With Kubernetes, customers can build consistent, software-defined IT that is cloud provider independent and that is optimized for their specific requirements.

We predict the shift to the distributed enterprise cloud, and companies increasingly selecting platforms that will enable them to define and build their IT infrastructure in terms of Kubernetes -- and platforms and services that run within Kubernetes. We're already seeing this growth and we expect it to continue. Companies will more often choose Kubernetes and container-native services and platforms for networking, storage and data, and security. They will pick platforms that complement Kubernetes, allow them to build end-to-end, software-defined IT platforms, and can be deployed on any provider's platform or any infrastructure.

Trend #3: The need for agility and scalability will increase

As we move into 2022, the pace of digital transformation in enterprises will accelerate. As more applications move to containers and Kubernetes, legacy storage data management platforms built to support monoliths won't be able to provide the scalability and granularity to effectively manage data for larger distributed microservices-based applications.

In addition, the need for agility and speed in building and deploying applications will become more significant. Containers provide the best way to build applications that can be scaled, modified rapidly to deliver new capabilities, and that solve customer issues to gain business advantage. As more apps are built and the rate of change increases, data delays in DevOps will need to be addressed. Customers will look for platforms that can address the issue, especially with distributed teams working across the distributed enterprise cloud.

Transformation Now

Organizations aren't just shifting to the cloud; they are shifting to a distributed cloud to address their business needs. This had led to a corresponding increase in container adoption. As Kubernetes has become the de facto standard for container orchestration, its use for running production workloads has significantly increased. We predict that this trend will not only continue but will accelerate as adoption matures. Kubernetes enhances the multicloud approach so enterprises can reimagine their infrastructure. We expect organizations will place a greater emphasis on scalability and agility as they make strategic IT decisions to align with their business needs.

There are always those who take a more cautious approach and wait to see how successful or effective new technologies are before adopting them. Given ample data about market adoption and customer successes, the time for wait-and-see is over. Organizations won't be able to compete unless they modernize their IT infrastructure using containers and adopting a multicloud strategy. The advantages of greater scalability, greater agility, and faster delivery of applications and capabilities call for transformation now.

About the Author

Jacob Cherian is the chief product officer at Ionir. He is responsible for Ionir’s overall vision and strategy, and brings over 20 years of industry experience in storage and data center technologies. Jacob was instrumental in driving the transition of Reduxio’s technology from legacy enterprise storage to software-defined, and building the  business strategy based on cloud storage and data management. You can reach the author at LinkedIn or Twitter.

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