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January 10, 2017

Application container market set for explosive growth as enterprises move into production

Growth of the market is expected to surpass that of OpenStack.

By James Nunns

The buzz around the application container market appears to be paying off as predictions point to it growing to $2.7bn by 2020.

That would see the market size more than double in the next three years as it grows from $762m in 2016, a CAGR of 40%.

On the whole the Cloud-Enabling Technologies market (CET), which includes virtualisation, containers, Private PaaS, and other automation and management software, is expected to be worth $23.1bn this year, and is expected to hit $39.6bn by the end of 2016.

That would equate to a growth rate of 15% CAGR, according to 451’s Cloud-Enabling Technologies Market Monitor report.

Like the OpenStack market, the application container market, which is also based on open source software, is seeing rapid growth over a short period of time in the enterprise. However, given the number of vendors currently participating and yet to emerge, it is predicted that containers could have a broader impact on the market than OpenStack, which was valued by 451 Research at $1.8bn in 2016 and is expected to grow to $5.8bn by the end of 2020.

Application container market According to the researchers, enterprise adoption of containers and market maturity is happening more quickly than OpenStack and other trends such as PaaS and DevOps.

Greg Zwakman, Vice President, Market and Competitive Intelligence at 451 Research, said: “Two things stand out from our market sizing and research on containers: the breadth and diversity of vendors basing their offerings on containers or integrating and partnering to better support containers in their products, and the speed at which the container software and market are maturing based on production, use and revenue growth.”

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The buzz around the application container ecosystem has seen an increasing amount of both large and small vendors offering the technology and support. The analyst firm currently tracks 125 application container vendors and is expecting more to emerge quarterly.

By way of comparison, the OpenStack market currently has just over 90 vendors participating in the ecosystem today.

While there is plenty of hype around the container market, it is only just starting to see adoption and revenue start to emerge. Although it is early days for the technologies in the segment, there is increasing movement beyond the development and testing phase and more to production use.

In 451 Research’s Voice of the Enterprise SDI Workloads and Key Projects 2016 study, it was found that of the 25% of enterprises using containers, 34% were in broad implementation of production applications, and 28% had begun full implementation of production applications with containers.

2017 looks like it will be an active year in the container management and orchestration segment, which has already seen a lot of activity with the likes of Cisco acquiring Docker Swarm supporter ContainerX.

The research firm predicts that 2017 could see a high level of merger and acquisition activity across the market segments of management and orchestration, monitoring, security and continuous integration/continuous deployment.

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