Inadequate storage tools hold back container adoption, survey finds

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Storage issues are holding back adoption of container technology in the enterprise, according to a new survey by data storage firm Portworx Inc. The biggest challenge: a lack of sufficient tools to properly address container storage.

Portworx, which quizzed 648 information technology professionals from small, medium-sized and large enterprises, found that 55 percent of companies would be willing to deploy stateful containers, those that can maintain the data they need to operate software services, within the next 12 months if data storage challenges could be overcome.

The survey also looked at the general expectations that IT folks had of containers, finding that agility (cited by 75 percent of respondents) and reduced costs (53 percent) were the main benefits they were hoping to achieve.

Respondents were also asked which application workloads they’re planning to deploy in containers within the next 12 months. The top choices were database applications (52 percent), web apps (48 percent), batch processing jobs (44 percent) and big data workloads (32 percent).

According to Murli Thirumale, chief executive and cofounder of Portworx, the survey results suggest that IT pros are fast waking up to the advantages of containers, which are more lightweight, faster to provision and consume less resources than alternatives such as virtualization.

“Yet container technology is still maturing, and users are seeking more sophisticated management tools and data protection to support enterprise deployments,” Thirumale said. “Container users are also seeking a wide range of features for their storage solutions: automatic provisioning takes a slight lead, followed by converged infrastructure, hybrid capabilities and DevOps integrations, none of which are available with legacy storage solutions.”

That being said, enterprises remain somewhat slow to embrace the technology, as evidenced by a recent study from Red Hat Inc. which shows that adoption of virtualization is likely to increase in the next two years.

Portworx’s study suggests that challenges with container storage are one of the main factors holding the technology back, due to a range of issues. The most prominent concern cited by respondents was a lack of sufficient tools for container storage (56 percent), followed by worries about data loss (42 percent), scale (34 percent) and speed (30 percent).

The survey also looked at how those challenges could be overcome. Respondents were asked to name their most important feature in a container storage solution, and direct provisioning of storage was cited by 37 percent. Other welcome features include converged infrastructure (23 percent), hybrid capabilities (20 percent) and DevOps integration (19 percent). Currently, none of these features exist in legacy storage solutions, Portworx said.

Portworx Survey Infographic - Final-1

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