Containerization virtualizes the operating system (OS) for each application container as well as the app and its libraries.
It allows containers to operate as a stand-alone package to deploy and run applications without needing to launch dedicated virtual machines (VMs). Containerization ensures the package has everything an application needs to run, including the software dependencies and hardware requirements. Application containers are completely isolated from one another but are still able to operate on a single host and OS.
See below to learn all about containerization technology and the global containerization sector:
The market of containerization
- Containerization market growth
- Containerization tools
- Containerization benefits
- Containerization use cases
- Containerization providers
See more: Top Container Software Solutions
Containerization market growth
The application containerization market was estimated at $1.5 billion in 2020. It’s projected to maintain a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 30% over the analysis period from 2020 to 2027, reaching $9.7 billion by the end of it.
One of the containerization market segments is the cloud segment, which is estimated to have a CAGR of 28.5% over the analysis period, reaching $2.9 billion by the end of it. The on-premises containerization segment is projected to have a CAGR of 30.7%.
Regionally, the containerization market is segmented as follows:
- The U.S. market was estimated at $464.3 million in 2020, with a 30.9% share
- The Chinese market is forecast for a CAGR of 29.3%, reaching $1.7 billion by 2027
- Japan and Canada are estimated to grow at a CAGR of 27% and 25.9%
- Within Europe, Germany is projected to maintain one of the highest CAGRs at 21.2%
By industry vertical, the IT and telecommunications industries are forecast to be leading demand in the containerization market by 2025.
Other notable industry verticals include:
- Health care
- Banking, financial services, and insurance (BFSI)
The use of containerization technology has increased dramatically over the past few years. The agility and portability of application containers make them the perfect environment to run rapidly increasing enterprise workloads.
Instead of spending time on day-to-day technical operations, containerization enables software engineers to focus on what their business needs and align it with the life cycle of their user applications. This shifts the optimization efforts from the infrastructure to the apps and their data.
“Increasingly, the objective for CIOs is to reduce the complexity and cost of multiple point solutions, by adopting a simple converged platform for data protection, disaster recovery, and mobility of containers across private, public and hybrid cloud,” says Ziv Kedem, member of the Forbes Technology Council.
“This requires a change of mindset, shifting away from virtualization — where the infrastructure often played a leading role in IT.”
LXC containers are part of the Linux open-source program. They allow you to run multiple isolated Linux systems on one host for application environments that resemble a VM. LXC containers operate independently instead of being managed by a central-access program.
Docker is a collection of platforms that can be used to create, manage, and deploy Linux application containers at the OS-level. Docker containers are hosted on a Docker Engine that is the client-server application host.
CRI-O is the implementation of Kubernetes Container Runtime Interface (CRI) for Open Container Initiative (OCI) runtime. It’s an open-source tool that’s a lightweight container engine replacement for Docker in Kubernetes. Using CRI-O enables Kubernetes to use OCI-compliant runtime for running pods.
Podman is an open-source containerization engine that, unlike Docker, doesn’t use a central daemon, enabling the creation and deployment of self-sufficient and isolated containers. The design of Podman containers is security-focused through isolation and user privileges with standard non-root access.
Containerd is a daemon that’s compatible with both Windows and Linux environments. It’s an abstracted interface layer between the container engines and runtime, allowing for easier management of containers. It’s an open-source project that originated as one of the primary building blocks of Docker before separating.
runC is a lightweight container runtime that’s OS-universal. It started out as a low-level Docker component that helped with the security and architecture of the platform. Using the stand-alone version of the tool, runC is a container runtime that isn’t tied to a specific container type, cloud provider, or hardware.
See more: Top Container Security Tools
Benefits of containerization
Some key benefits of containerization include:
- Fault isolation
- Deployment speed
- High efficiency
- Easy management
- Built-in security
“Containerization provides three key benefits to an enterprise: It provides the capability to package the functionality of an application into independent, deployable units, scale them, and optimize the use of the underlying environment for efficiency,” says Shankar Kambhampaty, chief technologist and a member of the Forbes Technology Council.
“A judicious use of containerization can help enterprises better address the challenge through enhancing the capability of the enterprise to scale — and optimizing the utilization of resources — while causing minimal disruption.”
Containerization use cases
Containerization technology is used by organizations in a variety of industries to streamline software deployment:
ExxonMobil is an energy company based in Irving, Texas that operates and sells products in over 50 countries.
Looking to develop a smartphone app with a secure and streamlined user experience, ExxonMobil needed a way to manage the design of cloud infrastructure.
Deciding to develop the application on the IBM Cloud environment, ExxonMobil also switched its workloads to a container-based architecture, using the IBM Cloud Kubernetes Service.
“With IBM Cloud, we’re never worried about overloading any part of our infrastructure,” says Devin Miller, digital development manager, ExxonMobil.
“The capacity is there, and the solution just scales as we do. We don’t have to go off and rack any servers or worry about any hardware pieces. And the best part is that we don’t have to pay for any hardware until we need it.”
Moving to IBM Cloud and container-based systems, ExxonMobil was able to drive down operation costs and account for millions of downloads and transactions within its smartphone app.
The Vanguard Group is a financial advisory firm based in Malvern, Pennsylvania. It’s one of the largest investment management companies in the world, operating in 19 locations and managing a total of $6.2 trillion in assets.
Handling users’ financial data in the market, speed and security are of the utmost importance for Vanguard. Using Amazon Elastic Container Service (ECS), it was able to optimize its migration to the AWS cloud for speed and security.
“AWS Fargate Spot has reduced our unit costs and reinforced our business case to migrate to AWS,” says Tim Treston, senior manager, cloud business office, Vanguard.
“We’re delivering more value for our dollars each month with this optimization. Returning value to our shareholders through increased efficiency is core to our company-wide mission.”
Working with AWS, Vanguard was able to cut its time to market for microservices from three months to 24 hours and reduce unit costs by 50%.
San Francisco-based Repl.it offers a serverless hub for classroom coding and collaborative development online. Its cloud-based solutions are accessible to its growing base of students and developers.
On a typical day, Repl.it receives traffic from over 70,000 developers across 60 countries. Working with Google Cloud Container Registry, Repl.it was looking to use cloud-based containers instead of self-managed VMs.
“When we hit a certain CPU threshold, Google Cloud Load Balancing will instantiate new instances and go up and down as needed,” says Amjad Masad, co-founder and CEO, Repl.it.
“It [the Google command line interface] is really well-designed. It’s easy to explore and easy to find documentation for.”
Switching to Google container services, Repl.it was able to flexibly scale its platform based on demand, push and pull secure builds, and offer an easy-to-use coding platform for its users.
Some of the leading providers of containerization services in the market include:
- Google Cloud
- Rancher Labs
- Bluedata Software
See more: Top Container Registry Software