2022: Becoming the Year of Containers, Kubernetes, and SDP Security

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Read more about author Don Boxley.

A growing number of companies are continuing to launch significant digital transformation (DX) projects in 2022, and rightly so, since this can enhance their IT and business capabilities while resulting in cost savings. This has led to a large increase in the use of containers. The StackRox State of Container and Kubernetes Security Report—Winter 2020 flagged that enterprises that have containerized over 50% of their applications recently climbed to almost 30% – an impressive 22% growth rate. 

Plus, the number of companies that had containerized less than 10% of their apps dropped to 21% (down from 32%) during the same period. A survey from the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) similarly revealed a big increase in how many containers enterprises are opting to run. In 2020, organizations using over 5,000 containers ballooned 109% from 2016, while those using over 250 containers rose 61% in 2020 in the same period.

This increase in containerization leads me to make the following three predictions as we continue on in 2022:

1. There will be a new architectural standard for container deployment: multi-cloud.

The use of multi-cloud for native cloud applications is on the rise. StackRox found a significant ascension from 2018 to 2020 in enterprises leveraging multi-cloud for deploying containers compared to single-cloud and on-premises. Multi-cloud climbed 66.7% over these two years as an architectural approach. Meanwhile, single-cloud only inched up 6.3%, as on-premises-only deployments dropped down 54.8% over this period.

With this as a backdrop, I predict that in 2022, Kubernetes and SDP-enhanced stateful database containers will rule both multi-cloud and cloud-native environments, as multi-cloud emerges as cloud-native’s deployment standard. Why? It boils down to this: While users get the vision of the possibility of leveraging workloads across multi-cloud settings based on what type of cloud best fits the workload, this has previously always required a virtual private network (VPN) to connect these various cloud-based environments. 

No longer in 2022. While VPN worked fine when the world was “on-premises only,” VPN was never designed to support cloud and hybrid environments. These outdated VPN software solutions have thus become virtually obsolete in light of today’s hybrid and multi-cloud realities. In fact, I recommend this year that CEOs question their head of network security if their multi-cloud and cloud-native network security strategy depends on a VPN solution. VPN is not only complex and headache-producing from a configuration perspective, but it also exposes a lateral network surface, resulting in “slices of the network” becoming vulnerable to attack. 

2. A new class of containers that integrate SDP security will disrupt the current deployment model for multi-cloud. 

Since most real-world applications need to retain state, many organizations are quickly adopting stateful containers. CNCF’s findings across multiple industries confirm this: 

  • More than half (55%) of respondents use stateful containers in production
  • Almost 25% use stateless containers only
  • 12% are in the process right now of considering stateful containers
  • 11% intend to adopt stateful containers in the next 12 months

Get ready in 2022 to witness the emergence of a new SDP-enhanced container. This stateful container will allow IT to eliminate VPN pain points, avoiding added costs and complexities. Instead, these containers will facilitate building smart endpoint multi-cloud container environments that can bring multiple clouds together through seamless connection. 

Enterprises will then be able to build multi-cloud Kubernetes clusters by combining Kubernetes and SDP-enhanced containers. Some advantages of this new multi-cloud deployment standard are portability, virtually zero attack surface, and simplification as users switch smoothly between various public cloud vendors as needed, particularly when it comes to the use case of the stateful database container. 

3. Organizations will achieve database-level high availability (HA) and disaster recovery (DR) with automatic failover in Kubernetes. 

A final prediction for this year: Medium and large enterprise organizations will now be able to deploy stateful containers, thanks to SDP-enhanced database containers. Organizations that do so will be able to enjoy a host of benefits, from new applications and improved operations with near-zero recovery time objective, to more efficient delivery of products and services with lower costs. 

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