The Next Evolution of Cloud Management: Container Management

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Click to learn more about author Jay Chapel.

As we are talking to prospects and customers alike, one of the more requested features we get asked about is container management. Containers – one of several growing optimization trends – help you package and run applications ‘anywhere’ in isolated environments to reduce configuration time when deploying to production. In theory this, like VMs, will help you increase the efficiency of your infrastructure – and we’re big fans of efficiency and optimization.

Are There Enough Containers that Need Management?

As we begin to plan our container management offering for later in the year, we need to understand whether this is just hype (as it seems everything is) or is this something our customers actually want and need.

First, let’s review the players in the container field. There are the primary container services from Docker and Kubernetes, as well as the offerings from cloud service providers (CSPs) for managed services like AWS ECS and AWS EKS, Azure AKS and Google GKE that run Kubernetes. (See a container services comparison here).  

So, let’s dig into how big that market actually is. Most industry publications estimated $1.5B was spent in 2018 on container technology, and the Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) is in the 30% range. Here is one summary from 451 Research that shows strong projected growth:

What Kind of Container Management is Needed?

The containers are there, so the next question is: what type of management is needed – especially for the CSP managed container services?

Container management, like overall cloud management, includes orchestration, security, monitoring, and of course, optimization.

In terms of optimization, we have identified 5 ways we think you can optimize containers and save on your container cloud costs:

  1. Rightsize your Pods
  2. Turn off your Idle Pods
  3. Rightsize your Nodes
  4. Consider Storage Opportunities
  5. Review Purchasing Options

Do You Need to Focus on Container Management?

In short, if you plan to use any sort of containers in the cloud: yes. Containers provide opportunities for efficiency and more lightweight application development, but like any on-demand computing resource, they also leave the door open for wasted spend. Earlier this year, we estimated that at least $14.1 billion will be wasted on idle and oversized VMs alone. Unused, idle, and otherwise suboptimal container options will contribute billions more to that waste.

So yes: container management and optimization should be part of your cloud optimization plan.

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