The next great application platform

When the Wall Street Journal starts covering your industry, there is a hint of validated business benefit beyond the Silicon Valley echo chamber. Close similarities exist between the nascent virtualization market of ten years ago and the container landscape today. There are also substantial differences that will accelerate container adoption faster than that of VMs during the past decade.

The hypervisor was essentially a new concept for mainstream IT that ushered in the software-defined infrastructure revolution, bringing benefits including multi-application consolidation and operational efficiency. Containers pick up this narrative for cloud-native applications, going further without the fixed association of one operating system per software instance. Many more application instances can be deployed with increasing automation by utilizing a microservices architecture with container clustering.

Hypervisors faced educational and application support headwinds for years before finally breaking through that ice and becoming ubiquitous. IT administrators had concerns on security, operational processes, and spotty application vendor support for new hypervisor products. In contrast, containers are being pulled into the marketplace by developers eager to increase their productivity. Concepts such as multi-tenancy, automation, and application performance are more widely understood than a decade ago, resulting in proactive solutions development.

Container technology is maturing rapidly, spurred by lessons of the past and a collaborative open source ecosystem. This will lead to rapid adoption and cement containers as the next great application platform.