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Application Container Market Heating Up

By Lynn Haber
January 10, 2017 - News

Application containers, just one of many cloud-enabling technologies (CET), are expected to become a $2.7 billion market by 2020 – according to 451 Research – and represent the fastest growing CET compared to other segments.

The latest Cloud-Enabling Technologies (CET) Market Monitor Report, Q3 2016, which includes other CET technologies – virtualization, private platform-as-a-service (PaaS), and other automation and management software – notes that while application containers represent a small portion of the CET market, they represent a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 40 percent through 2020.

In 2015, application containers were a $495 million market, and in 2016, the market reached $762 million. In 2017, it's expected to cross the billion-dollar threshold, reaching about $1.11 billion. 451 Research projects the entire CET market is reach $39.6 billion by year-end 2020, representing a 15 percent CAGR. CET is expected to reach $23.1 billion in 2017.

451 analysts also contend that the application container market will outpace the growth of the OpenStack market and may also have a greater impact — both OpenStack and application containers are based on open-source software, and the market is getting active participation from both new and established vendors. The OpenStack market reached $1.8 billion in 2016 and is expected to reach $5.8 billion by year-end 2020, representing a CAGR of 35 percent, according to 451 Research.

“Two things stand out from our market sizing and research on containers: the breadth and diversity of vendors basing their offerings on containers or integrating and partnering to better support containers in their products, and the speed at which the container software and market are maturing based on production, use and revenue growth," said Greg Zwakman, vice president, Market and Competitive Intelligence at 451 Research.

While development and testing of application containers is most prevalent in the enterprise today, the move to production is growing. In 451 Research’s Voice of the Enterprise SDI Workloads and Key Projects study, a survey of IT enterprise buyers conducted in April and May of 2016, one-quarter (25 percent) of enterprises surveyed that use containers, more than on-third (34 percent) were in broad implementation of production applications and another 28 percent had begun initial implementation of production applications with containers.

451 Research also reported intense competition, innovation and disruption in the container management and orchestration segments, which analysts expect will continue in 2017.

Considered an emerging market, 451 Research currently tracks 125 application container vendors and expects that number to continue to grow.

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