Survey says….Complexity of persistent storage is as big as cost and scale combined

TechValidate recently ran a survey, commissioned by Red Hat, of more than 300 Red Hat customers in various stages of the container adoption journey. The results were consistent with our understanding of the container space. In fact, the pain points we’re looking to solve with the Red Hat container portfolio are much bigger roadblocks than we had previously imagined. You can find the unfiltered results published here.

You can’t contain this

While the constructs that make up containers (e.g., namespaces, cgroups) have been around for more than a decade, containers moved into the mainstream about 2-3 years ago. If you compare where similar seismic shifts, such as big data and cloud, were at the same point in time, you’ll appreciate how rapidly containers have become pervasive and how sticky they are. The first result that surprised us was that almost three out of four people surveyed were interested in or actively working with containers. What wasn’t surprising was that security, scalability, and portability were cited as major bottlenecks preventing a smooth transition to containers from previous deployment platforms.

Complexity of persistent storage is a major roadblock

When asked about the biggest pain point associated with persistent storage, complexity outranked everything else by far, so much so that if you add up the number of responses that listed complexity as one of the pain points, it is almost equal to cost and scale combined. This is a pertinent result as we find enterprises with deep storage knowledge and years of success running applications on bare metal and in virtual machines suddenly struggling with persistent storage for containers. That’s why a key focus for us at Red Hat is to make it super easy to set up, provision, and manage persistent storage, not just for administrators, but developers as well.

When asked about the type of storage most customers use for stateful applications deployed in containers, the answer mainly revolved around reusing existing storage appliances and software defined storage, or a combination of both. This is consistent with the anecdotal feedback we’ve received from customers around using their existing storage investments for some container workloads and complementing that with software-defined storage such as Red Hat Gluster Storage for workloads that demand more elasticity at a lower price.

United we stand, divided we fall

Red Hat has focused on Kubernetes as the container orchestration framework given its maturity, user experience, and community. About half the respondents agreed that a single control plane for both applications and storage is optimal. In addition, a single point of support for storage and container host and open source were listed as key attributes of a vendor customers would like to partner with as a trusted advisor.

Find out more

Join us for a virtual event on January 19 in the new year that will deep dive into the recent innovations to help customers address a number of pain points and navigate the journey toward containers successfully.

In addition, Red Hat recently collaborated with Bain & Company on a survey of more than 400 executives and IT leaders on the transition to containers. You can find the results here.

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