There are two recent industry reports that reveal some interesting insights on the market adoption of container technologies.

One report comes from and ClusterHQ and is based on a survey of 310 respondents. is an online source for DevOps education and information resources, and ClusterHQ is a data management technology provider in the container market.

The second report – 8 Surprising Facts about Docker Adoption – comes from Datadog, and it’s based on tracking the actual usage of a sample of 10,000 of Datadog’s customers. Datadog provides infrastructure and application monitoring in the cloud, and while this service can monitor container-based applications, containers are not its sole focus. In effect, this report gives us a view into how container adoption is doing relative to the broader space of all types of application technologies, which I found particularly interesting.

Docker Container Adoption Statistics

The report said that 79% of respondents run container technologies, with 76% already use containers in production. According to the report, this represents a significant increase from last year’s data where only 38% of respondents had deployed containers in production.

Docker Containers Usage StatsThe Datadog report, on the other hand, uses actual data from their monitoring platform (the sample set is limited to Datadog customers, which can be a bit biased). Their report observed that Docker adoption is up 30% in their customer base over last year. Even though the growth number is similar to the ClusterHQ report, the actual Docker adoption here went from 8.2% of Datadog’s customers in 2015 to 10.7% in 2015. Still, 30% growth is nothing to scoff at!

Another way to look at the growth is that Docker now runs on over 10% of the hosts that Datadog monitors. The company writes: “This is an impressive fact: 18 months ago Docker had about 2% market share, and now it’s running on 10% of the hosts we monitor.”


Source: Datadog report, “8 Surprising Facts about Real Docker Adoption”

The report also noted that 55% out of their 211 respondents say they have been using containers for a year or less. As technology usage goes, this would be considered early stage usage. But with 55% in their first year of usage and 76% already in production, that’s indeed an impressive hocky-stick growth.

What are people saying after they’ve adopted containers?

The two reports discussed what container users experienced as a result of adopting containers in their organizations.

ClusterHQ’s report said that more than two thirds of the respondents suggested that they were getting expected results from their container usage.

Datadog, on the other hand, reported a different but related data point – two-thirds of the companies that try Docker end up adopting it. The report said: “Most companies who will adopt have already done so within 30 days of initial production usage, and almost all the remaining adopters convert within 60 days.”

Putting these two data points side by side is indeed very interesting. More than 2/3 of those tried containers say they saw good results, and 2/3 of those who tried Docker, which is pretty much synonymous now with containers, ended up adopting it. That sort of gives new meaning to that old advertising catch-phrase, “Try it! You’ll like it!”


Source: Container Market Adoption Survey by and ClusterHQ, and Datadog report “8 surprising facts about real Docker adoption”

Challenges for container adoption

The biggest challenges to container deployment, according to the ClusterHQ report, include persistent storage, networking, security and data management. However, the order of these challenges shifted in a way that is significant. This year, persistent storage was the most oft-cited challenge and security came in third, a surprising finding based on how often security is positioned as a concern with containers.


Source: Container Market Adoption Survey 2016, sponsored by and ClusterHQ

This shift is interesting to say the least, because it indicated that the market is maturing and organizations are getting over the fear of flying when it comes to adopting containers. Twistlock sees this in our customer base as well – organizations are asking more insightful questions about using containers and are looking at risks in a multi-faceted way.

Here at Twistlock, we actually think containers are good for security because it brings a discipline to application architecture and versioning that can greatly improve the overall security of an organization. To see more on this, listen to our CTO, John Morello’s podcast with the New Stack.



It’s good to see industry reports from different sources that show continued growth for container technology. More importantly, the number for customer perceived value is strong and will lead to sustained growth. We expect to see similar growth trends next year, perhaps with a steeper rate of increase, as the entire container ecosystem widens and matures.

Twistlock provides Docker security for every stage of the DevOps workflow – with seamless CI integration, extensive API support, and dev-to-production security controls that deliver consistent policies across the container lifecycle. If security is one of your container challenges, talk to us at, or request a demo at

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