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VMblog's Expert Interviews: Don't Get Excited When It Comes to Your Databases, Contain Thyself!


Robin Systems, a Silicon Valley-based provider of containerized data platform software, recently conducted a survey which revealed strong enterprise interest for running databases within containers. 

According to the report, the key motivations behind this move to containers were workload consolidation and better performance, with 80 percent of IT decision makers planning an increase in container investment.  Survey results also indicated more than three out of four IT decision makers are interested in running stateful applications such as databases within containers.

Results of the survey, conducted in December 2015 with 200 respondents from industry verticals including retail, banking/finance, manufacturing, and Internet infrastructure, also indicated 81 percent of respondents expect their companies to increase the investment in container-based technology.

To find out more information from the report, I spoke with Sushil Kumar, CMO of Robin Systems.

VMblog:  Jumping right in, what are the key motivations for IT decision makers who expressed an interest in running databases within containers?

Sushil Kumar:  Workload consolidation and lower performance overhead, as compared to traditional virtualization, are the key motivation for 78.5 percent of IT decision makers who expressed interest in running databases within containers. Performance was cited by more than half (53 percent) of respondents as the most important consideration for running databases within containers.

VMblog:  According to the data, is the enterprise adopting containers?  And at what stage are decision makers in making plans?

Kumar:  Enterprise container adoption continues to grow. 35 percent of respondents are already using containers in production while 26 percent are experimenting with it.

VMblog:  What kinds of application types are containers being used for?

Kumar:  The interest in container usage transcends application types. A majority of respondents reported deploying both stateful and stateless applications within the containers.

VMblog:  What is becoming the preferred platform for running databases?

Kumar:  Containers are emerging as the preferred platform for running databases, with approximately half the respondents doing so.

VMblog:  How popular is the deployment of Big Data applications such as Hadoop and Spark becoming within containers?

Kumar:  About 40 percent of respondents indicated they have deployed Big Data applications such as Hadoop and Spark within containers.

VMblog:  We've heard a lot about Docker lately.  What does that say about the preferred containerization technology for running data-centric applications?

Kumar:  While Docker is certainly getting fast adoption, LXC and LXD remain the preferred containerization technology for running data-centric applications, with 60 percent citing their use.

VMblog:  What is the most popular storage backend for containers and what does that imply?

Kumar:  AWS EBS (Amazon Elastic Block Store) was reported as the most popular storage backend for containers at 30 percent, reflecting widespread containers adoption for cloud-native applications.

VMblog:  With regard to on premise storage infrastructure, what is the general feeling about Storage Area Network (SAN) and Direct Attached Storage (DAS)?

Kumar:  Respondents were essentially split between Storage Area Network and Direct Attached Storage, both of which were reported to be used by about 20 percent of respondents.

VMblog:  How are containers being used by production IT? 

Kumar:  This survey is quite revealing in that respect. The general perception was that the container appeal was strongest among developers. The fact that around 50% of respondent indicating running production applications such as databases and Big Data within containers indicates that appeal of containers goes beyond developers and organizations are getting more comfortable using containers in the production.

VMblog:  Where do containers go from here?  What does 2016 and beyond look like?  And can you paint a picture of what we could expect this year from the container industry?

Kumar:  As the survey reveals, the trend toward containerization is nearly unstoppable, with 4 out of 5 respondents planning to increase their container investment. And this is for good reason. Containerization technology is transforming the application development process by enabling application portability across platforms and clouds. The containerization benefits for data applications are even more far reaching, as the container can act as the foundation for an agile and consolidated data platform.

In 2016 and beyond, we should expect rapid maturing of the container landscape. More container-based solutions will come to market with newer use cases and possibilities.


Once more, thank you to Sushil Kumar, CMO of Robin Systems, for taking time out to speak to and for sharing some of the findings from the recent survey.

Published Monday, February 01, 2016 6:32 AM by David Marshall
Don't Get Excited When It Comes to Your Databases, Contain Thyself! - Robin Systems, Inc - (Author's Link) - May 11, 2017 12:50 AM
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