Application containers might make a relatively small portion of the overall Cloud-Enabling Technologies (CET) market, but according to 451 Research the segment is set to grow from $762 million in 2016 to $2.7bn by 2020.
The estimated CAGR of 40% throughout the forecast period is the fastest compared to other CET segments, such as virtualisation, Private PaaS, and other automation and management software. In fact, the analyst predicts the overall market will grow at a 15% CAGR to $39.6bn by 2020, up from $23.1bn in 2017.
One can compare the container market to the OpenStack market, since both are based on open source software and involve participation from startups and established vendors. However containers may have a broader impact on the market than OpenStack, since container adoption and market maturity appears to be more rapid than OpenStack and adjacent trends such as PaaS and DevOps.
Containers also involve a "remarkable" numbers of vendors large and small leveraging on the technology. 451 Research points out the application container vendor list currently stands at 125-- and the analyst expects more entrants to emerge quarterly, including mainy yet to be identified as container providers.
“Current estimates are conservative,” the analyst adds. “In the 3 years we’ve been tracking the OpenStack market, we’ve watched it grow from just 30 vendors in 2013 to more than 91 vendors today. We will be tracking the container market closely to see whether that translates into even higher revenue and faster growth than with OpenStack.”
When it comes to adoption rates, of 25% of surveyed enterprises using containers 34% are in broad implementation of production applications and 28$ have started initial implementation of production applications and containers. This is admittedly impressive for a technology that's just a few years old.
Meanwhile the container management and orchestration segments are already seeing consolidation-- Apprenda acquired Kubernetes backer Kismatic and Cisco bought Docker Swarm supporter Container X.