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What does 2018 hold for application containerization?

There was plenty of movement around Kubernetes in 2017, and there seems to be more to come in the year ahead. Twain Taylor makes predictions about container management in 2018.

Container tooling is maturing, and in conjunction with the establishment of open standards, application containerization will become more of a necessity than nice-to-have in 2018. Additionally, new practical applications of containers will emerge to solve day-to-day challenges for developers and IT organizations.

Let's take a look at the trends that indicate these things will be true in the coming year.

The race to manage Kubernetes

In 2017, Kubernetes solidified its place as a leading container orchestration tool. Numerous vendors, including Microsoft and Amazon Web Services (AWS), have rallied to provide managed services based on Kubernetes. This is a market rife with opportunity, as Kubernetes is a complex tool that's hard to get started with and quirky to manage. Everyone, from the big cloud vendors to niche startups, wants to get in on the Kubernetes-as-a-service market space. Amazon Elastic Container Service just announced support for Kubernetes, close on the heels of Microsoft, which announced its Azure Container Service for Kubernetes.

Startups like Platform9, Kismatic and Heptio are also in the race to run and manage Kubernetes clusters. It's still to be seen, however, which way many customers will shift. Will they gravitate toward the familiar option of their cloud vendor or one of the disruptive newcomers?

Docker doubles down on the enterprise

With the rise of Kubernetes as the management pane for container workloads, Docker has been struggling to find its identity in the container ecosystem. The company maintains tremendous traction as the foundational container runtime engine, but it also wants to be an application containerization option for broader container management. With Docker Swarm giving way to Kubernetes, Docker was forced to support Kubernetes in its various editions in 2017. Going forward, Docker will try to differentiate itself by offering the most well-integrated container platform for enterprise customers.

As Kubernetes, Docker and other application containerization technologies find their way into enterprise production workloads, 2018 is set to be a great year for containers.

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