DockerCon 2016 and the future of containers – 5 areas to watch

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As we gear up for another DockerCon, it’s fascinating to reflect on how near container technology has come to the mainstream in such a short time. Containers have become a vital part of application deployment and application management. This growth will likely continue, so as we look toward the future of container technology, here are five areas to watch.

1. Open technology

In the coming years, expect to see more technology become integrated into container services and more existing open tech to embrace containers. We’ve already seen Docker donate its container format and runtime, runC, to the new Open Container Initiative to serve as its cornerstone.

Cloud Foundry is also adopting Docker as its runtime of choice, allowing for a much-needed convergence of Cloud Foundry and Docker users.

We’re also seeing the Cloud Native Computing Foundation moving up the stack and working in in areas including networking, service discovery and orchestration. Look for these efforts to continue.

2. Portability

The demand for portability has yet to see its peak. Clients and customers are clamoring for the ability to take the same workload and move it between environments with consistency. This is only going to increase over time because there is already demand. Containers make portability that much easier because the infrastructure and the operating system are abstracted from the end user.

3. Hybrid cloud

We’ll see containers play a larger role in hybrid cloud ecosystems as a result of the symbiotic relationship between these efforts. Because containers have the ability to ease workload portability between private and public clouds, as well as between different cloud platforms, it makes it easier for companies to adopt a hybrid cloud strategy. Container clustering services also thrive in hybrid environments that use a variety of cloud solutions to fit specific needs.

4. Application deployment

Not all workloads can be containerized today, so there are other fits for other compute choices, whether they’re virtual machines or serverless, event-driven options such as OpenWhisk. But you can expect the majority of net-new, cloud-native applications to use containers for their application deployment going forward.

5. Security

At IBM, we’re looking to boost the Vulnerability Advisor capabilities within our IBM Container Services to be able to scan live-running containers for vulnerabilities. This way, if a user deploys from an image that has a new vulnerability, they’ll be able to identify that and determine what the actual vulnerability is. They can then decide which images need to be remediated to redeploy that workload. Previously, this hasn’t been possible.

We’re also looking at integrating with IBM X-Force and leveraging their expertise for evaluating vulnerabilities, giving insight into the severity of a set of vulnerabilities that are affecting either an image or a container.

Learn more at DockerCon!

DockerCon runs from June 19-21 in Seattle with IBM as a platinum sponsor. IBMers will be out in force at the conference and look forward to talking to you at the expo booth.

The day after DockerCon, we’re also hosting the Open Cloud Architecture Summit, June 22, at the Palace Ballroom in Seattle. For more information and to register, visit

If you’re heading to DockerCon, be sure to check out the IBM sessions highlighted by my colleague Phil Estes:

To learn more, visit the home of IBM Container Service on Bluemix.

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