Rightscale Publishes State of the Cloud Report for 2016

Rightscale just published a report called “State of the Cloud Report: DevOps Trends“.  The report focuses on the adoption of DevOps and containers across both enterprises and SMBs. To nobody’s surprise, adoption rates of both containers and DevOps are on the rise. What is interesting is the rate of adoption, especially in large enterprises. Here are a few charts that got my interest.

DevOps Adoption


You can see in this chart that almost 3 out of every 4 companies in the survey are adopting DevOps. What is even more interesting to me is that adoption in the enterprise was at 81% vs 70% with SMBs. That is quite a change from just 2 or 3 years ago. So much for the myth that DevOps is just for Unicorns.

Who is driving DevOps?


The next interesting data point that caught my eye is how DevOps is being adopted within enterprises. Company-wide adoption is at 21%, while both team level and division level adoption is near 30%.

I have worked on a number of DevOps projects over the last 2 years and I see a similar trend. When we first started taking on these engagements, most of them were either team driven or division driven. Rarely did we encounter a top-down driven or company-wide initiative. Today, most of our engagements are company-wide initiatives. We are seeing C-Levels driving DevOps with the goal of increased agility. It has been breathtaking to watch this shift take place so quickly.

What tools are companies using?


Chef and Puppet are still the leading DevOps tools used. A key finding is that very soon, Docker usage will surpass Chef and Puppet usage when you factor in the respondent’s responses to what they plan on using in the future.

What does not show up in the survey is the fact that the more Docker is used, the less reliance there is on scripting languages like Chef and Puppet. I am not saying that people will stop using those tools, but what I am saying is there is less scripting to create and the central hub for DevOps will shift away from the Chef and Puppets of the world to Docker. In other words, the Docker ecosystem will chip away at the Chef and Puppet ecosystems in my opinion.

What are customers using containers for?


It is still early days for containers. Over 60% of the companies are either just learning or experimenting with containers while 12% still have no plans. Only 18% are using containers in production and only 8% are using containers in production at scale. Containers are getting a lot of attention these days but do keep in mind that the number of workloads in production using containers is still just a rounding error. Expect these numbers to keep climbing.

What are the top challenges for container adoption?


I was surprised to see that security is now the #2 challenge for container adoption. I think this can be attributed to a number of recent security enhancements made by Docker, Kubernetes, and others coupled with the huge increase in the number of companies learning and experimenting with containers. This sounds like a huge opportunity for training vendors and systems integrators.


DevOps and container technologies are here for the long haul. Enterprises have come to grips that business agility is a key enabler as we enter the digital era. Both DevOps and containers are getting increased C-Level support and enterprises have finally moved past the myth that modern methods and technologies are only for the unicorns.

The big challenge for enterprises now is how do they transform from their legacy methods to this new world of cloud, DevOps, containers, and microservices? The technology challenges pale in comparison to the people and process challenges these disruptive technologies bring.


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