Interesting facts – Companies and the use of Docker

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Interesting facts – Companies and the use of Docker

Interesting facts - Companies and the use of Docker Article

Greetings, how is your day going on? Mine has been good! This article is different as compared to our previous articles. The article is more of a report and is loaded up with factual data. My only intention to write this article is to let you know how Docker is being used widely by leading organizations. The article will update you with some latest Docker facts. I have written a lot about Docker. If you look at the list of my articles, you shall certainly find it.

I have noticed that Docker is creating some kind of excitement among small and big companies. They have incorporated Docker as a part of their DevOps application deployment process. The Docker usage density, as well as the diversity in container runtimes, are increasing.

But before we begin, let us discuss what’s happening with Docker right now!


The Current Docker Scenario

As compared to the previous years, organizations are packing in 50% more containers. This means that Docker still rules, but brand name container runtime environments are on a boost up. Without any guesses and with full confidence, Kubernetes is still on the top when it comes to container orchestration.

The experts are witnessing a tremendous momentum across the Docker container ecosystem. It is improving every year. DevOps and microservices are being used like never before. So what is the effect of this tremendous use of Docker? The effect is that there are more activities and scale. But this also means that there is a need to understand how all the pieces work together. More clarity is needed.

Have you ever imagined, which are the companies that use Docker?

Before mentioning anything else, can you guess how many companies are using Docker? A rough estimate? Fine, let me tell you that there are more than 12,000 companies that use Docker. Out of all these companies, the majority are from the United States and into the computer software industry. The companies that use Docker usually have 10-50 employees and their revenue ranges from 1M-10M dollars. Not only this, there are high chances that Docker customers would likely use Kubernetes and Jenkins.

But the above calculation is generalized. The top five companies using Docker are JPMorgan Chase, ThoughtWorks, Inc., Docker, Inc., Neudesic, and SLALOM, LLC. The company size ranges from 200 to 10,000 ++ employees. The revenue range is between 50M to 1000M++.

The image below will give you a clear idea about the use of Docker in the industries, as per their niche.

Interesting facts - Companies and the use of Docker Article Image

Computer software covers the maximum, i.e. 40%, followed by IT services, i.e. 17%. While Staffing and Recruiting industry is 10%. This is followed by Internet (7%), Healthcare (6%), Financial Services (6%), Computer Hardware (5%), Retail (4%), Consulting (3%), and Telecommunications (2%).

What do these companies run in their containers?

The 10 most common application processes include many software components that are already being used for a couple of years. The companies are constantly using open source solutions for constructing their microservices and applications. Out of all, JVM or the Java Virtual Machine tops the list. Even before the containers arrived, Java has been a reliable choice for app services. Then, Java and containers came together to serve as a better modern day delivery model.

There is also a significant increase in the usage of database solutions with containers. For example, PostgreSQL and MongoDB running in containers. So what does this indicate? The stateful services are in demand. It is widely discussed that the state of containers doesn’t last longer i.e. ephemeral nature. Due to this, many companies were concerned about running services that gather valuable data in containers. But the market came up with persistent, portable, and shared storage solutions for microservices. The companies are now shifting to environments that are totally driven by containers.

What container runtimes are in trend?

There aren’t many guesses when it comes to container runtime. Docker is the all-time favorite. But it is not the same like previous years. Earlier, nearly 99% container runtime was based on Docker. But nowadays, container runtime environments are shifting. Not much, just a bit. The use of CoreOS has grown significantly, up to 12%. The Mesos containerizer has grown to four percent and LXC has also grown. Some companies are now opting for Non-Docker solutions in production.

Knowing the lifespan of containers and the container-based services is also interesting. Have you ever imagined that how long do the containers and their services live? In all these years, the lifespan has changed in the most unique manner. An approximate of 10% containers live for less than 10 seconds, while 30% of containers live between 5 to 10 minutes. This 30% is the highest percentage of similar lifespans. The remaining 60% of containers have different lifespans. So why do these containers have short lifespans?

Many containers have systems that scale as per the need. So their lifespan is short, as per their usage. The task of a container is pretty clear. They do their work and just go away. For example, an application invokes a container for each purchase. The update is verified and tested. Then, the container shuts down. There could be zero to unlimited purchases in a day!

I guess that we are now well-updated with the current Docker trends. So let us switch over to the interesting Docker facts.


The Docker Facts

Docker is emerging, evolving, and in-demand. These are the reasons why Docker facts are getting more interesting every single day. The facts that are discussed below will certainly change in a couple of months or days. So please note that these aren’t permanent.

Fact Number 1: More than 50% of Docker environments are orchestrated

Docker has never been a standalone technology. It has a containerization strategy. With the need for automation in every field, docker easily encapsulated the automated orchestration of workloads. More than 50% of companies using Docker environments use orchestrators such as Kubernetes, Mesos, etc. Some of them use orchestration platforms like AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud Platform.

Interesting facts - Companies and the use of Docker Article Image

Image Source:

After the launch of Amazon Elastic Container Service for Kubernetes in 2017, the adoption to Kubernetes accelerated. It is quite clear that Kubernetes is the fastest growing orchestration technology. The major cloud providers are switching over to it.

Fact Number 2: The unbeaten growth of Docker Deployment

The Docker deployment has increased steadily in just one year! Can you guess how much is the growth? It is 75%. Yes, this is the growth of Docker deployment in the last year. On top of this, it seems like this percentage will grow in the ongoing year.

Fact Number 3: Docker Runs On More Than 20% Hosts


Interesting facts - Companies and the use of Docker Article Image

The share of hosts running Docker is climbing. It is being said that by 2020, the share of hosts running Docker will climb to 40% and more. Now, this is an achievement. The share is increasing by 5% every year, but in the past few months, this rate has increased tremendously.

Fact Number 4: The Increase In Docker Usage Rates

Who is driving the Docker adoption to success? The basis of Docker adoption growth was done by companies that have big infrastructure deployments. The start-ups weren’t involved in this because it was an experimentation in 2015. In fact, the number of hosts was directly proportional to the Docker adoption density.  This relation of the number of hosts and docker adoption is still prevalent.

In the organizations with an approximate of 1,000 hosts, nearly 50% have adopted Docker. If we compare this with organizations having 100 hosts, only 20% have adopted to Docker. This only means that organizations with more number of hosts are into frequent Docker adoption. So with a bigger infrastructure, the Docker adoption rates increase.

Fact Number 5: The most widely used Images

Interesting facts - Companies and the use of Docker Article Image

Here is the list of the most widely used technologies running in Docker. The image shows the percentage of their usage and this changes with time. But it seems like NGINX will maintain the lead for the next couple of months.

Top Technologies Running Docker


  • NGINX: The name is pronounced like “Engine-Ex”. NGINX is an open source web-server. It is used to deploy and run HTTP servers. It has excelled a long way after it’s public launch in 2004. NGINX also improves security and scalability of the busiest websites.


  • REDIS: Redis is used as a database, cache, and a message broker. It is open source and BSD licensed. The main difference between Redis and other databases is that Redis stores and manipulates high-level data types with ease. The use of Redis is growing rapidly.


  • POSTGRESQL: When it comes to relational database, PostgreSQL tops. It is climbing the steps of popularity pretty quick! It is a combination of SQL language and many other features. PostgreSQL is considered to be the most advanced open source database system.


  • ELASTICSEARCH: Elasticsearch is built on Apache Lucene and is released under the Apache license terms. It is an open-source, distributed data store and full-text search engine. It is suitable for modern container environments.  


  • FLUENTD: The use of Fluentd has boosted up like anything. It unifies the data collection and consumption for optimum use. It also helps in understanding the data. Fluentd is open source.


  • MONGO: Mongo or MongoDB is a widely used document store. In terms of Docker, we notice that its use is less, but otherwise, it is variedly used. Many modern-day web applications use MongoDB.


  • MySql: MongoDB is popular, but not as popular as MySQL. It is the most popular open source database in the world. The De-Facto database for beginners as well as experienced developers. There is no need to introduce MySql, most of you must be knowing it!


  • EtcD: The open source key-value store provides consistent configuration for the Docker cluster. It runs on each machine in a cluster and handles leader election during network partitions.


  • RabbitMQ: A lot of microservice based applications use RabbitMQ. It is an open-source message broker software. It offers a plug-in architecture to support Streaming Text Oriented Messaging Protocol.


  • HAProxy: It is an open source proxy for TCP and HTTP load balancing. HAProxy spreads requests to multiple servers. It is written in C. HAProxy is known to be fast and reliable.



Fact Number 6: The High Speed of Orchestrated Containers

Companies using Docker and containers have an average lifespan of two days. So what does this mean? It means that the containers operate ten times faster as compared to the hosts. The lifetime of hosts is generally measured in months. The adoption to orchestrators is rapid. Due to this, the lifespan of orchestrators is shortened. The automated start and stop of containers lead to a higher churn rate.

The average lifetime of a container is approximately 12 hours. For organizations without orchestration, the average lifetime of a container is six days.



The short container lifetimes and high density indicate the high order of magnitude in terms of infrastructure monitoring. The number of components has increased considerably in the past few years. Tracking containers manually are almost impossible with the rapid churn of containers. Automatic deployment is a must and should be favored.

It is clear that the microservice based architecture has taken over the monolithic designs. Organizations, as well as small-scale customers, are looking forward to containers and DevOps practices. These new techniques are helping organizations positively. They can now resolve the real-time issues quickly and more efficiently. To exist in the existing digital marketplace, precision with flexibility is the main thing. But nothing is permanent in the Docker space. It is fast moving and there will be something new pretty soon. Maybe, while I am writing this article, the Docker space is changing to something completely different. So the key is to stay updated and active! Remember, Docker is in trend and has a great future.


If you wish to learn Docker for free, please visit the link below:

Tao is a passionate software engineer who works in a leading big data analysis company in Silicon Valley. Previously Tao has worked in big IT companies such as IBM and Cisco. Tao has a MS degree in Computer Science from University of McGill and many years of experience as a teaching assistant for various computer science classes.


  1. Krishna M says:

    Good and informative article. Docker enthusiasts will certainly enjoy it. Good one James.

  2. Richard S says:

    The article tempts me to learn and know more about Docker. I still have doubts and will refer other articles from this site. Thank you James.

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