Inside Advanced Scale Challenges|Friday, November 16, 2018
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Docker Monitoring Emerges as an Issue 

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Docker container technology is increasingly being used for application development and testing along with the continuous integration and delivery capabilities vital to enterprise digital transformation, a new vendor study finds.

Despite the rising popularity of container technology, the survey sponsored by enterprise software vendor CA Technologies concludes that the benefits go largely unmeasured, with less than half the early adopters surveyed saying they monitor container performance to gauge its impact on their business. The lack of visibility reflects skills and tools gaps when it comes to monitoring container performance.

Cloud-based applications delivered via containers “cannot be managed with traditional IT monitoring tools,” said Ali Siddiqui, a general manager of the CA Technologies. “These new app architectures create blind-spots or worse, a surge of false alarms that prevent teams from fixing problems quickly.”

CA Technologies (NASDAQ: CA), which was acquired by Broadcom (NASDAQ: AVGO) in July for $18.9 billion, argues that container monitoring has emerged as a key application performance management requirement for harried DevOps teams.

Along with application development and testing, other motivators for adopting container technology include reducing existing IT infrastructure and associated costs. Other incentives include shifting application delivery to the cloud and separating “complex applications” like data analytics into separate units.

Despite a growing array of tools and platforms such as the de facto standard Kubernetes cluster orchestrator, the enterprise transition to container infrastructure continues to be hampered by a lack of know-how and monitoring tools. “When it comes to people, processes and technology, the culture and people aspect is often the biggest hurdle,” the container study concludes.

What is needed are container monitoring tools that provide analytics and data visualization capabilities that can be used to gauge application performance and “avert alarm storms,” the survey found. (IT “alert fatigue” was cited by 12 percent of those polled, with 30 percent challenged by “determining [the] root cause of issues.”)

Despite the shortfall in container monitoring tools, only 7 percent of those polls expressed urgency about addressing the problem over the next three months. Instead, the majority respondents said it would take at least a year to fully address container monitoring issues.

The application container monitoring survey was conducted between March and May of this year. CA Technologies said 79 percent of the 100 respondents worked for Fortune 1000 companies.

About the author: George Leopold

George Leopold has written about science and technology for more than 30 years, focusing on electronics and aerospace technology. He previously served as executive editor of Electronic Engineering Times. Leopold is the author of "Calculated Risk: The Supersonic Life and Times of Gus Grissom" (Purdue University Press, 2016).

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