2015 was the year when Docker threw open its jaws and sucked a huge gulp of the enterprise into the world of containers.

Whilst it might seem like the technology was only developed recently, in actuality, it’s got a fairly long tail. Containers were first envisaged back in the in the fledgling days of Unix, and the Linux container technology which Docker is grounded in first arrived in 2008. Although Docker itself started life as a side project for flagging PaaS company dotCloud, thanks to it’s sheer portability and single neatly integrated user interface, it’s scaled adoption curves across the industry on an almost unprecedented scale.

As a result of this hyper rapid adoption, Docker has ridden the Gartner hype cycle at roller coaster speed. As it approaches its 3rd birthday, you can probably expect; a lot more debate around standardisation, increased chatter about how to monetise containers, and a wave of Docker-centric startups all desperate to claim your mindshare. But before we jump too far ahead, let’s cast our eyes back to 2015, and take a look at some of the biggest trends for users of this uber-trendy movement. These stats, which track real usage, are taken from DataDogHQ, from a sample of 7,000 companies:

1 Docker Adoption quintupled in 2015

Year on year, what DataDog defines as ‘real’ adoption spiked 5 x the level of 2014, with the company’s customer base of Docker adopters growing from 1.8 to 8.3% between September 2014 and 2015.

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2 An enterprise darling: Big companies are happy to throw caution to the wind for Docker

As has been noted elsewhere, when it comes to Docker, big enterprises have been unusually game in pushing it straight into production. In fact, DataDog found that, “The more hosts a company uses, the more likely it is to have tried Docker, and the more likely it is to be have adopted Docker.”

3 ⅔ of companies that try Docker stick with it

Whilst it’s not uncommon for open source companies to dabble in select hot new trends, as with microservices, the promise on the packaging is sometimes just not worth the long-term investment. With Docker, attachment tends to be widespread, and swift. Two thirds of companies surveyed who adopted Docker in production did so within 30 days of initial production usage. The remaining adopters generally did so within 60 days.

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4 Once users get into containers, they go wild

For both the hardcore adopters and the dabblers, usage of Docker tends to be “phenomenal.” Between their first and sixth month of use, both of these groups trebled their average number of containers running in production.

5 Registry, NGINX, and Redis are the most popular technologies to use with Docker

Among DataDog’s sample, 25% were using Registry in Docker (likely in place of Docker Hub), making it the most widely used technology of the lot, followed by NGINX, and memory key/value data store Redis. Among NoSQL data stores, MongoDB is the most popular NoSQL DB for use with Docker.

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Hungry for more Docker stats? Check out this Docker Containers Trends and Forecast from Jelastic

5 Docker Trends in 2015

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