Analyzing VMWare, Docker, and Kubernetes Trends

We take a look at VMware, Docker, and Kubernetes Google Trends to understand the popularity according to Google and the direction we are going with each technology.

Analyzing VMWare, Docker, and Kubernetes Trends

Containers, Microservices, Serverless, Cloud, and DevOps are terms we read and hear about daily. Entire foundations and ecosystems have been built around the likes of Cloud Native and the trend continues to grow.

Do you remember a time before Cloud Native and containers? Pre 2013 we were living in the Monolithic world. Yes, we had things like Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) a precursor to Microservices, but we still had the same challenges about gluing services and technologies together which was a very painful experience.

Relying only on Google Trends is not an entirely accurate look at our ecosystem but the trend timelines and search queries are quite interesting. Also, what other opensource reliable data can we count since everything else has a blog, sponsor, or Gartner affiliation. We take a look at the trends for VMWare, Kubernetes and Docker. We start with VMWare as the technology launched us in the direction of containers and application isolation while sharing hosts.

What is Google Trends?

Before we take a look at the various trends let’s have a look how Google Trends computes the data.  Google Trends shows how frequent search terms are entered into Google Search. The search trends are then gauged on popularity over the time of the query. Data is available as far back as 2004, is normalized, and cleaned to provide as an accurate look as possible into the data.

VMware honestly was revolutionary. I remember first seeing a demo of VMware in 2001 which blew me away and catapulted me in the direction of running everything in a VM. Fast forward to 2013/2014. Docker started rising in popularity and VMware was top of their game. VMware helped lay the foundation for many people to easily move from VM’s to containers as we already understood the value of isolating operating systems with VM’s and now applications using containers.

Five years ago, back in 2014 VMware hit peak interest according in Google Trends. That means VMware the term and supporting terms were the most popular at this time. The interest since 2014 according to Google has gone down and to the right until….VMware acquired PKS and now the trend line seems to have stabilized for now. Now this is reading a lot between the lines, but it does match the timelines quite well and we see a couple up ticks in the trend around the time of the announcements. Not exact science but you get what you pay for.

My first reaction looking at this chart was “Oh no, VMware must be in trouble”. Quite the contrary. The Google Trend interest does not correlate with the VMware stock price (VMW)or profit as a company. Actually, the company is doing very well, and the stock price is almost opposite of the trend line for the same time period.

So why would we see VMWare lose interest over time? I believe it is related to their products have already saturated the enterprise, medium, and small business markets and these products have long life cycles. The product is stable, and the real trends will come from new products like PKS or AWS connector rather than existing workloads.

Six years ago, since Docker launched as a product. Docker has changed how we work and built an entirely new ecosystem that didn’t exist prior to 2013. Incredible to think how far we have come in such a short time.

You would think after 6 years we would see a similar trend line as VMware. That is absolutely not the case. Google Trends is measuring present as the peak interest of Docker. Which means we have yet to see peak Docker popularity.

New users are still discovering Docker as seen by a recent tweet from Docker Captain Julie Lerman and her remote presentation to Concatenate Conference in Africa. If you take a look at the Top Queries people are still Googling the basic Docker commands like container, install, run, and image. One search query that stood out for me in Rising Queries is `Docker Tensorflow` jammed between all the basic Docker commands.

Top Docker Queries

It is almost impossible today to mention Docker without following up with Kubernetes. Kubernetes started off in 2014 with a bang being released by Google and gaining instant popularity and traction.  Kubernetes has become so popular it now has one of the most popular conferences in Open Source, KubeCon and has an incredibly large community. With every vendor scrambling to take part of the Kubernetes gold rush we are seeing new Kubernetes distributions what seems like weekly.

However, if anyone remembers these days it was extremely painful to get up and running. Now all major Public Cloud providers offer a Managed Kubernetes and thankfully these hard times are behind us.

Kubernetes is also running at Peak Interest and we are still in uncharted territories like Docker about pushing peak interest forward.

What stands out is the Rising Related queries. A huge increase in popularity for slimmed down versions of Kubernetes like K3S and MicroK8s. I’m also seeing a rising interest from our customers to explore these slimmed down versions of Kubernetes. For small workloads, development, or Internet of Things this a great advancement. Amazon AWS is also the most searched Cloud related to Kubernetes.

Top Kubernetes Queries

Next, we compare Docker and Kubernetes trends. This may come as a surprise to many people but Docker as a search term is still more popular than Kubernetes. OK, OK down in the back and let me explain.

Not everyone needs to run Kubernetes. I know many people will argue this point but back to the Docker Trend we still see many people learning the basics of Docker and probably running containers locally or with docker-compose. This doesn’t mean one is better than the other. What it does mean is the ecosystem is still growing. Believe it or not developers are still discovering Docker only now which will most likely mean these new users will eventually become Kubernetes users further pushing the peak interest even further forward.

Where do we go from here

Now we see Docker is more popular than Kubernetes according to Google Trends. However, as mentioned this is no way an indication of what business are doing or the industry as a whole . These Trends only highlight what people are searching for. Docker and Kubernetes are still growing.

Exploring the trends over time the Trend has moved from different geographies around the world spiking in popularity at different times. We are still in frothing bubble phase and will continue moving forward for the forseeable future. Will Docker and Kubernetes be around in Five years? I belive so yes. If you ask Cloud Economist (What the hell is that?) Corey Quinn, he predicts Kubernets won't be around much longer in his latest interview.

Time will tell but for now keep learning DevOps and Container technologies until the next technology wave arrives.

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