IoT & Embedded Technology Blog

Linux Leading Containers Into the IoT Market

by Robert Shapiro | 12/09/2020

The development of containers largely originated from Linux-based operating systems (OSs), making Linux the essential groundwork for the vast majority of modern container deployments, including Docker containers and those orchestrated through Kubernetes. Canonical’s LXD Containers exemplify this early development of containers for Linux OSs, initially released in 2016. The close relationship between Linux operating systems and containers in edge & IoT/embedded systems places IoT/embedded vendors of containers and Linux OSs in an advantageous position to capitalize on the burgeoning growth of containers in the IoT marketplace. This correlation between containers and Linux OSs will be particularly important going forward as engineers and developers using Linux OSs expect to use containers or other virtualization solutions significantly more on their future projects than those using other types of OSs, as shown by VDC’s most recent survey data below.

Expectation of Virtualization/Hypervisor/Containers in Embedded Software Stack on a Project Three Years From Now

Red Hat is another supplier who benefits from providing a Linux-based OS, RHEL, in addition to containers. Its well-established OpenShift Container Platform will face growing competition as more Linux vendors enter the container marketplace, including Mentor Graphics and SUSE, who acquired Rancher Labs in 2020. Vendors who utilize this synergy between containers and Linux OSs will be key players to watch as containers spread across the IoT/embedded market.

VDC’s report on “Containers & Virtualization Solutions for Edge & Embedded Systems Report 2019 to 2024” provides more detail on which vertical markets lead Linux usage, which markets will grow the fastest for containers, and where these trends coincide for the best areas to target with container solutions. The report segments the marketplace for containers, as well as hypervisors, by vertical market, geographic region, and leading vendors. It also includes an analysis of VDC’s end user data, the influence of the pandemic on both markets, and the rise of Kubernetes.

To learn more, download the Containers & Virtualization Solutions for Edge & Embedded Systems Executive Brief.