The scale of that change will be equivalent to the transformation wrought by the smartphone in the consumer-technology industry, he said. "It unlocks a whole class of new capabilities that previously were unimaginable."
Container vendors still have a challenge: clearing up the considerable confusion as a result of the many myths, vendors and variations on the technology that are out there.
"I think we're at peak confusion right now, and that's holding things back," Polvi said.
Container software, meanwhile, "is like version 1.0 of the iPod," he said. "It's going to get a lot better."
Vendors also need to do more to help enterprises understand what they can expect in terms of migration paths to containers, he added.
In the long run, though, containers are just part of the picture, Polvi stressed. Just as physical shipping containers are one small piece of the global economy, so software containers are a part of a larger topic.
"Containers are just an implementation," Polvi said. "The full story is how do we run a data center."
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