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GigaOm Sonar for Container Networkingv1.0

An Exploration of Cutting-Edge Solutions and Technologies

Table of Contents

  1. Executive Summary
  2. Overview
  3. Considerations for Adoption
  4. GigaOm Sonar
  5. Solution Insights
  6. Near-Term Roadmap
  7. Analyst’s Outlook
  8. Report Methodology
  9. About Andrew Green

1. Executive Summary

Container networking solutions provide lower-level (Layer 3 and 4) networking constructs that support communications within and between pods and clusters in a distributed application environment (container- or Kubernetes-based, for example). Enterprise-grade solutions in this category enable organizations to define network policies, routing, network security, observability, and analytics in complex applications, and they cater to the ephemerality of containerized environments.

In distributed environments, the network is part of the application and directly impacts service performance. Native container networking constructs available in Kubernetes and open source plugins enable organizations to start their containerization journey with relative ease and low upfront investment. However, organizations often miss the value-add of an enterprise-grade container networking solution and fully rely on open source networking components.

Without enterprise-grade mechanisms for scaling up, the network will eventually become a bottleneck, hindering service performance. The good news is that developers and network engineers are not locked into using only Kubernetes-native networking constructs and open source plugins.

Note: We are defining the key characteristics in the container networking Sonar report to be agnostic with respect to container runtimes and orchestration technologies. However, we will be using Docker and Kubernetes terminology to illustrate the concepts.

Managing networking at the container level gives organizations low-level control over security, performance, and observability. These solutions form a foundation for container security by handling segmentation, filtering, access controls, intrusion detection, and more. For distributed applications, container networking solutions support application performance by offering load balancing, observability, diagnostics, and troubleshooting. They also support application development by enabling multicluster, multicloud, and edge connectivity.

This is the first year that GigaOm has reported on the container networking space in the context of our Sonar reports.

This GigaOm Sonar provides an overview of the category’s vendors and their available offerings, outlines the key characteristics that prospective buyers should consider when evaluating solutions, and equips IT decision-makers with the information they need to select the best solution for their business and use case requirements.


This GigaOm report focuses on emerging technologies and market segments. It helps organizations of all sizes to understand a new technology, its strengths and its weaknesses, and how it can fit into the overall IT strategy. The report is organized into five sections:

  • Overview: An overview of the technology, its major benefits, and possible use cases, as well as an exploration of product implementations already available in the market.
  • Considerations for Adoption: An analysis of the potential risks and benefits of introducing products based on this technology in an enterprise IT scenario. We look at table stakes and key differentiating features, as well as considerations for how to integrate the new product into the existing environment.
  • GigaOm Sonar Chart: A graphical representation of the market and its most important players, focused on their value proposition and their roadmap for the future.
  • Vendor Insights: A breakdown of each vendor’s offering in the sector, scored across key characteristics for enterprise adoption.
  • Near-Term Roadmap: 12- to 18-month forecast of the future development of the technology, its ecosystem, and major players in this market segment.