The Containers as a Service platform (CAAS), has attracted a lot of attention from developers who are looking to build applications components and the Operations team that manages the infrastructure. It is best suited to multi-cloud environments and is highly recommended for developers. CAAS has helped to eliminate conflicts between the Operations team and developers, indirectly bringing them closer.
Let’s first understand what a container looks like. Then, let’s look at the benefits and use cases of CAAS.
What is a container?
According to Docker, a container can be described as a standard unit of software that bundles code and all its dependencies so that the application runs reliably and quickly from one computing environment to the next.
Containers use Operating System Virtualization (OSV) where OS features such as Kernel, Namespaces and others have been leveraged to segregate and control the CPU, memory and disks that the methods have.
Containers have seen a significant improvement in efficiency. They allow you to quickly deploy applications and make micro-services-based apps. Containerization allows us to release applications faster and is portable because it can be used in both on-premise or multi-cloud environments. It also reduces infrastructure and operating cost.
Containers as a Service
Containers as a service is a subscription-based model that allows us manage, ship, and run containers and applications from anywhere. This service can be used on-premises or in cloud environments.
The orchestration platform used by CAAS providers will allow them to manage infrastructure, develop and maintain containerized applications using Application Programming Interfaces (API) or Web Portal Interfaces. These are some of the most popular orchestration technologies for CAAS:
Red Hat Open shift
Google Kubernetes Engine (GCP)
Elastic Kubernetes Service (AWS)
Azure Kubernetes Service (Azure)
The following diagram shows how a typical CAAS workflow looks:
CAAS falls somewhere between infrastructure as a Service and Platform as a Service, but is mostly considered a subset IaaS. CAAS uses containers rather than Virtual Machines and bare metal host system, which are used for IaaS.
Many organizations and enterprises adopt CAAS to speed up the software development process and deploy cloud-native applications at scale.
These are the benefits of using CAAS Solutions:
Containers contain everything the application needs, including configuration files and dependencies. Containers enable us to launch our applications reliably in different environments. They also allow us to switch to other providers or environments.
Containers run on a shared OS. It takes very little time to start the application and it takes less space, usually in the Megabyte range.
Because the containers are isolated form the underlying infrastructure, any damage to one container will not affect the rest of the components, providing excellent security.
Provisioning CaaS resources takes only a few steps. The process can be run or deployed in seconds.
You can scale the containers horizontally based on the workloads. Provisioning can also be automated.
Before CAAS, we used to run our applications on a number of VMs. This led to high costs and unscheduled downtimes. CAAS has allowed us to move our applications to containers. By breaking them into microservices, we were able to reduce storage costs and downtime. It allowed us to scale the service running container based on increased load, rather than scaling the entire application. It is easy to monitor the containers for various factors, such as CPU utilization and storage, and only a few steps are required to integrate with external monitoring.