The Container as a Service represents the last frontier of Cloud services, offering cutting-edge hosting platforms that revolutionize the concept of virtualization. Exploiting container technology allows applications to work successfully in any environment, optimizing scalability and increasing the services offered. How does this service work specifically? What are the main features? Let’s see every detail in this article.
What Is a Container As A Service?
Container as a Service (CaaS) is a Cloud Computing service provided by unique platforms that manage containers on a large scale. It allows you to virtualize a container through a resizable online service, avoiding users relying on an infrastructure. With this model, software developers and IT departments can load, organize, run, scale, manage and shut down containers using virtualization and leveraging the frameworks offered by providers. Providers typically use an application programming interface ( API ) or a web portal interface.
CaaS container platforms can be considered a middle ground between software platforms such as Docker, which allows you to manage individual containers without orchestration capabilities, and full-featured orchestrators such as Kubernetes, which provides powerful cluster management capabilities but is complex to configure and maintain. Major Container as Service providers include Google, Amazon Web Services (AWS), IBM, Amazon Elastic Container Service (ECS), Amazon Fargate, Azure Container Instances (ACI), Rackspace, and Joyent. The difference between the various types of offerings lies in the orchestration platform, which varies from Google Kubernetes to Docker Swarm, DC / OS, OpenShift, or others.
The Critical Role Of Containers
To fully understand CaaS technology, it is therefore essential to clearly understand the container concept. A container is a software environment where processes and applications are isolated from virtualizing only the user space and not the actual hardware. The very name container indicates a sort of Container that groups and isolates software code and all its necessary components – such as libraries, frameworks, and other dependencies. It is a technology that comes from virtualization.
It represents an excellent solution to create a limited execution context, fast, easy to use, and with a high level of abstraction, avoiding having to rely on an entire machine. It can be defined as a sort of virtualized server at an operational level and is highly portable and extremely adaptable with simple moves as needed. By leveraging a container-based approach, you create an easily portable environment that runs applications securely without worrying about the external environment. The software is independent of the hardware, and everything that supports the environment is not virtual but real and shared among all the running containers.
The Main Characteristics Of A CaaS
The Container as a Service offers features that greatly benefit the DevOps and IT teams. Thanks to this technology, you can benefit from the following:
- Business Flexibility: By managing the integration and distribution of all containerized applications, companies can deploy containers on multiple Clouds, freeing themselves from a single supplier. In this way, it is possible to select the Cloud service providers based on the criteria of interest, for example, by evaluating the service’s costs or quality.
- Portability: Workloads can be easily moved between Cloud, provider, and environments. This permits organizations more prominent control and productivity.
- Simplified Maintenance: Container monitoring takes place aggregated and centralized, favoring better performance visibility. CaaS providers also handle upgrades and maintenance tasks, leaving IT departments free to focus on other tasks that are more urgent for business goals.
- Unified Management: The DevOps team can monitor performance and manage orchestration from a single vendor.
- Scalability: CaaS platforms provide auto scaling features that allow you to adapt as demand grows or stabilizes quickly.
- Accelerated Deployment Speed: CaaS helps advancement groups smooth out programming improvement cycles. By abstracting the underlying Infrastructure, the DevOps team can develop lighter and faster implementations.
- Reduced costs: The company pays only for the services used, such as load balancing, scheduling, and computer instances. Customers can also reduce Infrastructure, software licenses, and operating costs.
CaaS is not the only model available: several Cloud services have specific advantages and features.
Cloud Computing Services: Not Just CaaS Cloud
Concerning Cloud Computing, Container as a Service is not the only service available to companies. There are, in fact, several models that differ according to the technological levels on which IT systems and architectures are developed. Here are the main ones:
Iaas – Infrastructure As A Service
the provider – a Public Cloud provider or the company that provides Private Cloud services – offers customers/users infrastructure resources to install and manage their platforms and applications independently. The entire Infrastructure consists of physical servers and storage systems on a remote data center managed via virtualization. Usually, we rely on an external company, and it is possible to administer all the data without purchasing the necessary hardware in the case of local management.
Paas – Platform As A Service
The provider offers the customer/user optimized and preconfigured middleware platforms for developing, testing, and delivering their applications in the Cloud. These Cloud Computing services provide an environment on demand and are easily accessible via the Web without worrying about the configuration or management of the underlying technological Infrastructure. PaaS allows SaaS users to develop add-ons and independent web applications, reuse other services, and develop by collaborating as a team.
Saas – Software As A Service
The provider offers ready-to-use applications managed on a Cloud infrastructure without the user noticing. Saas, therefore, hosts and manages the software applications and the underlying technological Infrastructure (including maintenance activities, software updates, and the application of security patches) while users use the application solution, constantly updated, by simply accessing it via the Web.
Thus offered online services rather than software packages that individual customers can purchase. You can request monthly subscriptions per user or can be billed for use, which is much cheaper than owning and maintaining the software locally. Analyzing these Cloud services, it can be said that CaaS offers more functionality than Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) but has less functionality than most Platform as a Service (PaaS) offerings. CaaS is most commonly deployed in an IaaS model (so much so that it is defined as a subset of IaaS). Its primary resource unit is containers, not virtual machines (VMs) or bare metal servers.
When To Choose A Container As A Service
Why should companies rely on Containers as a Service technology? CaaS is a resource-rich service model that allows software development teams and IT departments to explore new horizons while ceasing to perform specific tasks. Before CaaS became an option, software development included infrastructure management as part of the marketing process.
DevOps teams had to pay attention to the underlying Infrastructure on which the containers were running, supervising the Cloud machines and managing the network routing systems. The advent of CaaS has relieved departments of such tasks, saving the IT team the time used to build and test the container infrastructure. In this way, energy can be invested in other objectives, exploiting the functionalities of Container as a Service to outline new solutions capable of satisfying customer needs.