Containers-as-a-Service (CaaS) is a cloud service that helps manage and deploy apps using container-based abstraction. CaaS can be deployed on-premises or in a cloud.
The provider offers the framework, or the orchestration platform, on which the containers are deployed and managed, and it’s through this orchestration that key IT functions are automated.
CaaS is especially useful to developers in building containerized apps that are more secure and also scalable. Users can buy only the resources they want (scheduling capabilities, load balancing, etc.), saving money and increasing efficiency.
Containers create consistent environments to rapidly develop and deliver cloud-native applications that can run anywhere.
Why use containers
In the range of cloud computing services, CaaS is considered a kind of subset of Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) and is found between IaaS and Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS).
The basic resources of CaaS are containers, which are a popular deployment mechanism for cloud-native apps and microservices. CaaS also increases portability between environments, whether hybrid or multicloud.
Using containers has many benefits:
- Portability: Apps developed in containers have everything they need to run and can be deployed in multiple environments, including private and public clouds. Portability means flexibility because you can more easily move workloads between environments and providers.
- Scalability: Containers have the ability to scale horizontally, meaning a user can multiply identical containers within the same cluster to expand when needed. By using and running only what you need when you need it, you can reduce costs dramatically.
- Efficiency: Containers require fewer resources than virtual machines (VMs) since they don’t need a separate operating system. You can run several containers on a single server and they require less bare-metal hardware, which means lower costs.
- Increased security: Containers are isolated from each other, which means if one container is compromised, others won’t be affected.
- Speed: Because of their autonomy from the operating system, starting and stopping a container is a matter of seconds. This also allows for faster development and operational speed, as well as a faster, smoother user experience.
Things to consider when choosing a CaaS provider
Enterprises looking to deploy a container service for their business can either choose to buy a platform and manage the containers on it themselves, or they can choose a provider-managed container solution—such as Google Cloud Platform, Amazon Web Services (AWS), IBM Cloud, or Microsoft Azure. Thanks to the flexible nature of containers, neither of these options means a user is locked in.
Here are a few things to keep in mind as you make a decision about CaaS:
- Are you newer to containers or already an established container-based enterprise? A managed container platform option might be best for those new to containers as it lets you try things out and see what you’re comfortable handling on your own.
- Should you choose a public cloud or on-site deployment?
- Is your IT department trained and equipped to manage a container platform?
- How big is your budget and what kind of growth do you foresee?
Container orchestration with Kubernetes
Kubernetes is an open-source platform for Linux container orchestration, originally developed by engineers at Google. It’s used to automate app development, management, and scaling by grouping together containers running on Linux hosts into clusters and automating their management. Much of the manual processes involved in deploying and scaling containerized apps is handled for you, behind the scenes.
Kubernetes can give you the orchestration and container management capabilities required to deploy containers at scale across multiple server hosts with multiple layers of security, while managing the health of those containers over time.
Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform
Red Hat® OpenShift® is an enterprise-grade, open source container platform operating containers at scale without sacrificing app uptime. It makes container orchestration easier by helping you load-balance apps behind a router, use traffic metrics to automatically scale apps up and down, and provide resources to build your container images.
With Red Hat OpenShift, your developers can make new containerized apps, host them, and deploy them in the cloud with the scalability, control, and orchestration. It’s cloud agnostic and supported on all the major cloud providers, allowing workload migration between public and private clouds and datacenters.
And to simplify buying and managing enterprise software, Red Hat Marketplace offers automated deployment of certified software on any Red Hat OpenShift cluster.
Best of all, it’s supported and developed by the #1 leader in open source, Red Hat.