Containers-as-a-service (CaaS) is a cloud-based service that lets software developers and IT teams upload, organize, run, scale, and manage containers using container-based virtualization. As a cloud-based service, a user can access and operate a CaaS solution even if he or she is not in the same location physically. A container, in this case, is a software package that comes with all the necessary components—code, runtime, configuration, and system libraries—so it can run on any host system.
It works a lot like platform-as-a-service (PaaS), except for the fact that CaaS uses containers.
Other interesting terms…
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Without CaaS, software teams need to operate every component of the infrastructure an application runs on separately. With it, though, they do not have to worry about misconfiguring a part of the setup and causing the entire program to crash.
In DevOps, which is the set of practices that combines software development (Dev) and IT operations (Ops) to shorten the systems development life cycle and provide continuous delivery with high software quality, CaaS allows teams to think more about the end product instead of the components that make it up.
Benefits of Containers-as-a-Service
The global CaaS market value is expected to reach US$5.56 billion by 2023, led by vendors that include Apcera (U.S.), VMware, Inc. (U.S.), Amazon Web Services (U.S.), Docker (U.S.), Google, Inc. (U.S.), International Business Machines Corporation (U.S.), Microsoft Corporation (U.S.), Kontena (Finland), Cloud 66 (U.K.), and CoScale (Belgium).
Today, many companies use CaaS daily due to the benefits it offers below.
Containers-as-a-Service Is Portable
Creating a program in a container gives it everything it needs to function correctly. Users can thus launch the application regardless of the environment (e.g., operating system [OS], the public or private cloud, etc.). That provides flexibility to speed up the development process even if the developer switches providers or environments.
Containers-as-a-Service Is Efficient and Cuts Down Costs
Containers are often compared to virtual machines (VMs), which emulate specific systems to work just like them. Unlike VMs, containers do not need a separate OS and so require fewer resources. As a result, you can run several containers on a single server, but that same server can only be used by one VM, saving users data center and other costs.
In addition, containers do not interact with others even if they run on the same server and share the same resources. That said, even if an application crashes in one container, the other containers can continue using it without any problem.
Containers-as-a-Service Gives More Security
Since containers are isolated from others, the security risks that one faces will not affect the other containers. The threat that compromises one container does not spread to the others as well.
Patching and updating also go faster since these happen in isolated containers. If problems arise in a container, the rest of the infrastructure will not get affected.
Containers-as-a-Service Allows for More Streamlined Development
CaaS lets applications work separately from their hosts. That means they are not dependent on their hosts and run on their own. Any inconsistency between the program and the other software on the same computer or server disappears, making testing and debugging easier.
Containers-as-a-Service Makes Scaling Easier
Since you put several containers in a server, you can quickly scale up or down, running only the containers you need at one time. That can reduce costs significantly and boost returns on investment (RoIs).
Now that you have an idea of what CaaS is, how it works, and how it benefits users, you may start using it, especially if you are in software development or creating your own programs.