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What is Containers-as-a-Service

· 2 min read

In this tutorial, we will explain what is a Containers-as-a-Service and its benefits to developer teams.

Introduction

A container is a package of software that includes all dependencies: code, runtime, configuration, and system libraries so that it can run on any host system. CaaS enables software teams to rapidly deploy and scale containerized applications to cloud infrastructures.

CaaS is essentially automated hosting, deployment and monitoring of containerized software packages. Without CaaS, software development teams need to deploy, manage, and monitor the underlying infrastructure that containers run on. This infrastructure is a collection of cloud or on-premise vms, bare-metal servers or instances, and network routing systems that requires dedicated DevOps resources to oversee and manage.

CaaS enables development teams to think at the higher order container level instead of mucking around with lower infrastructure management. This brings development teams better clarity to the end product and allows for more agile development and higher value delivered to the customer.

Benefits of CaaS

Containers and CaaS make it much easier to deploy and compose distributed systems or microservice architectures. At the difference of a monolithic application built as a single unified unit, a microservices architecture is a collection of smaller, independently deployable services.

During development, a set of containers can manage different responsibilities or different code language ecosystems. The promise of CaaS is that these defined and committed container architectures can be quickly deployed to cloud hosting.

Imagine a hypothetical software system that is organized in a microservice architecture, where the services system are structured by business domain ownership. The domains of the services might be: payments, authentication, and shopping cart. Each one of these services has its own code base and are containerized. Using CaaS, these service containers can be instantly deployed to a live system.

Deploying containerized applications to a CaaS platform enables transparency into the performance of a system through tools like log aggregation and monitoring. CaaS also includes built in functionality for auto scaling and orchestration management. It enables teams to rapidly build high visibility and high availability distributed systems. In addition, CaaS increases team development velocity by enabling rapid deployments. Using containers insures a consistent deployment target while CaaS can lower engineering operating costs by reducing the DevOps resources needed to manage a deployment.