Containers are software packages that contain all the elements necessary for an application to run away from its original environment. CaaS is the practice of providing containers to developers.
Containers are central to agile development and DevOps environments. A container compiles your application code along with other elements like specific versions of a programming language and libraries into a lightweight package. You can abstract an application from its original environment and run it in any environment – on a public cloud, a developer’s laptop, or on a private datacenter – with the help of containers. It is like a virtual machine that works on an operating system-level.
Container as a Service or CaaS
CaaS is a cloud-based service that allows you to manage, deploy, and abstract containers. It involves assistance in terms of uploading the containers, organizing them and stopping them. A CaaS helps IT departments scale up their container usage and optimize its security.
What is containerization?
Containerization is the process of packaging an application’s code along with all the components required to run it into a portable unit. The basic utility of containers is that they allow you to run an application anywhere without spending time or resources on adaptation to a new environment. There are other reasons why containers are necessary.
Containerization segregates the responsibilities of developers and IT teams. It allows developers to focus on application logic and dependencies, while deployment and management is taken care of by the IT departments.
Containers can run on a wide range of operating systems making it very useful for developers working across systems.
Containers virtualize CPU, memory, and storage at a operating system-leve unlike virtual machines that virtualize operating systems on a hardware level.
Overall, containers provide a logical mechanism of packaging applications so that they can be abstracted from their original environment and run virtually anywhere.
What are the benefits of containerization?
The speed of development would not be what it is today had it not been for containers. Not only does it improve agility in terms of development, it also makes it easier to fix bugs and secure code. The following are some key benefits of using containers.
By using containers for abstracting their applications developer get rid of the concerns regarding environments. Since containers allow developers to package the elements required to run an application along with the code, the applications can run anywhere without much in the way of optimization.
Containers are lightweight packages thet minimize the usage of computational resources like CPU, memory, and storage. It allows you to run applications more efficiently without exhausting the resources or stressing the servers.
You can run a container anywhere – a public cloud, a personal computer, a privated data center, and a range of operating system. There are no dependencies on languages or framework.
Container are isolated units. So, even if one container is infected with malware, it cannot infect the other containers or the host operating system. This also makes it easier to locate the security issues and resolve it faster.
How are containers different from virtual machines?
A virtual machine is a guest operating system that runs on top of the host operating system while accessing the hardware underneath. Like containers, they are also software packages that run on a system. But the similarities end there.
- Containers are way lighter than virtual machines
- Virtual machines virtualize the hardware while containers virualize at the OS level
- Containers use only a fraction of the memory occupied by virtual machines by using the OS kernel.
Reasons why you should use a container as a service
Speed and infrastructure are two keywords when it comes to explaining the utility of CaaS for software development teams. When you have a service provider that helps you containerize your application and upload them at scale, you can focus on the more important things.
CaaS comes under the infrastructure as a service wing of cloud services and it has been a raging success. It takes away your concerns about the infrastructure required to produce containers at scale. Developers achieve the true potential of working in a DevOps environment.
Security is another area where container as a service providers can provide a lot of assistance. Containerization of data reduces the risk of infection but it does not eradicate the risk altogether. Since CaaS providers standardize their security practices, you can reap the benefits.
Containerization is a key process for agile development and secure launch and testing of applications. It increases the portability of applications and the efficiency of developers. Moreover, containers takes the concerns about software versions and environments off the IT department’s plate. Add to that the security aspect and you have a perfect tool for agile development cultures.