The Journey From PaaS To CaaS With Docker & Co

  • 10/13/14 6:49 AM
  • Arash Kaffamanesh

I'm evaluating different PaaS solutions since more than 4 years now, began my journey with AppScale on top of Eucalyptus and Stackato on top of CloudStack, followed by Cloud Foundry (CF) and OpenShift on top of OpenStack. And now with the rise of Apache Mesos, Atomic Hosts, Kubernetes, Fig, Fleet, Clocker, CoreOS, Deis, Flynn, Panamax and Co., which are integrating and leveraging Docker's capabilities in different ways, we might ask ourselves if there is still a need to think about Macro PaaSes like Cloud Foundry / Stackato or OpenShift?

Is the term PaaS and its definition still valid? What about IaaS? Do I need to deal with IaaS anymore to build my private cloud, or would it not be better to leverage Kubernetes, Mesos or OpenStack to build our own "Containers as a Service"?

Is the term "Containers as a Service" the same as "Platform as a Service"? What about hypervisors and virtaulization? Do I need to deal with ESX, Hyper-V, KVM or Xen and pay for the related overhead of them anymore? Or do we need to combine them in an intelligent way with linux containers and the power of Docker with its agile runtime and application-centric packaging model to provide the true "Containers as a Service" to our organization and customers?

Well, these are tons of questions and the intelligent answer to it might be "it depends" on our specific use cases and the flavor of our customers. Different customers have different businesses with different needs and in our ever changing world they need to establish a new way of thinking through openness to deal with these changes as fast as possible.

In these days Macro PaaS offerings such as CF and OpenShift are announcing support to integrate the Docker Engine and its packaging model together with some kind of Kunbernetes support to manage container managed applications and services with some additional added value services such as auto-scaling, service discovery and more.

But the question still is, do I need such heavy and monstrous systems, which are difficult to deploy, configure and operate to provide lightweight applications and micro services packaged in containers to my end users?

So the answer might be again "it depends", if you have enough time and money and would like to make your CIO happy through selling him such monstrous and over-hyped solutions as a PaaS, then you might be on the right road, unless think about building your own CaaS with Docker & Co.

But for now since "it depends" on your use case, have a look on Deis, or run OpenStack with Nova Docker Driver or dive into Kubernetes and Mesos, and decide which of them are a mach made in heaven for you or your customers.


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