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Kubernetes: Containers as a Service, foundation for Next Generation PaaS

In this Feb 2017 blog Kubernetes describe how Containers as a Service (CaaS) is the foundation for Next Generation PaaS.

Containers as a Service

This highlights how the container technology trend has also innovations in service delivery models too, most notably 'Containers as a Service' (CaaS).

For example Docker launched a CaaS tailored for the enterprise market in Feb 2016. ClearDATA launched one tailored for Healthcare. iLand's Richard Stinton describes how a recipe for implementing CaaS on VMware Admiral and Photon OS.

Shoulders upon shoulders - SaaS Venture Platform

The essential points that Kubernetes make about this ongoing evolution are highlighted when we consider them through the eyes and goals of a SaaS Entrepreneur.

They suggest the layer of CaaS isn't an alternative to an Enterprise PaaS but rather an underlying enabler of it. They separate out the tools automation function of a PaaS scenario, that would be the part of most personal interest to software developers and specific to their needs, from the common enterprise computing functions a PaaS also encompasses, most notably what containers address.

Brendan Burns, Partner Architect, at Microsoft & Kubernetes co-founder suggests a 'layers upon layers' approach instead, where you can stand upon the shoulders of giants, who themselves are standing on the shoulders of giants, Ie. Containers exploit the first wave of IaaS computing, and further layers can then exploit them, through Containers as a Service, such as Enterprise PaaS or in this case SaaS.

Nirmata demonstrate the principle in practical action - In their own in-house SaaS scenario they decribe operationalizing a SaaS framework via core Netflix OSS Microservices building blocks, implemented through Docker containers.

In this VentureBeat article Peter Yared, CTO of Sapho, also explores the CaaS scenario as a SaaS accelerator, via defining it as a "hybrid SaaS" capability that delivers subscription-based software via a SaaS-like model, but it is deployed on-premise to the client via containers.

This type of breakthrough can open the door for a variety of innovative new as-a-service models, especially for Telcos in key areas like NFVaaS.

SaaS Containerization on AWS

For example this would correspond with Slide 17 from the AWS Alliance Director, presenting on Building and Growing SaaS on AWS.

This presentation shows three possible SaaS options:

  1. Isolated customer stacks - Independent AWS resources per customer.
  2. Pure SaaS shared architecture - On-demand resource utilization with shared infrastructure, top to bottom.
  3. Containerization on shared platform - Provide "slices" of AWS with Amazon EC2 Container Service and Docker.

So this 3) option for SaaS would correspond with the CaaS trend.

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