You remember the story of Goldilocks. The little girl runs out of the forest and stumbles into the home of the three bears. She tastes the first bowl of porridge and it’s too hot. Then, she samples the second bowl, but it’s too cold. Finally, she tries the third bowl. "Ahhh, this porridge is just right," she says.
Brandon Hale – Product Manger, Advanced Networking – and I were recently reminded of this tale when visiting one of our large technology customers who is going through a shift in mindset, a digital transformation of sorts. They’re striving for virtualization and agility through Container as a Service (CaaS) – one like Azure Container Service – and they’re visualizing their applications running in units instead of servers.
For this company, Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) – been there, done that. In this model, their developers wrote the code to use in the software, but someone had to take the code and run it. This takes more time, people, and investment whether you automate or not.
Then they utilized Platform as a Service (PaaS), which allows developers to do what they do best – writing great code. While the PaaS workflow is ideal for agile development teams, there are limitations. PaaS is optimized for a specific set of languages and frameworks. So if you write code in Java for one part of an application, all code must be written in Java. What happens if you ever want to do something different?
As we spoke to the leaders at this tech company, it became evident that they are now finding that “just right” feeling from using CaaS. They’re building applications and delivering services by way of containers in the hopes of being more agile and efficient.
CaaS allows you to package all your applications in a neat little bundle. It doesn’t matter what’s inside the container or what language developers use. There’s no middle man needed to run the code. CaaS ultimately has some of the benefits of PaaS, but with fewer restrictions.
Containerization, ACM Queue says, transforms the datacenter from being machine oriented to application oriented.
“Because well-designed containers and container images are scoped to a single application, managing containers means managing applications rather than machines. This shift of management APIs from machine-oriented to application-oriented dramatically improves application deployment and introspection,” the authors write.
Here are four reasons why we think CaaS is “just right:”
- Agility – with CaaS, you can leverage the infrastructure you have, making sure it is efficiently used.
- Optimization – You can leverage assets like power and other resources to reduce CapEx.
- Operational Simplicity – You just need to make sure the application is running; there’s no need to look under the hood. Containerization means applications are hermetically sealed, and it’s what the developer wanted to run. Most importantly, it’s self-healing. It requires much less human interaction, leading to reduced OpEx.
- Portability – If you build hermetic container images in Azure, you can run the same images in your datacenter. You’re not locked in.
We’ve heard from another customer recently who is in the process of switching from PaaS to CaaS so he can cut costs and offer quicker deployment of applications. And he’s got the insight and assurance he needs from SevOne to make sure his infrastructure is functioning the same prior, during and after the move because he has a baseline of normal behavior.
Ultimately, he’s reducing his risk. This is what business transformation looks like. And this is what the digital transformation is all about.