Hear how our largest telecom customer tackled open-source challenges with Portworx. Register Now

What is CaaS in cloud computing?

CaaS, meaning Containers as a Service, is a kind of cloud service that focuses on containerized applications. It allows enterprises to outsource a container-based architecture at scale, including initiating, managing, and scaling container workloads.

Per the CaaS definition, these platforms are considered somewhere in the middle ground of container solutions. They offer more customization and automation capabilities than basic container engines but without the complexity of full orchestration solutions like Kubernetes.

A Containers as a Service platform provides tools for automating the deployment of containerized applications in multiple environments. Users can manage and configure containers as if they were in their own network environment.

CaaS is particularly well-suited for managing containers across hybrid networks with a mix of cloud and on premise infrastructures due to their code stack independence.

An important distinction to note is that Containers as a Service providers shouldn’t be confused with Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) solutions. Their main differences lie in the level of service they provide.

PaaS provides a more comprehensive set of tools beyond hardware and software. It also provides a development suite for application production, testing, and launch. Since CaaS only provides the container platform, it’s considered a lower-level service compared to PaaS.

IaaS, on the other hand, focuses on the hardware. It allows enterprises to outsource computing, storage, and network resources without having to invest in the infrastructure themselves. IaaS offers these assets “as is.” In contrast, CaaS has a layer of abstraction and automation while providing higher-level services like continuous integration / continuous deployment (CI/CD).

Thus, CaaS is the mid-level solution for enterprises that don’t need the full-blown tools of PaaS, but want more automation than IaaS.

Some popular CaaS cloud platforms include Google Container Engine (GKE), Amazon Fargate, Amazon Elastic Container Service (ECS), and Azure Container Instances (ACI).

The challenges with containers as a service

You are architecting a Kubernetes-based Container as a Service (CaaS) platform to enable your developers to build and update enterprise applications faster. But most apps can’t run on Kubernetes alone because Kubernetes requires a container-native storage and data management solution to address the top barriers preventing wider Kubernetes adoption: Persistent Storage, Automated Operations, Data Mobility, Backup and Disaster Recovery, and Data Security

Many Apps

Each data service has its own operational practices, but hiring specialists or buying support agreements for each is prohibitively expensive.

Many Environments

Containers solve the infrastructure differences between clouds and on premise data centers for compute, but don’t address the challenges of running stateful apps in different environments.

Uncontrolled Self-service

Developers want self-service, but you can’t risk giving up control of corporate policies like security, data retention, backups, and more.

Enterprise Requirements

Inability to meet enterprise requirements for security, backup, disaster recovery, performance, and compliance prevents apps running on Kubernetes.

Reliability and Scale

Most Kubernetes storage solutions appear to work during POCs and at small scale, but fail to meet your actual business demands in production.

The benefits of using containers

Of course, the decision of whether to adopt CaaS into your systems starts with one question – why use containers at all?

If you’re running or plan to migrate your system to the cloud, containers are the best approach to take. That’s because containers make applications portable.

A containerized application has everything it needs to run anywhere, regardless of its environment. This independence from the underlying operating system gives container applications tremendous flexibility. That means you can easily move applications between cloud and on-site environments.

Flexibility also affords you speed in deployment. Developers, for example, can shift applications from production to testing to deployment environments rapidly and without worrying about technical implementations.

Gone are the days when installing an app on the testing server would introduce delays in development. Once a container application is deployed, it will work instantly.

Containers also provide powerful scalability. You can easily expand your operations horizontally by adding new container instances to handle peak demand. Conversely, you can scale down during lean seasons to save resources. This scaling flexibility allows you to use your resources much more efficiently.

Using containers also helps you save costs. Especially with cloud services like CaaS, you don’t need to invest upfront in equipment and infrastructure when you want to scale. You simply add new containers as required. Due to their lack of an operating system, containers also consume fewer computing resources than virtual machines.

Finally, security is a huge benefit of container infrastructures. Since applications exist as individual containers, they’re isolated from the rest of the system. A breach on one container won’t affect everyone else, which can help localize the damage.

In a nutshell, containers give your enterprises the agility needed to survive in today’s competitive environments.

The Portworx Solution

Designed specifically for cloud native applications, Portworx delivers the performance, reliability, and security you require from traditional enterprise storage but built from the ground up for Kubernetes.

Run All Stateful Apps

You don’t have to be an expert in each data service, because our app-specific capabilities automate deployments, snapshots, backups, and more.

Run On All Infrastructures

Portworx aggregates your underlying storage in the cloud (AWS EBS, Google PD, etc) or on premise (bare metal, NetApp, EMC, vSAN, etc) and turns it into a container-native storage fabric.


Portworx delivers near bare metal performance while offering optional hyper-convergence of Pods and data volumes for super fast data locality, even in the case of Node failures.

Automated Day 2 Operations

Accelerate adoption and automation of Day 2 operations with PX-Autopilot without needing extra staff. Increase reliability and cut your storage costs in half at the same time.

Disaster Recovery

Achieve RPO Zero DR for your apps and data with container and namespace-granular disaster recovery.

Data Security

Run even sensitive apps on Kubernetes with Portworx’s built in encryption, BYOK, and role-based access controls for your mission-critical data.

Origami Background image