The latest State of the Cloud report shows CaaS is now the second platform-as-a-service offering used by cloud-based businesses, just behind Database-as-a-Service. Containers are known for the flexibility they provide in application development and deployment, especially when it comes to moving application workloads between different clouds, between clouds and on-premises systems, or even to 'from one on-site system to another. However, the efficient construction of a complex containerized environment still requires skill and experience. This is where Containers-as-a-Service (CaaS) comes in, a variant of Platform-as-a-service (PaaS) that has been around for a few years and which has recently been adopted in a significant way to accelerate the adoption of containers.
Is CaaS just another “as-a-service” term used by sellers to confuse the market and wrap their offerings into a whole? Or is there something else? The data suggest that CaaS may serve a fair purpose. The latest survey of 750 IT managers as part of Flexera's " 2020 State of the Cloud Report " reveals that a majority of cloud enthusiasts, 53%, also use CaaS, which is booming because containers are becoming an integral part of business development and operating environments.
CaaS is now the second platform-as-a-service offering used by cloud-based businesses, down from sixth place in last year's survey. Database as service tops the list this year with 62%. "Organizations are driving this change due to their growing interest in using containers to accelerate deployment, expand operations, and increase the competence of cloud workloads.", specifically the authors of the survey.
The use of Docker and Kubernetes is considerable In terms of fast-growing technologies, CaaS ranked second with 17% year-over-year growth, just behind IoT services at 21%. Another fast-growing category, machine learning, and artificial intelligence has also experienced annual growth of 17%.
Overall, the survey, conducted in the first quarter of 2020, finds increasing adoption of public and hybrid cloud solutions, with AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud taking significant market shares. In addition to their core offerings, many companies also choose CaaS offerings from these public cloud providers to improve and accelerate application delivery. AWS Elastic Container Service and Elastic Kubernetes Service have been widely adopted, with 54% users, up from 44% in last year's Flexera report. Azure Container Service adoption reached 46% (up from 28% last year), and Google Kubernetes Engine reached 24%, up from 15% last year.
The increased adoption of CaaS could help alleviate some of the technical expertise and migration challenges that containerization entails, say the authors of the Flexera survey. Lack of expertise is the main challenge for using containers, cited as a major problem by 41% of respondents. Migration from traditional applications to containers is the second challenge, cited by 34% of respondents as a major issue, as is security. More than a quarter, or 26%, even note that their service providers lack expertise in container technology. "The resource challenges can be attributed to the relatively recent adoption of container technology," underline the authors of the survey.
The migration of traditional applications to containers is problematic because containers are optimized for micro-services, while traditional applications are not. The use of Docker and Kubernetes continues to be significant, as the survey also shows. Almost two-thirds (65%) of organizations use Docker, and 14% plan to use it. 58% are using Kubernetes, a container orchestration tool that uses Docker, and 22% plan to use it.