As the container ecosystem matures, so are platform-as-a-service (PaaS) systems for deploying containers. Here’s an overview of several PaaS solutions that support Docker and CoreOS containers.
First, though, a quick note about what PaaS does. Essentially, it provides a one-stop solution for creating, testing and deploying applications. Different PaaSes (is that a word?) can run on bare-metal servers or in public or private clouds, depending on what a specific service supports.
They generally don’t include anything you couldn’t set up yourself with enough effort. But they save you the hassle of having to build your own DevOps infrastructure. They also provide flexibility by making it easy to add new frameworks to your workflow as needed, instead of being stuck with what you implement initially.
PaaS was originally designed as a solution for deploying cloud-based apps. But more systems are now supporting containers, too.
The fact that more platforms now feature solid support for containers is a sign that containers are ready for prime time. Container-friendly PaaS systems include:
- Deis. Pitched as a “lightweight PaaS,” Deis offers a simple workflow and takes full advantage of Docker containers to enable multiple development frameworks. It runs on top of CoreOS.
- Tsuru. This platform’s big value proposition is support for running any application written in any language or framework, as opposed to just the most popular ones. It also integrates with the big infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) providers including EC2 and Cloudstack for quick provisioning.
- OpenShift. Probably the biggest name at the moment, OpenShift is a Red Hat platform for DevOps workflows based on Docker containers and Kubernetes.
- Triton. According to Joyent, which develops this PaaS, the platform gives users the best of both the bare-metal and virtualized worlds. You can run containers on bare metal to get high performance while still leveraging container virtualization to assure scalability.
- Jelastic. Launched in 2011 as a PaaS for Java applications, this platform now has a heavy focus on containers, too (which is why it calls itself a CaaS, for containers as a service, although that’s an ambiguous acronym, so I shy away from it).
Is your favorite PaaS platform missing from the list? Feel free to note it below.