PaaS (platform as a service)—not to be confused with SaaS (software as a service)—is a set of cloud services used to build and manage modern applications and data either on-premises or in the cloud. PaaS delivers infrastructure and middleware components in the cloud that enable developers and IT administrators to build and manage mobile apps and web applications.
To aid productivity, PaaS offers ready-to-use programming language components that enable the development of new capabilities within applications. These capabilities include innovative technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), chatbots, blockchain, and the Internet of Things (IoT). In addition, PaaS also includes suites of application development tools, including cloud native services, Kubernetes, Docker and container engines, and more.
In addition to developer support, PaaS provides features and tools such as big data analytics, content management, database and data management, systems management, and cloud security for analysts, end users, and professional IT administrators.
For enterprises, PaaS comes with the fundamental benefits of cloud computing, including transparent pricing, turnkey provisioning, on-demand scalability, disaster recovery, and intuitive dashboards for easier management. As a result, businesses can
Until the advent of PaaS, IT often had to manage individually licensed products. This meant having an individual process for any number of actions, including product evaluation, purchasing, integration, deployment, patching, upgrading, and so on. Frequently these products were sourced from multiple vendors, each with a unique approach to licensing, logistics, and security, making management increasingly complex and often resulting in gaps that created risk.
As the marketplace matured, so did the abundance of middleware components. In response, providers attempted to simplify with preintegrated middleware suites. However, for organizations that didn’t standardize on a single-vendor platform, cross-vendor management and integration remained a burden, with both developers and DevOps groups bearing the ongoing responsibility of managing this complexity.
For enterprises, one of the most important production workload requirements is predictable and consistent performance to ensure business continuity. This requirement is backed by explicit commitments to service-level agreements.
To be truly effective, both the PaaS and information-as-a-service (IaaS) layers must work together. Good examples of technology capabilities that support consistent performance include scalability and fault tolerance without a required system shutdown and restart.
Most IT decisions are justified using three principles—efficiency, effectiveness, and risk reduction. PaaS solutions deliver on each of these principles in a variety of ways, including the following:
In evaluating PaaS solutions, it’s vital to consider how your organization will evolve over time. Technology is rapidly changing, so employing solutions that offer maximum flexibility puts your enterprise at an advantage. To get the most out of PaaS as your strategy evolves, consider workload and development options that
Many organizations face growing pressure to accelerate innovation while reducing IT costs. With PaaS, developers and IT professionals can develop and deploy business applications without the hurdles associated with procuring, deploying, running, and managing infrastructure. The result is often an environment capable of instant self-service access to both application development and deployment.
In turn, this means that PaaS provides businesses with the speed and flexibility to drive numerous benefits, including
PaaS also offers subscription-based pricing, which ultimately keeps costs predictable and manageable.
As PaaS solutions evolve, they’ll continue to offer innovation while simplifying resource and application management, enabling enterprises to reap the continued benefits of fewer administrative tasks and less complexity across the entire deployment and management process. From installation, setup, and configuration to management, maintenance, and auditing, PaaS solutions will keep expanding and refining their capabilities. Some of the ways PaaS solutions will achieve this include
With the benefits of PaaS continuing to grow, the time for enterprises and IT staff to get on board is now. Organizations of all sizes can reap the many current benefits while building the foundation for future evolution:
There are many PaaS use cases and configurations. In some cases, developers assemble solutions from components, and in others, the solution is simply provisioned and ready to use. These are some of the most popular use cases in the industry today.
Connecting and extending your applications
Supporting modern application development
Supporting migration of workloads to the cloud
Supporting business analytics
Supporting modern security and compliance