Why is PaaS important?

PaaS is an evolutionary approach to delivering the middleware and database capacity needed to host applications. Many customers today have already implemented pieces of a PaaS solution. When fully implemented, PaaS delivers:

  • Rapid (near real time) capacity provisioning against physical servers.
  • Highly optimized application to server ratios and the ability to turn off spare capacity.
  • Cross-domain monitoring and proactive alerting.
  • Coarse or fine-grained metering facilities to establish usage parameters for PaaS tenants.

What are the overall benefits of PaaS?

One major benefit of PaaS is cost reduction. Organizations using PaaS techniques have reported operational savings of up to 50% compared to having individual project teams manage their own siloed technology stacks. The cost savings most commonly come from standardized and consolidated resources such as servers, as well as elimination of redundant work across teams.

Another key benefit of PaaS is agility. PaaS customers are able to more rapidly deploy environments for development, testing, and production. In some cases, the provisioning, configuration, and integration of a platform can take up the majority of an application production schedule. PaaS lets applications get into the hands of testers and end users nearly as fast as they can be developed. Also, when application workloads fluctuate, PaaS scales out and in to better match supply with demand.

What type of enterprises can most benefit from PaaS?

Most organizations will see the cost reduction and increase in agility once they start implementing PaaS solutions. Organizations that will benefit the most often have one or more of the following characteristics:

  • Application time to market is a key pressure for development teams. The ability to quickly move an application from concept to production should take as little time as possible.
  • Considerable over-provisioned infrastructure. Data center-consolidation efforts can be the catalyst to begin to adopt PaaS techniques.
  • Difficulty aligning application utilization with stakeholders. Across a large application portfolio, PaaS will provide better metrics support for usage and chargeback.
  • High operational costs. The net reduction of administrators for a set of applications has a measurable impact on the bottom line. PaaS is an attractive option when it is no longer cheaper to throw bodies at the problem.
  • High degree of custom craftsmanship per application environment. When the loss of a single administrator has catastrophic consequences for application maintenance, it may be time to consider PaaS. PaaS encourages repeatable, formalized processes for administration using centralized management tools.

The power of PaaS

From cloud computing discussions, you know that platform is the underlying force that turns bright enterprise ideas and prototypes into fully functional applications. It’s the platform that decodes all layers of complexity to rapidly build a new application or cost-effectively modernize an existing application.

A cloud platform offers front-end tooling with various frameworks and languages to tee up the application logic. It ties in data services such as relational databases, NoSQL databases, and big data or data lake house platforms to manage large volumes of data and ensures integration with other applications and systems through open source and proprietary tools and technologies.

The platform also makes the app intelligent by building analytics driven by AI and ML. When the entire power of the platform is offered as a fully managed and cohesive set of cloud services, it becomes platform as a service (PaaS).

PaaS drives business value

Reducing IT costs

Fewer database elements (servers, storage, network components) all mean reduced capital expenditures. Fewer elements also mean reduced operating expenditures because of the efficiencies gained in managing a consolidated database environment rather than a multitude of siloed systems, each with their own database.

Reducing complexity

Fewer database elements coupled with standardization of operating systems, servers, database versions, and configurations make for an easier to manage and more reliable environment.

Increasing IT agility

The heart of the PaaS database platform is a highly available and scalable environment. With this, database capacity can easily and quickly grow or shrink to accommodate varying workload volumes.

Improving quality of service

Previously siloed tier 2 and tier 3 databases with no failover or just cold failover can now gain availability by being deployed across a shared hardware and scalable database architecture. Where it might not have been financially justified in a siloed environment, a consolidated database environment extends its enhanced availability and security to the non-mission critical databases that are now consolidated to run on that PaaS.

What is the role of a database for PaaS?

The role of a database in a PaaS cloud is where the significant value and efficiencies of cloud computing are born. The database is the key consolidation point where pooled resources and agility, two key aspects of the cloud, are derived.

Databases can become the critical consolidation point that drives business value for an organization. Consolidation can happen through either platform consolidation where multiple databases reside and share the server and storage resources, or database consolidation where different database schemas are combined into a single database running on a shared server or storage infrastructure.

What are some services that can be deployed on PaaS?

Once customers have built a PaaS platform to pool database and application deployment resources, there are additional, value-added, shared services that can be shared by multiple applications. These services are often required by multiple lines of businesses, span multiple business applications, and have high performance and availability requirements. Some more examples of these services include:

  • Shared services for storing and managing structured and unstructured content.
  • Shared centralized integration backbone services to integrate applications. The central integration platform can support several different types of integrations, including integration among applications deployed within an enterprise; integration with partner applications; and integration with applications deployed on external cloud.
  • Shared business process design and run time services, where business users can collaborate online to design and optimize business processes that span multiple groups. When complete, these processes would run on a central IT platform.

PaaS for SaaS

PaaS is a great opportunity to extend not only your SaaS solutions, but also your on-premises solutions. You can build applications on PaaS and then integrate them.

Java continues to be the standard of choice, even in the cloud. PaaS lets you use native Java for your cloud or mobile applications. There are also Java frameworks that enable you to get up and running faster, allowing you more time to concentrate on your product.

It doesn’t just end with development. With PaaS, companies can build their own applications in the cloud, and then license the final product to their customers as a SaaS solution through Oracle’s Marketplace. This allows partners to bring their innovation to the cloud ecosystem and run it within a cloud environment.

“PaaS 4 SaaS” enforces discipline. If you are extending SaaS and you want the extensions to be seamless, you need the same design and development principles that we used. SaaS solutions cannot be customized. That doesn’t mean they cannot be extended—you can do a lot of configuring and tailoring to make them meet your needs—but you cannot amend the code delivered.

Since companies traditionally customize on-premises applications, they have had to live with the difficulty of maintaining and upgrading these applications. The discipline enforced in the cloud is actually good practice for all our applications.

PaaS—Designed for the modern DevOps enterprise

The underlying force that enables businesses to extract even greater value from SaaS environments and on-premises applications are platform-as-a -service (PaaS) technologies. Much like Oracle Cloud Platform (PaaS), it is essential to have a comprehensive, standards-based, fully integrated combination of technologies to build, deploy, migrate, and manage a variety of different application workloads in the cloud at a significantly lower operational cost.

Five reasons why you should choose PaaS environments for your application development needs.

1. Optimized for Java workloads and RDBMS

RDBMS provides Java applications with a dynamic data-processing engine that supports complex queries and different views of the same data. All client requests are assembled as data queries for immediate processing, and query results are generated on the fly. The RDBMS has all the features you need to build a new generation of enterprise-wide applications at a low cost. With stored procedures, you can implement business logic at the server level, thereby improving application performance, scalability, and security.

2. Runs on enterprise-grade applications

Cloud infrastructure (IaaS) combines a highly performant and secure cloud infrastructure with flexible, on-demand options for storage, compute, and networking. Enterprise-grade customers and highly regulated industries see high-performance benefits of running PaaS solutions on dedicated compute services.

3. Offers complete support for containerization on bare metal/VM or a combination thereof

DevOps is changing many of the App Dev equations. DevOps has instituted faster time to market with automation via CI/CD, a microservices/serverless architecture and an ecosystem of different open source tools that offer monitoring, management, governance and scaling of these applications seamlessly.

Utilize bare metal compute, GPU compute, virtual machine, or Docker containers for your underlying infrastructure. Containers ensure more portability of the application for developers from their on-premises development environments to the cloud. Container native application platforms offer end-to-end automation of DevOps pipelines, along with container orchestration and management.

4. Operates as a cloud-agnostic solution with flexible deployment options

Unlike many cloud computing vendors, Oracle offers complete flexibility to move and operate workloads between different clouds. Offering various deployment options with public or private clouds or cloud @customer is critical to providing customers with architecture choices.

5. Supports all modern application development extension constructs like blockchain, IoT, chatbots (powered by AI and ML)

This discussion wouldn’t be complete without talking about some of the bleeding-edge technologies like blockchain and chatbots that are powered by AI and ML. PaaS is designed to seamlessly migrate and extend any enterprise application and enable chatbot, blockchain, or IoT for it.

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