@CloudExpo Authors: Courtney Abud, Elizabeth White, Carmen Gonzalez, Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan

Related Topics: @CloudExpo

@CloudExpo: Blog Post

The Effect of PaaS on Cloud Delivery Models

PaaS encourages a hybrid cloud model

It seems rather straightforward that as cloud computing adoption increases and the state of the art evolves, we will see a natural move by consumers toward cloud services that provide a higher level of abstraction. Discounting cloud-based software services (which I believe constitute the largest concentration of hype-generating service providers), many cloud service consumers do their drinking from the cloud infrastructure services fountain. This is to say that a large number of consumers in the cloud deal with services where the unit of work is a server, block of storage, networking subnet, or some other kind of basic compute resource.

The natural move then is to raise the level of that unit of work to the applications that utilize those compute resources. In other words, a shift that many believe will occur over time leads us from cloud-based infrastructure services (IaaS if you prefer) to cloud-based platform services (PaaS). At the risk of understating such a shift, this is huge and has many implications to both providers and consumers.  From a simple standpoint, this transformation will mean an increase in complexity for cloud service providers and a decrease in complexity for cloud service consumers.

The increase in complexity for the cloud service provider is attributable to many different factors:

- Providers must effectively manage raw compute resource AND the application platforms on which user applications rely

- Providers must provide an extensible framework that allows applications services to plug in seamlessly

- Providers must translate a user's application service-level requirements into a set of deployed infrastructure and runtime policies

- Providers must enable security mechanisms in the context of applications

You could go on and on about the requirements for cloud platform service providers that add up to the increased complexity over cloud infrastructure service providers. By no means am I saying being a cloud-based infrastructure service provider is trivial. Being a cloud-based infrastructure service provider is hard, but being a cloud-based platform service provider is harder.

It is this increase in complexity that leads me to an interesting question: What effect will the move towards Platform as a Service have on cloud delivery models? I ask this question with an open mind because unlike some, I subscribe to the concept of multiple delivery models for the cloud. That is right, I "believe" in the on-premise/private cloud, and in some cases, the on-premise approach to clouds is exactly the right thing. However, the difficultly associated with delivering a PaaS framework makes me wonder how this translates to the on-premise cloud landscape.

Absent a pretty nice and robust management wrapper around the PaaS framework, the complexity of standing one up for the typical enterprise use case seems pretty daunting. Consider a single element of the PaaS solution: software infrastructure it utilizes to provide applications services. These infrastructure bits come in the form of application servers, web servers, data caches, security services, etc. If a user wants to stand up a PaaS solution entirely on-premise, does this mean they are responsible for acquiring the infrastructure software bits and figuring out how they plug into the framework? Do they have to figure out how to denote that it should be a shared vs. a dedicated service? I would think the answer is yes to both of these questions, and to me, that alone sounds like quite a bit to ask.

If I were to answer my own question about the effect of PaaS on cloud delivery models, I would say that this gradual move toward PaaS would spur on the move to hybrid delivery models.  It is a simplification of the complexities of enterprise application environments to say that PaaS means a wholesale move to the public cloud. In many cases, I believe it will make sense for the PaaS framework to exist on the public cloud where a provider manages its construction, availability, scalability, and the required maintenance. In turn, the PaaS framework may use both on-premise and off-premise infrastructure clouds to host the application environments it creates based on user requests. This affords users flexibility without sacrificing the simplification that PaaS promises. What do you think?

More Stories By Dustin Amrhein

Dustin Amrhein joined IBM as a member of the development team for WebSphere Application Server. While in that position, he worked on the development of Web services infrastructure and Web services programming models. In his current role, Dustin is a technical specialist for cloud, mobile, and data grid technology in IBM's WebSphere portfolio. He blogs at http://dustinamrhein.ulitzer.com. You can follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/damrhein.

CloudEXPO Stories
Where many organizations get into trouble, however, is that they try to have a broad and deep knowledge in each of these areas. This is a huge blow to an organization's productivity. By automating or outsourcing some of these pieces, such as databases, infrastructure, and networks, your team can instead focus on development, testing, and deployment. Further, organizations that focus their attention on these areas can eventually move to a test-driven development structure that condenses several long phases into a faster, more efficient process. This methodology has a name, of course: Continuous delivery. As Jones pointed out at CloudEXPO, continuous delivery allows developers to trim the fat off tasks and gives them more time to focus on the individual parts of the process. But remember-implementing this methodology requires organizations to offload management of databases, infrastruct...
As the digitization of business accelerates the move of critical applications and content to the cloud, the network has never been as critical to business success. Consuming everything ‘as-a-service' requires new levels of network automation, agility and security. Discover how Enterprises can take advantage of Digital Platforms, directly connecting to an extensive ecosystem of digital partners and flex their service at the click of a button.
On-premise or off, you have powerful tools available to maximize the value of your infrastructure and you demand more visibility and operational control. Fortunately, data center management tools keep a vigil on memory contestation, power, thermal consumption, server health, and utilization, allowing better control no matter your cloud's shape. In this session, learn how Intel software tools enable real-time monitoring and precise management to lower operational costs and optimize infrastructure for today even as you're forecasting for tomorrow.
In today's always-on world, customer expectations have changed. Competitive differentiation is delivered through rapid software innovations, the ability to respond to issues quickly and by releasing high-quality code with minimal interruptions. DevOps isn't some far off goal; it's methodologies and practices are a response to this demand. The demand to go faster. The demand for more uptime. The demand to innovate. In this keynote, we will cover the Nutanix Developer Stack. Built from the foundation of software-defined infrastructure, Nutanix has rapidly expanded into full application lifecycle management across any infrastructure or cloud .Join us as we delve into how the Nutanix Developer Stack makes it easy to build hybrid cloud applications by weaving DBaaS, micro segmentation, event driven lifecycle operations, and both financial and cloud governance together into a single unified st...
CloudEXPO has been the M&A capital for Cloud companies for more than a decade with memorable acquisition news stories which came out of CloudEXPO expo floor. DevOpsSUMMIT New York faculty member Greg Bledsoe shared his views on IBM's Red Hat acquisition live from NASDAQ floor. Acquisition news was announced during CloudEXPO New York which took place November 12-13, 2019 in New York City. Our Silicon Valley 2019 schedule will showcase 200 keynotes, sessions, general sessions, power panels, and hands on tutorials presented by 150 rockstar speakers in 10 hottest conference tracks of 2019: