Welcome!

@CloudExpo Authors: Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Mehdi Daoudi, Rene Buest

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Microservices Expo, Containers Expo Blog

@CloudExpo: Blog Feed Post

Is iPaaS the Next Thing?

iPaaS is defined as “a platform for building and deploying applications within the cloud and between the cloud and enterprise”

Is iPaaS the next thing?

Gartner recently launched iPaaS, Integration Platform as a Service. iPaaS is defined as “a platform for building and deploying applications within the cloud and between the cloud and enterprise”. It enables developers to create integration flows that connect applications that run in the cloud or on-premise, and to deploy them without installing or managing any hardware or middleware.

iPaas delivers where PaaS came short: where most PaaS offerings are limiting developers to one single cloud platform, iPaaS is designed to give access to a choice of platforms. iPaaS also provides integration flows, the development and life cycle management of integrations, and the management and monitoring of application flows.

One interesting iPaaS platform is AppStack by Appcara, who aim to bring application development to a whole new level by “elevating the abstraction level from the servers/infrastructure to the application layer”. With this approach, Appcara brings all the benefits of PaaS to any IaaS environment, so the developer has the choice of platforms, even if a mix is required. The developer can now also migrate operational applications to different cloud stacks; there is no more lock-in.

To better understand the need and potential of iPaaS, we should probably do a quick analysis of what cloud computing has brought us over the past 4 years: 2008 was the year when the cloud paradigm shift started. It was also the year when the three fundamental layers in cloud computing were defined for the first time: IaaS, PaaS and SaaS. The whole infrastructure stack, including hardware, hypervisors and orchestration tools (cloud platforms), was named IaaS, infrastructure as a Service. “As a Service” implied that compute, network and storage resources could be consumed – and paid for – in an opex model, rather than purchasing costly hardware (capex).

Service providers saw great potential in this new sales model. They found a lot of interest for their “public cloud” services from developers who could now quickly set up development and test environments, and decommission them when their projects were finished. But a few companies saw more potential in this new computing model. Instead of just offering scalable compute instances and storage, those companies created an additional layer on top of IaaS. This layer would be called Platform as a Service (PaaS) and would provide all of the facilities required to support the complete life cycle of building and delivering online applications. The latter would later become the third “layer”, SaaS: Software as a Service. Applications in a SaaS model run mostly online and do not require local installations.

Cloud computing has brought a lot of benefits for suppliers, developers and end users. It has also fostered a lot of innovation, mostly on the IaaS level. Hypervisors have become a commodity and there are many (cloud/orchestration) platforms available that enable companies to build private or public clouds. On top of that, a number of “Cloud (Server) Managers” make it possible for users to deploy cloud instances over multiple private and public clouds. In spite of all that, it is still complex to develop and maintain applications in the cloud.

While the XaaS stack has been quite generally accepted, the real-world situation is different. Few public and private cloud offerings provide PaaS and the few PaaS offerings on the market do not disclose all that much about the underlying layers. So the XaaS stack actually looks like this:

Application developers have two options when building a cloud application: use one of the available PaaS platforms, or go build a development environment on one of the public clouds. The benefits of a PaaS platform are obvious: you get an out-of-the-box application hosting, deployment, testing and development environment, complete with libraries, etc. The provider will provide extensive integrated scalability, maintenance, and versioning services so that the developer can fully focus on the application and its features. The problem is that PaaS platforms are very much closed shops: once you pick your platform, you have to stay with it. The provider can change their terms and as a developer you have little or nothing you can do about it.

For this reason, many developers choose to build their own environment in a public cloud of choice. It requires a lot more preparation but with the help of Cloud Server Managers, but it’s not all that bad. The benefits are limited mobility and flexibility, but the problems come at a later stage: lifecycle maintenance is a pain, migrating to a different cloud is not all that easy and few applications are truly designed as cloud applications. Most of the cloud applications that are developed today have a similar architecture as traditional applications, with VM’s rather than dedicated servers. Cloud Server Managers do not help developers to change the way they think.

iPaas platforms will enable true cloud mobility and resiliency.  iPaaS eliminates service offering lock-in and limitations that make Cloud architectures truly resilient. Platforms such as Appcara provide developers of cloud applications with a richer set of resources and give access to multiple cloud and virtualization technologies. iPaaS works on a higher level than IaaS providers, only the orchestration interface point is important; the choice of hypervisor is not important.  Over time, we have become less interested in the brands of hardware and that same phenomenon now is moving up the stack.

More Stories By Tom Leyden

Tom Leyden is VP Product Marketing at Scality. Scality was founded in 2009 by a team of entrepreneurs and technologists. The idea wasn’t storage, per se. When the Scality team talked to the initial base of potential customers, the customers wanted a system that could “route” data to and from individual users in the most scalable, efficient way possible. And so began a non-traditional approach to building a storage system that no one had imagined before. No one thought an object store could have enough performance for all the files and attachments of millions of users. No one thought a system could remain up and running through software upgrades, hardware failures, capacity expansions, and even multiple hardware generations coexisting. And no one believed you could do all this and scale to petabytes of content and billions of objects in pure software.

@CloudExpo Stories
The goal of Continuous Testing is to shift testing left to find defects earlier and release software faster. This can be achieved by integrating a set of open source functional and performance testing tools in the early stages of your software delivery lifecycle. There is one process that binds all application delivery stages together into one well-orchestrated machine: Continuous Testing. Continuous Testing is the conveyer belt between the Software Factory and production stages. Artifacts are m...
When shopping for a new data processing platform for IoT solutions, many development teams want to be able to test-drive options before making a choice. Yet when evaluating an IoT solution, it’s simply not feasible to do so at scale with physical devices. Building a sensor simulator is the next best choice; however, generating a realistic simulation at very high TPS with ease of configurability is a formidable challenge. When dealing with multiple application or transport protocols, you would be...
Cloud resources, although available in abundance, are inherently volatile. For transactional computing, like ERP and most enterprise software, this is a challenge as transactional integrity and data fidelity is paramount – making it a challenge to create cloud native applications while relying on RDBMS. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Claus Jepsen, Chief Architect and Head of Innovation Labs at Unit4, will explore that in order to create distributed and scalable solutions ensuring high availa...
An increasing number of companies are creating products that combine data with analytical capabilities. Running interactive queries on Big Data requires complex architectures to store and query data effectively, typically involving data streams, an choosing efficient file format/database and multiple independent systems that are tied together through custom-engineered pipelines. In his session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Tomer Levi, a senior software engineer at Intel’s Advanced Analytics ...
"We're a cybersecurity firm that specializes in engineering security solutions both at the software and hardware level. Security cannot be an after-the-fact afterthought, which is what it's become," stated Richard Blech, Chief Executive Officer at Secure Channels, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Enterprise architects are increasingly adopting multi-cloud strategies as they seek to utilize existing data center assets, leverage the advantages of cloud computing and avoid cloud vendor lock-in. This requires a globally aware traffic management strategy that can monitor infrastructure health across data centers and end-user experience globally, while responding to control changes and system specification at the speed of today’s DevOps teams. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Josh Gray, Chie...
To get the most out of their data, successful companies are not focusing on queries and data lakes, they are actively integrating analytics into their operations with a data-first application development approach. Real-time adjustments to improve revenues, reduce costs, or mitigate risk rely on applications that minimize latency on a variety of data sources. Jack Norris reviews best practices to show how companies develop, deploy, and dynamically update these applications and how this data-first...
Intelligent Automation is now one of the key business imperatives for CIOs and CISOs impacting all areas of business today. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Brian Boeggeman, VP Alliances & Partnerships at Ayehu, will talk about how business value is created and delivered through intelligent automation to today’s enterprises. The open ecosystem platform approach toward Intelligent Automation that Ayehu delivers to the market is core to enabling the creation of the self-driving enterprise.
"We're here to tell the world about our cloud-scale infrastructure that we have at Juniper combined with the world-class security that we put into the cloud," explained Lisa Guess, VP of Systems Engineering at Juniper Networks, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Historically, some banking activities such as trading have been relying heavily on analytics and cutting edge algorithmic tools. The coming of age of powerful data analytics solutions combined with the development of intelligent algorithms have created new opportunities for financial institutions. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Sebastien Meunier, Head of Digital for North America at Chappuis Halder & Co., discussed how these tools can be leveraged to develop a lasting competitive advantage ...
As businesses adopt functionalities in cloud computing, it’s imperative that IT operations consistently ensure cloud systems work correctly – all of the time, and to their best capabilities. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Bernd Harzog, CEO and founder of OpsDataStore, presented an industry answer to the common question, “Are you running IT operations as efficiently and as cost effectively as you need to?” He then expounded on the industry issues he frequently came up against as an analyst, and ...
The question before companies today is not whether to become intelligent, it’s a question of how and how fast. The key is to adopt and deploy an intelligent application strategy while simultaneously preparing to scale that intelligence. In her session at 21st Cloud Expo, Sangeeta Chakraborty, Chief Customer Officer at Ayasdi, will provide a tactical framework to become a truly intelligent enterprise, including how to identify the right applications for AI, how to build a Center of Excellence to ...
In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Mike Johnston, an infrastructure engineer at Supergiant.io, discussed how to use Kubernetes to set up a SaaS infrastructure for your business. Mike Johnston is an infrastructure engineer at Supergiant.io with over 12 years of experience designing, deploying, and maintaining server and workstation infrastructure at all scales. He has experience with brick and mortar data centers as well as cloud providers like Digital Ocean, Amazon Web Services, and Rackspace. H...
You know you need the cloud, but you’re hesitant to simply dump everything at Amazon since you know that not all workloads are suitable for cloud. You know that you want the kind of ease of use and scalability that you get with public cloud, but your applications are architected in a way that makes the public cloud a non-starter. You’re looking at private cloud solutions based on hyperconverged infrastructure, but you’re concerned with the limits inherent in those technologies.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Massive Networks will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Massive Networks mission is simple. To help your business operate seamlessly with fast, reliable, and secure internet and network solutions. Improve your customer's experience with outstanding connections to your cloud.
DevOps is under attack because developers don’t want to mess with infrastructure. They will happily own their code into production, but want to use platforms instead of raw automation. That’s changing the landscape that we understand as DevOps with both architecture concepts (CloudNative) and process redefinition (SRE). Rob Hirschfeld’s recent work in Kubernetes operations has led to the conclusion that containers and related platforms have changed the way we should be thinking about DevOps and...
Everything run by electricity will eventually be connected to the Internet. Get ahead of the Internet of Things revolution and join Akvelon expert and IoT industry leader, Sergey Grebnov, in his session at @ThingsExpo, for an educational dive into the world of managing your home, workplace and all the devices they contain with the power of machine-based AI and intelligent Bot services for a completely streamlined experience.
Because IoT devices are deployed in mission-critical environments more than ever before, it’s increasingly imperative they be truly smart. IoT sensors simply stockpiling data isn’t useful. IoT must be artificially and naturally intelligent in order to provide more value In his session at @ThingsExpo, John Crupi, Vice President and Engineering System Architect at Greenwave Systems, will discuss how IoT artificial intelligence (AI) can be carried out via edge analytics and machine learning techn...
FinTechs use the cloud to operate at the speed and scale of digital financial activity, but are often hindered by the complexity of managing security and compliance in the cloud. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Sesh Murthy, co-founder and CTO of Cloud Raxak, showed how proactive and automated cloud security enables FinTechs to leverage the cloud to achieve their business goals. Through business-driven cloud security, FinTechs can speed time-to-market, diminish risk and costs, maintain continu...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Datera, that offers a radically new data management architecture, has been named "Exhibitor" of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo ®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Datera is transforming the traditional datacenter model through modern cloud simplicity. The technology industry is at another major inflection point. The rise of mobile, the Internet of Things, data storage and Big...