Welcome!

@CloudExpo Authors: Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Yeshim Deniz, Stackify Blog, ManageEngine IT Matters

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Java IoT, Microservices Expo, IBM Cloud, Containers Expo Blog, Agile Computing

@CloudExpo: Article

PaaS Deployment Models

The contained and referential approaches

Rapid deployment capability is table stakes when we are talking about a PaaS solution. Every vendor touts it, and to be frank, every user simply expects it to be there. While I think it is interesting to talk about rapid deployment and perhaps compare speed of one solution to that of another, I think it is infinitely more interesting to talk about the mechanics of deployment for a particular solution. That is, I think the more interesting and important question is ‘What deployment style does a particular solution take?'

At a very high, black and white level, I think two primary deployment styles permeate the landscape of PaaS today: contained and referential. I want to compare each approach, but before that, let me use a few words to describe each style.

- Contained: In the contained deployment model, PaaS solutions deploy environments based on packages that contain most, if not all, of the desired configuration as well as the logic to apply that configuration. For instance, if a solution were to deploy a virtual image in the contained model, the virtual machine would have the necessary information and logic embedded to configure itself upon start up. It would not necessarily need to contact external systems or wait for instructions from other actors.

- Referential: In the referential deployment model, PaaS solutions deploy environments using a minimal base package. At some point during the deployment process, the deployed environment communicates with a third party in some fashion to procure the necessary configuration information. Going back to the example above, if a virtual image were deployed in the referential model, the virtual machine would start up and then communicate with a third party service (either by initiating a request or waiting for instructions). This third party service would send down the configuration information and instructions for the environment hosted within the virtual machine.

When comparing the two approaches, it is helpful to understand the advantages and drawbacks of each. A closer look at the contained model reveals an obvious benefit: speed. In this model, the deployment package contains most of what it will require in order to fully configure itself. It does not rely on contacting an external service and having to pull down the necessary binaries and configuration information.

This advantage comes with an obvious drawback: management burden. By building more and more into the deployment package, you are increasing the amount of content that must be maintained and updated in said package. While it is not a huge concern if you only have a handful of discrete packages, you may not be able to rely on that luxury. You may expect that after some amount of time, the number of permutations to support necessitate spending an inordinate amount of time updating deployment packages. If this is the case, you can easily end up in a situation where the benefits of rapid deployment are negated by increased administrative costs.

The referential approach avoids the above pitfall. In this model, the deployment package remains fairly skeletal. Instead of packing in all of the content like in the contained model, the deployment packages in the referential model know just enough to integrate with an external system to get the right configuration information (think Chef and Puppet). This means that you only need to update and maintain configuration data and configuration actions in a single location instead of in each and every deployment package. As the number of different required environments increase, this approach can mean a significant reduction in management burden.

There is a flip side to this coin of course. The referential approach typically results in longer deployment times - dependent on the time required to install and configure content for your environments of course. Since the deployment packages contain very little content at deploy-time, they must pull or otherwise receive that data at some point during the deployment. This may or may not be a big issue for your particular use case, but it is a potential drawback worth considering.

So which approach is better? It is my opinion, one derived from numerous user experiences, that there is no way to generalize the answer to that question. In cases where content is infrequently updated and the number of environmental permutations is fairly well constrained, the contained deployment model can be extremely effective and efficient. On the other hand, in cases where content is dynamic and ever-changing, the referential deployment model is a virtual requirement. From a user's standpoint, I strongly suggest pursuing solutions that support both kinds of deployment models. Tools should not dictate your approach. Your requirements for a particular usage scenario should!

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
SYS-CON Events announced today that Progress, a global leader in application development, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Enterprises today are rapidly adopting the cloud, while continuing to retain business-critical/sensitive data inside the firewall. This is creating two separate data silos – one inside the firewall and the other outside the firewall. Cloud ISVs oft...
New competitors, disruptive technologies, and growing expectations are pushing every business to both adopt and deliver new digital services. This ‘Digital Transformation’ demands rapid delivery and continuous iteration of new competitive services via multiple channels, which in turn demands new service delivery techniques – including DevOps. In this power panel at @DevOpsSummit 20th Cloud Expo, moderated by DevOps Conference Co-Chair Andi Mann, panelists will examine how DevOps helps to meet th...
As DevOps methodologies expand their reach across the enterprise, organizations face the daunting challenge of adapting related cloud strategies to ensure optimal alignment, from managing complexity to ensuring proper governance. How can culture, automation, legacy apps and even budget be reexamined to enable this ongoing shift within the modern software factory?
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloudistics, an on-premises cloud computing company, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Cloudistics delivers a complete public cloud experience with composable on-premises infrastructures to medium and large enterprises. Its software-defined technology natively converges network, storage, compute, virtualization, and management into a ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that CollabNet, a global leader in enterprise software development, release automation and DevOps solutions, will be a Bronze Sponsor of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, taking place from June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. CollabNet offers a broad range of solutions with the mission of helping modern organizations deliver quality software at speed. The company’s latest innovation, the DevOps Lifecycle Manager (DLM), supports Value S...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Ocean9will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Ocean9 provides cloud services for Backup, Disaster Recovery (DRaaS) and instant Innovation, and redefines enterprise infrastructure with its cloud native subscription offerings for mission critical SAP workloads.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Systena America will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Systena Group has been in business for various software development and verification in Japan, US, ASEAN, and China by utilizing the knowledge we gained from all types of device development for various industries including smartphones (Android/iOS), wireless communication, security technology and IoT serv...
Multiple data types are pouring into IoT deployments. Data is coming in small packages as well as enormous files and data streams of many sizes. Widespread use of mobile devices adds to the total. In this power panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists will look at the tools and environments that are being put to use in IoT deployments, as well as the team skills a modern enterprise IT shop needs to keep things running, get a handle on all this data, and deli...
We build IoT infrastructure products - when you have to integrate different devices, different systems and cloud you have to build an application to do that but we eliminate the need to build an application. Our products can integrate any device, any system, any cloud regardless of protocol," explained Peter Jung, Chief Product Officer at Pulzze Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA
DevOps is often described as a combination of technology and culture. Without both, DevOps isn't complete. However, applying the culture to outdated technology is a recipe for disaster; as response times grow and connections between teams are delayed by technology, the culture will die. A Nutanix Enterprise Cloud has many benefits that provide the needed base for a true DevOps paradigm.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Infranics will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Since 2000, Infranics has developed SysMaster Suite, which is required for the stable and efficient management of ICT infrastructure. The ICT management solution developed and provided by Infranics continues to add intelligence to the ICT infrastructure through the IMC (Infra Management Cycle) based on mathemat...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Carbonite will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Carbonite protects your entire IT footprint with the right level of protection for each workload, ensuring lower costs and dependable solutions with DoubleTake and Evault.
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with the 21st International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. @ThingsExpo Silicon Valley Call for Papers is now open.
SYS-CON Events announced today that HTBase will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. HTBase (Gartner 2016 Cool Vendor) delivers a Composable IT infrastructure solution architected for agility and increased efficiency. It turns compute, storage, and fabric into fluid pools of resources that are easily composed and re-composed to meet each application’s needs. With HTBase, companies can quickly prov...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Juniper Networks (NYSE: JNPR), an industry leader in automated, scalable and secure networks, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Juniper Networks challenges the status quo with products, solutions and services that transform the economics of networking. The company co-innovates with customers and partners to deliver automated, scalable and secure network...
SYS-CON Events announced today that T-Mobile will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. As America's Un-carrier, T-Mobile US, Inc., is redefining the way consumers and businesses buy wireless services through leading product and service innovation. The Company's advanced nationwide 4G LTE network delivers outstanding wireless experiences to 67.4 million customers who are unwilling to compromise on ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that SoftLayer, an IBM Company, has been named “Gold Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York, New York. SoftLayer, an IBM Company, provides cloud infrastructure as a service from a growing number of data centers and network points of presence around the world. SoftLayer’s customers range from Web startups to global enterprises.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Hitachi Data Systems, a wholly owned subsidiary of Hitachi LTD., will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City. Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) will be featuring the Hitachi Content Platform (HCP) portfolio. This is the industry’s only offering that allows organizations to bring together object storage, file sync and share, cloud storage gateways, and sophisticated search and...
This talk centers around how to automate best practices in a multi-/hybrid-cloud world based on our work with customers like GE, Discovery Communications and Fannie Mae. Today’s enterprises are reaping the benefits of cloud computing, but also discovering many risks and challenges. In the age of DevOps and the decentralization of IT, it’s easy to over-provision resources, forget that instances are running, or unintentionally expose vulnerabilities.
The 21st International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Digital Transformation, Machine Learning and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding busin...