Last week we began a series on the different types of cloud computing service models by discussing the broadest: Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). Today we will take a look at a second model, known as Platform as a Service, or PaaS.
Some experts are calling 2012 the year of the platform. As the name suggests, a service provider hosts and delivers a computing platform for its clients. With IaaS, the provider functions almost as a storage unit: they manage the underlying infrastructure while the consumer still controls database, applications and operating systems; with PaaS, on the other hand, the consumer manages the applications and the provider manages the infrastructure, network, servers and operating systems. According to the NIST, “PaaS consumers employ the tools and execution resources provided by cloud providers to develop, test, deploy, and manage the operation of PaaS applications hosted in a cloud environment.”
The great thing about having various service models to choose from is that they offer different benefits and utilities to consumers based on the company’s needs and offered services. One business may just need to store their systems while retaining a majority of control over them, another company may just want to control the applications while taking a more hands-off approach to the rest of the components. Here are a few of the benefits that the PaaS model offers clients:
- Cost: Like other cloud models, cost is a huge benefit of PaaS since you pay as you go, instead of fronting a huge amount of money for an initial investment.
- Hands-off: With the IaaS model, your company is ultimately responsible for updating and maintaining your applications and network (the provider maintains the physical database for you). With a PaaS model, you only have to worry about the applications, your provider does the rest.
- Ability to test: One of the major benefits that PaaS offers is the ability to test possible deployments. It allows development teams to try out their projects in various machines, with differing configurations and from multiple locations.
- Time: The “Time to Value” of PaaS is high. Applications can be both developed and deployed quickly.
In terms of cloud service models, PaaS lands itself in the middle of its counterparts. It allows companies to retail ownership of the applications while not having to worry about managing the supporting hardware and infrastructures. Depending on what your business wants to do and what kind of control it wants to have, any of these options are viable. Be sure to check back for the concluding segment in this series, in which we will look at the SaaS model.
Our team of experts at IronOrbit can design and implement cloud strategies based on your business needs. We can deliver any model that your organization may require. All of our custom-designed cloud solutions include several benefits, such as: Atomic Speed Technology (which allows you to launch your applications in less than one second), multi-tiered security and unlimited technical support.