- Cloud Essentials
- Software as a Service
- Accounting / Financial
- Asset Management
- Business Intelligence
- Business Process Management
- Compliance & Risk Management
- Content Management
- Document Management
- Help Desk Management
- IT / Application Management
- Project Management
- Transportation & Logistics
- Infrastructure as a Service
- Platform as a Service
Platform games: choosing a PaaS when building cloud foundations
So, you're moving into the cloud and look for a PaaS supplier - how do make the choice?
As a side note, Davies sees a third kind of PaaS emerging - the ‘appliance- approach’, which allows ISVs and service providers to adopt a platform and offer PaaS services themselves. But back at the coalface of real world customer implementation, should we question whether it is possible to manage more than one platform within an organisation, or do we have to stick to one single PaaS option only?
"If it is done right then it is possible to manage more than one platform within the organisation and there are several different approaches to PaaS as described previously. We're seeing customers using a PaaS such as Google App Engine of Microsoft’s Azure for a development-focused adoption, together with platforms such as our own for a more business-focused PaaS capability. There has also been a lot of interest in technologies that allow the provisioning, metering and charging for cloud services. The key is to really think about what you need from your PaaS and not just get caught up in the hype," said Davies.
So we’ve managed to answer ‘some’ of the PaaS-related questions we set out to examine to ‘some’ degree, but one has to sit back at this point and say that this discussion (as erudite as the commentators are) leads us to what still appears to be a comparatively inexact science. Or at least a science where the quantification of the factors involved is hard work, but that may be more likely down to companies not really knowing what they want, rather than any PaaS provider not being clear enough as to the composition and scope of its own offering.
Our biggest question was perhaps the matter of where we should go for guidance on this ever-expanding catalogue of PaaS alternatives. At the time, unfortunately, PaaS.org is owned by the Pan American Allergy Society and Paas.co.uk is the Prince Albert Angling Society. So you may be best to keep reading Cloud Pro for the time being.
PaaS Purchasing Pathfinder: Questions that must be addressed
- Cost should rarely rank as a major element in any PaaS selection process, have you used it as the foundation for your decision so far?
- Does your chosen PaaS support the full range of applications that you want to support and is it likely to retain that compatibility for the foreseeable future?
- Do you need portability between public and on-premise private clouds, can your chosen PaaS support this flow of applications and data?
- If your decision to move to cloud is long term to permanent, have you selected a PaaS from a top tier player who still will be in business in five year's time?
- Do you need a programmer/developer focused PaaS with a supporting selection of tools components and APIs?
- Will you be looking for a business-focused PaaS with Business Process Management (BPM) functionality?
- Do you need to strong provisioning and metering capabilities? Some PaaS options perform better than others in this regard.
- Do you need more than one PaaS to exist at the same time and are the two you have selected fully interoperable?