Considering Platform as a Service

Platform as a Service (PaaS) is the delivery of a cloud computing platform on which developers create and deploy web applications and cloud services.  Industry analysts claim that PaaS is already a compelling alternative to traditional application development due to high availability, low cost of entry, elimination of infrastructure management, and ease of application deployment and support.

In the external cloud, PaaS has unique advantages for applications which service many users outside the enterprise, require extensive integration with outside services, and/or are a temporary or highly elastic capability. On the market today, there are more than a dozen PaaS providers, each offering cloud development environments which lock-in to a particular development methodology.  We’re exploring some of the options with an eye toward enterprise scale, security models and programming methodologies. Each environment has different capabilities and limitations to develop and deploy applications. 

As our enterprise environment evolves into a single internal cloud which scales based on demand, application developers will construct applications structured for virtualized, web-based environments and mesh seamlessly between internal and external clouds.   Internally hosted PaaS is an opportunity to provide an integrated approach to the Cloud application and services layers.  With Services Oriented Architecture (SOA) as the foundation, developers could incorporate standard underlying services such as security and manageability, as well as encouraging the new applications to be designed as reusable services themselves.