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Picking a PaaS is a Strategic Choice

Picking a PaaS is a Strategic Choice

February 03, 2015 0 Comments

A cloud-based approach to development can be as successful as SaaS.

When the full history of IT is written, it is probable that SaaS -- software-as-a-service -- will be seen as the bridge that brought most businesses to the cloud for the first time, and convinced them to stay. SaaS vendors have been able to offer lower costs than traditionally deployed software, agility in the form of nearly instantaneous provisioning, and a host of other advantages.

SaaS has been so successful that many organizations are now seriously considering using the same cloud-based approach to development with a Platform as a Service (Paas) provider. That’s not surprising since so many of the same advantages apply.

Cloud considerations

There are variations in PaaS deployment options. When it comes to PaaS, you should consider which of these cloud deployment options work best:

  • Application workload should be factored into your selection: Applications that deal with sensitive data or come with regulatory concerns may dictate the need for a private cloud implementation or, at the very least, should prompt you to have control over data residency if you rely on a public cloud implementation.
  • Project type: Using the public cloud may be a great place to start pilot projects, run proofs of concept, etc. You may even choose to host all of your development and test efforts on the public cloud while implementing the production system on a private cloud.

time to decide graphic

Consider all of your options when picking a PaaS

Picking a PaaS

When it comes to PaaS, you should consider these additional perspectives:

  • Select application tools and infrastructure that provides you with cloud choice. While public only options may seem appealing, they limit your flexibility. There are lock-in issues and without tremendous effort, you won’t have the ability to run your applications in your own data center, or to implement your own private cloud using most publicly hosted options. Don’t just plan for today; your business requirements may change. In the future you may have different customer, partner, legal or geographical considerations that may force you to alter deployment plans. You should anticipate this as part of your architectural design.
  • Think about taking a hybrid approach to separate your dev/test environment from your production environment. If you run your dev/test in the public cloud, you can scale up and tear down, and then run your production application on your private cloud instance. Just make sure that you have a solution in place that allows you to easily replicate your environments on different clouds – and that your DevOps process accommodates the move between clouds so that what you deploy to your production environment is the same thing you tested.
  • For app workloads that you run in your private cloud, determine how you are going to scale. For regular growth, it makes sense to scale your private environment. If your growth is dynamic, make sure you have the measurement and notification capability that you need to scale things effectively. Eventually you may want to pursue auto-scaling as well. But for seasonal or peak volume, you may need to arrange things so that your application bursts into the public cloud. This provides more flexibility and allows you to avoid adding physical capacity that will go unused most of the time.
  • Work with the finance team to determine the financial benefit or tradeoff of using the public cloud. Many organizations can benefit from the reduction in capital expense that relates to the diminished need for physical servers as well as physical infrastructure and people.

By considering these various options, PaaS can become a truly strategic option, making IT more cost-effective and flexible while potentially delivering more and better functionality.

Find out more

For more on the strategic considerations in Platform as a Service application development, download my latest whitepaper, “9 Essentials to Create Amazing Applications Faster.”

To explore one of our app dev solutions, fill out this short Contact Us form and let’s get started now.

Mark Troester

Mark Troester is the Vice President of Solutions Marketing, Digital Transformation at Progress. Mark has extensive experience in bringing application development and data integration products to market. Mark previously led product marketing efforts at Sonatype, SAS and Progress DataDirect. Before moving into marketing, Mark worked as a developer and developer manager for start-ups and enterprises alike.

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