Welcome!

Linux Authors: Carmen Gonzalez, AppDynamics Blog, Lori MacVittie, Pete Pickerill, Charles Jolley

Related Topics: Cloud Expo, Java, SOA & WOA, Linux, Virtualization, Big Data Journal

Cloud Expo: Article

Integrated PaaS/IaaS Technology Complements Your Enterprise Cloud Strategy

The migration to the cloud offers IT departments the ability to become an agile utility and services provider to the enterprise

Infrastructure-as-a-Service and Platform-as-a-Service are technologies that are fast becoming integrated, and this is good news for enterprises looking to implement private, public or hybrid clouds.

The availability of resources on-demand through companies like Amazon and Google has provided developers with the ability to quickly define a scalable and highly available infrastructure to develop and deploy applications. The availability of Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) means that anyone can provision servers, storage and networking in the cloud with a high level of configurability and control and pay (in general) for the amount of resources reserved.

While IaaS is growing quickly, for an enterprise looking to provide its architects and developers with control of their development environment and the ability to build and deploy applications rapidly, Platform-as-a-Service goes a step further. PaaS provides self-management for DevOps and developers, providing the ability to build scalable, load balanced and highly available application environments without worrying about app server configuration, load balancers or tools.

PaaS, however, has not grown as quickly as IaaS (IDC predicts that PaaS will grow to a $14B market by 2017 - IDC, The Evolving State of PaaS, October 2013) even though some might argue that PaaS is a key technology for enterprises looking to become more agile and utilize the cloud. To a large degree, the growth of PaaS has been affected by:

Confused market messaging:

  • A large number of PaaS vendors have emerged over the past few years with multiple marketing messages. With so many choices and, sometimes, conflicting messages, CTOs were left to separate the wheat from the chaff. More recently there has been consolidation in the PaaS space with infrastructure providers being motivated to move up the stack and provide PaaS functionality and vice versa.
  • The emergence of the Cloud Foundry Alliance, supported by IBM, EMC, VMware and others, and OpenShift, championed by Red Hat, provides enterprises with yet another decision point: both of these PaaS options have waves of support from the Open Source community and both run on top of multiple infrastructures. An enterprise CTO needs to decide if these initiatives are the safe choice, or whether one of these will turn into the Betamax of PaaS.

Black box approach:

  • Many PaaS vendors have adopted the approach of working on top of existing infrastructure offerings and obfuscating the infrastructure from the PaaS layer for ease of use. However, some solutions take this black box" approach too far, meaning that developers are restricted from even basic access to configuration files for their environments.

Vendor lock-in:

  • Most, but not all, PaaS solutions require that developers code or re-code applications to a proprietary API. While this might be acceptable for green-field environments it is not okay for large enterprises. In addition to the work involved in modifying legacy applications, betting on a particular vendor's API means that the decision to implement PaaS becomes a major strategic "bet" on the PaaS vendor's success in the market.

This last factor has been perhaps the largest inhibitor to PaaS adoption in the last few years.

However, there is good news for enterprises. PaaS and IaaS are merging and this means that many, but not all, of the barriers to PaaS are being removed. It also means that enterprises get more from their IaaS/PaaS solutions vendor.

Here are five reasons that enterprises will benefit from PaaS/IaaS convergence.

1. Easier and Faster Implementation
User quote: "One of the largest gains we are experiencing, and a key reason for adopting private cloud vs traditional server architecture is the ease and speed of server creation and deployment. Historically, if we have wanted to create additional servers, it's been a sys admin task that would take a week of turnaround. The difference is now staggering. The short version is I am minutes from new server deployment instead of weeks."

An integrated PaaS and IaaS solution means faster implementation and a more "turnkey" installation.

With Open Source solutions offering a building block approach to PaaS that can be integrated with multiple infrastructures, installation, configuration and management can become challenging.

PaaS/IaaS convergence will ultimately result in one-click installation on bare metal with everything from the operating system, container or hypervisor technologies, PaaS layer and tools being installed and pre-configured at once.

Server vendors today are already offering "cloud-in-a-box" solutions where popular cloud software is pre-configured by the server vendor.

2. Better Management - Lower ROI
User quote: "With the cloud, cost compared to our existing infrastructure is small enough that it is insignificant to me."

Beyond installation, PaaS/IaaS means fewer points of management that more accurately reflects the needs of the modern IT organization.

IT organizations are moving to provide IT-as-a-Service where the IT department retains tight control of resources, security and compliance (the infrastructure) but, for example, delegates the management of development and test environments (via PaaS) to developers and DevOps.

This move results in a more secure and agile enterprise by providing IT as a utility to the rest of the organization and allows agility in developing, deploying and managing new business applications

PaaS/IaaS convergence mirrors this trend by offering IT control of the resources in the cloud as a single point of management, and offering DevOps and developers control of their application environments through a delineated, second management utility.

3. Better Scalability and Density
User Quote: "I chose my cloud vendor for three key reasons. First and foremost, the ability to scale both vertically and horizontally. Particularly dynamic vertical scaling."

Application scaling in a traditional virtualization environment with VMs of a fixed size has been trumped by improved elasticity in the cloud, with IaaS providing more granular resource "chunks" that can be reserved by applications.

But true elasticity requires an infrastructure that is "application-aware." In enterprise environments being able to claw back unused resources is almost as important as scaling up. And freeing up underutilized resources means better application density and reduced overall resource consumption across the cloud.

IaaS/PaaS integration provides that level of control of applications.

  • Vertical scalability within a server beyond the traditional restrictions of a single VM or Container is possible by growing containers where necessary.
  • Use of a single server becomes more intelligent with, for example, a high-demand application being allocated more single-server resources by automatically moving other applications to different servers in the cloud.
  • Seamless horizontal scalability across multiple servers in the cloud.
  • Improved density with more granular allocation of resources and "claw-back" of unused resources in the cloud (for example, for unruly applications that claim resources but are reluctant to release them).

4. Improved Availability and Security
User quote: "For production we had a master and cold standby server, so worst case scenario recovery was a matter of hours of downtime. We also had no option for server clustering, without significant hardware investment. Now Clustering/HA is already a reality."

The improvement in availability and tightness of security in an integrated environment is more than just the intuitive benefit of limiting integration points and providing less moving parts.

The removal of a PaaS vendor's dependency on a changing and sometimes indeterminate infrastructure allows that vendor the luxury of controlling release environments and testing the full stack for security loopholes and solution stability.

In addition, the ability to manage installation and configuration more tightly reduces the opportunity for configuration issues.

Finally, integration should result in simplicity. An integrated IaaS/PaaS environment should limit or remove an enterprise's dependency on third-party services to build, configure and manage the cloud.

This reduction in architectural, business and operational complexity are major factors in the appeal of a single cloud stack for the enterprise

5. A Single, Yet Open, Cloud Stack
A single stack does not necessary imply a closed solution. As IaaS and PaaS continue to merge, vendors offering this integrated approach will "cherry-pick" the best technologies to use at each level of the stack. It makes sense for those components to provide open interfaces and APIs.

Ultimately, the worst type of vendor lock-in is at the application level. An enterprise that has rewritten legacy application and developed new applications for a particular API has made a total commitment to that solution. This should be avoided at all costs.

Further down the stack the integrated PaaS/IaaS vendor is free to make the best choice for the customer. The OS layer should offer the customer multiple choices, perhaps a free, open option and an upgrade to an "enterprise" OS. The container or hypervisor layer should offer the customer choice and advanced functionality. Tools, languages and plug-ins should be an ever-increasing set of options for the enterprise.

The migration to the cloud offers IT departments the ability to become an agile utility and services provider to the enterprise, and IaaS and PaaS are key technologies to enable this. The integration of these key technologies is inevitable as enterprise requirements become clear. PaaS/IaaS will drive a simplified, more functional cloud that directly responds to these trends within the enterprise.

More Stories By John Derrick

John Derrick is currently CEO of turnkey cloud provider Jelastic. He has extensive business leadership experience in the private and public cloud, big data, database, and enterprise markets. John focuses on the intersection of these markets, technology and teams to deliver solutions that really work for people. He has delivered product and profit at IBM, Chicory Systems, Conformative Systems, Intel, MIPS, and now Jelastic. Between these companies he has led and advised about 50 different startups and public companies.

John can be reached at [email protected]

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@ThingsExpo Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that Windstream, a leading provider of advanced network and cloud communications, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9–11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Windstream (Nasdaq: WIN), a FORTUNE 500 and S&P 500 company, is a leading provider of advanced network communications, including cloud computing and managed services, to businesses nationwide. The company also offers broadband, phone and digital TV services to consumers primarily in rural areas.
The BPM world is going through some evolution or changes where traditional business process management solutions really have nowhere to go in terms of development of the road map. In this demo at 15th Cloud Expo, Kyle Hansen, Director of Professional Services at AgilePoint, shows AgilePoint’s unique approach to dealing with this market circumstance by developing a rapid application composition or development framework.
The Internet of Things is not new. Historically, smart businesses have used its basic concept of leveraging data to drive better decision making and have capitalized on those insights to realize additional revenue opportunities. So, what has changed to make the Internet of Things one of the hottest topics in tech? In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Gray, Director, Embedded and Internet of Things, discussed the underlying factors that are driving the economics of intelligent systems. Discover how hardware commoditization, the ubiquitous nature of connectivity, and the emergence of Big Data a...
"BSQUARE is in the business of selling software solutions for smart connected devices. It's obvious that IoT has moved from being a technology to being a fundamental part of business, and in the last 18 months people have said let's figure out how to do it and let's put some focus on it, " explained Dave Wagstaff, VP & Chief Architect, at BSQUARE Corporation, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
The major cloud platforms defy a simple, side-by-side analysis. Each of the major IaaS public-cloud platforms offers their own unique strengths and functionality. Options for on-site private cloud are diverse as well, and must be designed and deployed while taking existing legacy architecture and infrastructure into account. Then the reality is that most enterprises are embarking on a hybrid cloud strategy and programs. In this Power Panel at 15th Cloud Expo (http://www.CloudComputingExpo.com), moderated by Ashar Baig, Research Director, Cloud, at Gigaom Research, Nate Gordon, Director of T...
SYS-CON Events announced today that IDenticard will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. IDenticard™ is the security division of Brady Corp (NYSE: BRC), a $1.5 billion manufacturer of identification products. We have small-company values with the strength and stability of a major corporation. IDenticard offers local sales, support and service to our customers across the United States and Canada. Our partner network encompasses some 300 of the world's leading systems integrators and security s...

ARMONK, N.Y., Nov. 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --  IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that it is bringing a greater level of control, security and flexibility to cloud-based application development and delivery with a single-tenant version of Bluemix, IBM's platform-as-a-service. The new platform enables developers to build ap...

“In the past year we've seen a lot of stabilization of WebRTC. You can now use it in production with a far greater degree of certainty. A lot of the real developments in the past year have been in things like the data channel, which will enable a whole new type of application," explained Peter Dunkley, Technical Director at Acision, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
DevOps Summit 2015 New York, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that it is now accepting Keynote Proposals. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long development cycles that produce software that is obsolete at launch. DevOps may be disruptive, but it is essential.
"People are a lot more knowledgeable about APIs now. There are two types of people who work with APIs - IT people who want to use APIs for something internal and the product managers who want to do something outside APIs for people to connect to them," explained Roberto Medrano, Executive Vice President at SOA Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Nigeria has the largest economy in Africa, at more than US$500 billion, and ranks 23rd in the world. A recent re-evaluation of Nigeria's true economic size doubled the previous estimate, and brought it well ahead of South Africa, which is a member (unlike Nigeria) of the G20 club for political as well as economic reasons. Nigeria's economy can be said to be quite diverse from one point of view, but heavily dependent on oil and gas at the same time. Oil and natural gas account for about 15% of Nigera's overall economy, but traditionally represent more than 90% of the country's exports and as...
The Internet of Things is a misnomer. That implies that everything is on the Internet, and that simply should not be - especially for things that are blurring the line between medical devices that stimulate like a pacemaker and quantified self-sensors like a pedometer or pulse tracker. The mesh of things that we manage must be segmented into zones of trust for sensing data, transmitting data, receiving command and control administrative changes, and peer-to-peer mesh messaging. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Ryan Bagnulo, Solution Architect / Software Engineer at SOA Software, focused on desi...
"At our booth we are showing how to provide trust in the Internet of Things. Trust is where everything starts to become secure and trustworthy. Now with the scaling of the Internet of Things it becomes an interesting question – I've heard numbers from 200 billion devices next year up to a trillion in the next 10 to 15 years," explained Johannes Lintzen, Vice President of Sales at Utimaco, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"For over 25 years we have been working with a lot of enterprise customers and we have seen how companies create applications. And now that we have moved to cloud computing, mobile, social and the Internet of Things, we see that the market needs a new way of creating applications," stated Jesse Shiah, CEO, President and Co-Founder of AgilePoint Inc., in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 15th Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Gridstore™, the leader in hyper-converged infrastructure purpose-built to optimize Microsoft workloads, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Gridstore™ is the leader in hyper-converged infrastructure purpose-built for Microsoft workloads and designed to accelerate applications in virtualized environments. Gridstore’s hyper-converged infrastructure is the industry’s first all flash version of HyperConverged Appliances that include both compute and storag...
Today’s enterprise is being driven by disruptive competitive and human capital requirements to provide enterprise application access through not only desktops, but also mobile devices. To retrofit existing programs across all these devices using traditional programming methods is very costly and time consuming – often prohibitively so. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jesse Shiah, CEO, President, and Co-Founder of AgilePoint Inc., discussed how you can create applications that run on all mobile devices as well as laptops and desktops using a visual drag-and-drop application – and eForms-buildi...
We certainly live in interesting technological times. And no more interesting than the current competing IoT standards for connectivity. Various standards bodies, approaches, and ecosystems are vying for mindshare and positioning for a competitive edge. It is clear that when the dust settles, we will have new protocols, evolved protocols, that will change the way we interact with devices and infrastructure. We will also have evolved web protocols, like HTTP/2, that will be changing the very core of our infrastructures. At the same time, we have old approaches made new again like micro-services...
Code Halos - aka "digital fingerprints" - are the key organizing principle to understand a) how dumb things become smart and b) how to monetize this dynamic. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Robert Brown, AVP, Center for the Future of Work at Cognizant Technology Solutions, outlined research, analysis and recommendations from his recently published book on this phenomena on the way leading edge organizations like GE and Disney are unlocking the Internet of Things opportunity and what steps your organization should be taking to position itself for the next platform of digital competition.
The 3rd International Internet of @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that its Call for Papers is now open. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the biggest idea since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.
As the Internet of Things unfolds, mobile and wearable devices are blurring the line between physical and digital, integrating ever more closely with our interests, our routines, our daily lives. Contextual computing and smart, sensor-equipped spaces bring the potential to walk through a world that recognizes us and responds accordingly. We become continuous transmitters and receivers of data. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Andrew Bolwell, Director of Innovation for HP's Printing and Personal Systems Group, discussed how key attributes of mobile technology – touch input, sensors, social, and ...