In my previous article, I talked about Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS). For many companies, their first move into utilizing the cloud is via the IaaS model, whereby your cloud provider manages your networking, storage, servers and virtualization. The “user” of IaaS is your System or IT administrator who can access and configure these virtual resources to meet your company’s needs.
Deeper into the Cloud
Depending on the nature of your business, you may face the decision to evolve to the next layer of cloud computing called Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS). PaaS takes advantage of all of the virtualized recourses of IaaS and abstracts them away, so the IT admin doesn’t have to worry about managing any of those resources.
The PaaS model is typically used when developing cloud applications such as state-of-art-web applications, AI, machine learning, business analytics solutions or just about any type of application. If you are designing for the cloud, you may want to level up to PaaS. The user of PaaS is your development team.
With PaaS, you can move more responsibility to your cloud provider. In addition to managing your infrastructure (IaaS), the cloud provider will also manage the operating system, security patches, middleware and runtime to host your app. This removes most of the day-to-day responsibility of managing the platform.
In this way, PaaS isn’t delivering software over the internet, but it is providing an online platform that is accessible to different developers to create software to be delivered over the internet.
Ups and Downs of the Cloud
- Development Framework: PaaS makes it faster and easier to get an app up and running because it is designed to support the complete web application lifecycle: building, testing, deploying, managing, and updating. PaaS lets developers create applications using built-in software components, reducing the amount of coding that developers must do.
- Analytics and Business Intelligence: PaaS providers include many tools that allow organizations to analyze and mine their data, finding insights and patterns and predicting outcomes to improve forecasting, product design decisions, investment returns, and other business decisions.
- Resource Management: PaaS enables easy creation and deletion of resources. For example, if you need to run a proof-of-concept app for various presentations, developers can quickly spin up the environment to demonstrate the app and then just as quickly delete the app.
- Cost Benefits: By way of this example, with the quick “on and off” used to demonstrate an app, you would only pay for the time that you use these resources vs. a whole month. In addition, you won’t need a full-time IT admin to oversee the infrastructure for your app.
- Lack of control: Some would say this is a pro, but if you have deep understanding, ability and desire to pull all the levers and push the buttons to fine-turn the infrastructure, you will no longer have that control. Your vendor will now fully manage the infrastructure.
- Vendor lock-in: It can be challenging to migrate your app from one cloud to another, so cloud vendor selection is important.
- Performance at scale: There could be performance issues if an app were rapidly rolled out to a large audience vs. if it were running on its own dedicated server.
Both Pass and IaaS come with their own pros and cons. The choice depends on your needs and requirements of the workload you are moving. We work with our clients to formulate their cloud strategies and the optimal implementation of cloud solutions. Feel free to reach out to the iTelecom team for more information.