Platform as a Service Overview (PaaS)

May 30th, 2012 | Posted by admin in Editorial

Platform as a Service (Paas), along with Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Software as a Service (Saas), make up the three primary service models of cloud computing. Although each serve an equally vital role in the overall cloud model, this article will focus on what Paas is, as well as a brief overview of some of the major players in the Paas community.

PaaS, IaaS and SaaS relationship

The primary function of PaaS is to allow businesses to build and run web-based, custom applications in an on-demand fashion. Furthermore, developers have access to specific tools and libraries, while also controlling software deployment and configuration settings. The company offering the Paas service provides the networks, servers, and storage. Therefore, using this type of service allows the vendor access to an ideal infrastructure model that can be housed offsite. Because the hardware is located in another location, customers have access to unlimited computing power, while decreasing upfront costs
dramatically since users only pay for the service that they use.

Types of PaaS Solutions

The following list breaks down the four types of Platform as a service (PaaS) solutions:

1) Stand Alone Business Application Platforms- Development tools used to design and deploy software. This model has numerous benefits including advanced security, scalability, no additional hardware costs, and no software licensing fees.

2) Social Application Development Platforms- This type of platform is used to develop applications for social websites like Google+ and Facebook. This is done by integrating an Application
Programming Interface (API) with the social website platform.

3) Web-Based Application Add-On Platforms- This type of Platform allows a user to modify and add features to existing Software as a Service (SaaS).

4) Open-Computing Platforms- This form of PaaS supports applications that are written in
numerous types of code and that use any type of database, operating system, and server.

PaaS Overview

Directory of Major PaaS Companies

1) AppScale- Open-Source framework that supports Google App Engine Applications. It also allows users to upload numerous applications to the cloud. It supports multiple distributed back ends such as MySQL Cluster, HBase, Hypertable, and Apache Cassandra, while supporting Python, Go, and Java applications.

2) Google App Engine (GAE)- Allows users to develop and host web applications in Google Data Centers. One of the primary benefits of App engine is it offers automatic scaling for web applications. The platform will automatically increase the amount of resources allocated as demand rises.

3) Cloud Foundry- Cloud Foundry is a subsidiary of VMware. Cloud Foundry is an open-source PaaS platform that supports programming languages Java and Scala. In addition, VMware also offers a hosted service using this software that runs of VMware’s own infrastructure and uses its vSphere suite package underneath.

4) AppFog- App Fog is an open-source PaaS solution located in Portland, Oregon, that allows developers to build and deploy applications in seconds.

5) Heroku- Heroku is a subsidiary of salesforce.com and was one of the first PaaS services offered on the market. Its benefits include an ability to support multiple programming languages including Ruby, Java, Scala, and Python.

6) Cloud Swing- Cloud Swing is a subsidiary of Open Logic and is portrayed as the first ever PaaS solution that offers cost-tracking and complete customization of technology stacks.

7) Openshift- Openshift is a free, auto-scaling Platform as a service (PaaS) for building applications. A Subsidiary of RedHat, Openshift manages the stack, which gives developers the ability to focus all of their attention on coding.

8.) dotCloud- dotCloud allows users to build and deploy any application to the cloud, while having the ability to manage it all in one place. Therefore, users can mix and match languages, databases, and message components without the need to purchase additional servers.

9) Oracle- Oracle’s PaaS offering provides a platform that is both elastic and scalable, while also allowing users to consolidate new application deployment and development. In addition, it also includes a database based on the Oracle database and Oracle Exadata Database Machine.

10) Windows Azure- Windows Azure is Microsoft’s Platform as a Service (PaaS) offering. Like other PaaS solutions, Windows Azure allows users to build, scale, and deploy web applications using Microsoft’s data centers. In addition, it is also an open source solution, which allows developers to use any language, tool, or framework.

11) SlipStream- SlipStream is an engineering PaaS solution that is fully automated and on-demand. Additionally, it also allows users to create multi-machine runtime environments. SlipStream provides an easy to use interface to those with little cloud computing experience.

12) ConPaaS- ConPaaS allows developers to easily run applications in the cloud using a runtime environment. An open-source solution, ConPaaS services are elastic and can be scaled up or down with one click.

13) Acquia Cloud- Acquia Cloud is a Drupal tuned PaaS offering that already hosts numerous Drupal websites a month. Acquia Cloud is portrayed as a cloud platform that “enables developers to customize Acquia Cloud’s capabilities, including adding features such as developer workflow, site management and provisioning.”

14) Longjump- Longjump offers a comprehensive PaaS cloud platform that is hosted on the Longjump cloud. Considered one of the leaders in the IT industry, LongJump’s Platform as a Service offering gives users access to multi-tenant architecture, scalable capacity, industry-standard technology stack, and a world class support and response center.

15) Cloud Bees-Cloud Bees offers users a simple way to build and run Java applications in the cloud. Portrayed as the first PaaS platform for Java that offers a complete end-to-end environment, Cloud Bees offers a scalable, inexpensive, and secure solution that can be developed and deployed quickly.

16) Engine Yard- Engine Yard offers users a reliable and secure Platform as a Service (PaaS) solution for any type of web or enterprise application. This PaaS offering includes Engine Yard’s Ruby on Rails stack, automated load balancing, and world class monitoring, which ensures applications will perform at the highest possible levels.

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