Welcome!

Weblogic Authors: Yeshim Deniz, Elizabeth White, Michael Meiner, Michael Bushong, Avi Rosenthal

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Microservices Expo

@CloudExpo: Blog Post

Delivery Models for PaaS Solutions

A look at how providers are attacking PaaS

You know how we can tell PaaS is hot right now? We see vendors suffering from the same ‘me too' syndrome that we see with its parent, cloud computing. That is, it seems some players are all too willing to throw around the term PaaS in order to spunk up a press release or product announcement. I am sure this comes as no shock to anyone following the cloud industry -- just more examples of ‘cloud-washing.'

However, just because some of us may be use to this type of wishful branding does not mean it is without negative consequences. From my conversations with consumers, it is clear there is not a consensus on the meaning of PaaS. This holds true even when polling the subset of consumers very involved with cloud initiatives within their own company. Basically, when you bring up PaaS, everyone in the room may ‘know' what it is, but chances are they all know something different.

Personally, I have a simple (maybe overly so) outlook on PaaS. My thought is that PaaS solutions present cloud services with an application focus. When I think PaaS, I think of a model where the primary workload unit is some type of application. This means the entire solution orients itself around providing services for that application. These services definitely include application infrastructure (application servers/containers, web servers, databases, caches, etc.), and typically include runtime services like policy-based scaling, monitoring, metering, health management, etc.

The key is that the solution truly treats these capabilities as services. That means that as an end-user you do not spend time setting up, configuring, integrating, or otherwise mucking around with these things. You focus on your application, and the PaaS solution renders the necessary supporting cast. This view eliminates some ambitious claims regarding ‘PaaS' solutions that are basically nothing more than IaaS solutions with admin/operational views.

While there are certainly some out there trying to hijack the PaaS term, there are others that are treating PaaS legitimately. Moreover, as you may be able to surmise from the above description, doing so is not an easy task. PaaS brings the level of abstraction above servers, network components, and storage, where users accept a high degree of commoditization, to application platforms and services, an area where there is virtually no commoditization. In reconciling the fact that consumers still vary widely in their application platforms and services, PaaS providers can basically go a few different routes:

Platform/service depth with little breadth: Providers can choose to focus their PaaS enablement on a narrow subset of application platforms and services. This allows the provider to radically simplify the deployment of certain applications by providing deep expertise in the configuration and management of a relatively smaller set of infrastructure and services. This is a common point of entry for providers in the PaaS market as they can quickly get to the point of providing accelerated value. Of course, the catch is that users typically deploy different kinds of applications, which in turn require different platforms. In some cases, a focused PaaS solution may result in adoption hesitancy since it can only handle a subset of the consumer's overall application needs.

- Platform/service breadth with little depth: In this model, providers want to equip their users with a wider range of support for application styles, but typically do so at the expense of providing deep expertise in any one set of application platforms. Users have more control, but may have to provide some of their own platform configuration/management expertise. In other words, they accept a dilution of the service style delivery model for the application platform in favor of enhanced flexibility.

Platform/service depth with breadth: In this model, providers deliver deep expertise on a certain subset of application platforms and services, while accounting for extensibility that allows the user a wide range of application platform choice. This model often fits well for consumers that predominantly deploy applications of a particular style to a particular platform, but still want to address their deployment minority with the same approach.

In my opinion, no one approach is necessarily better than the other. It really comes down to the users and market that providers are attempting to address. I will say that the model of ‘Platform/service depth with little breadth' seems to dominate the landscape now, which makes sense given the nascent nature of the market.

In the long term, I believe the ‘Platform/service depth with breadth' model may be the most compelling for both consumers and providers. From a consumer standpoint, it gets them closer to the ‘one tool to rule them all' approach (or at least a single pane of glass). From a provider standpoint, it offers the promise of revenue streams from a variety of different application styles and platforms. However, from a provider standpoint, this is no doubt the toughest model to build and sustain. To offer platform breadth in a meaningful, extensible manner will take considerable effort, thoughtful design, and perhaps most of all, quite a bit of time (as an aside, I am a bit worried that we overlook the standardization requirements that will enable this kind of extensibility).

The fun is really just starting in the PaaS market. It is exciting to watch the trends of both consumers and providers in this space, and it is equally exciting to anticipate the ways in which this paradigm may fundamentally change the landscape of application platforms and services. Buckle up and let's see where this all leads us!

More Stories By Dustin Amrhein

Dustin Amrhein joined IBM as a member of the development team for WebSphere Application Server. While in that position, he worked on the development of Web services infrastructure and Web services programming models. In his current role, Dustin is a technical specialist for cloud, mobile, and data grid technology in IBM's WebSphere portfolio. He blogs at http://dustinamrhein.ulitzer.com. You can follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/damrhein.

@ThingsExpo Stories
Gemini is Yahoo’s native and search advertising platform. To ensure the quality of a complex distributed system that spans multiple products and components and across various desktop websites and mobile app and web experiences – both Yahoo owned and operated and third-party syndication (supply), with complex interaction with more than a billion users and numerous advertisers globally (demand) – it becomes imperative to automate a set of end-to-end tests 24x7 to detect bugs and regression. In th...
"Space Monkey by Vivent Smart Home is a product that is a distributed cloud-based edge storage network. Vivent Smart Home, our parent company, is a smart home provider that places a lot of hard drives across homes in North America," explained JT Olds, Director of Engineering, and Brandon Crowfeather, Product Manager, at Vivint Smart Home, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"IBM is really all in on blockchain. We take a look at sort of the history of blockchain ledger technologies. It started out with bitcoin, Ethereum, and IBM evaluated these particular blockchain technologies and found they were anonymous and permissionless and that many companies were looking for permissioned blockchain," stated René Bostic, Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Conventi...
"Cloud Academy is an enterprise training platform for the cloud, specifically public clouds. We offer guided learning experiences on AWS, Azure, Google Cloud and all the surrounding methodologies and technologies that you need to know and your teams need to know in order to leverage the full benefits of the cloud," explained Alex Brower, VP of Marketing at Cloud Academy, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clar...
It is of utmost importance for the future success of WebRTC to ensure that interoperability is operational between web browsers and any WebRTC-compliant client. To be guaranteed as operational and effective, interoperability must be tested extensively by establishing WebRTC data and media connections between different web browsers running on different devices and operating systems. In his session at WebRTC Summit at @ThingsExpo, Dr. Alex Gouaillard, CEO and Founder of CoSMo Software, presented ...
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, whic...
Coca-Cola’s Google powered digital signage system lays the groundwork for a more valuable connection between Coke and its customers. Digital signs pair software with high-resolution displays so that a message can be changed instantly based on what the operator wants to communicate or sell. In their Day 3 Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Chambers, Global Group Director, Digital Innovation, Coca-Cola, and Vidya Nagarajan, a Senior Product Manager at Google, discussed how from store operations and ...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Carl J. Levine, Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1, will objectively discuss how DNS is used to solve Digital Transformation challenges in large SaaS applications, CDNs, AdTech platforms, and other demanding use cases. Carl J. Levine is the Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1. A veteran of the Internet Infrastructure space, he has over a decade of experience with startups, networking protocols and Internet infrastructure, combined with the unique ability to it...
"MobiDev is a software development company and we do complex, custom software development for everybody from entrepreneurs to large enterprises," explained Alan Winters, U.S. Head of Business Development at MobiDev, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that CrowdReviews.com has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5–7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. CrowdReviews.com is a transparent online platform for determining which products and services are the best based on the opinion of the crowd. The crowd consists of Internet users that have experienced products and services first-hand and have an interest in letting other potential buye...
"There's plenty of bandwidth out there but it's never in the right place. So what Cedexis does is uses data to work out the best pathways to get data from the origin to the person who wants to get it," explained Simon Jones, Evangelist and Head of Marketing at Cedexis, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
WebRTC is great technology to build your own communication tools. It will be even more exciting experience it with advanced devices, such as a 360 Camera, 360 microphone, and a depth sensor camera. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Masashi Ganeko, a manager at INFOCOM Corporation, introduced two experimental projects from his team and what they learned from them. "Shotoku Tamago" uses the robot audition software HARK to track speakers in 360 video of a remote party. "Virtual Teleport" uses a multip...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Telecom Reseller has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Telecom Reseller reports on Unified Communications, UCaaS, BPaaS for enterprise and SMBs. They report extensively on both customer premises based solutions such as IP-PBX as well as cloud based and hosted platforms.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Evatronix will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Evatronix SA offers comprehensive solutions in the design and implementation of electronic systems, in CAD / CAM deployment, and also is a designer and manufacturer of advanced 3D scanners for professional applications.
Leading companies, from the Global Fortune 500 to the smallest companies, are adopting hybrid cloud as the path to business advantage. Hybrid cloud depends on cloud services and on-premises infrastructure working in unison. Successful implementations require new levels of data mobility, enabled by an automated and seamless flow across on-premises and cloud resources. In his general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Tevis, an IBM Storage Software Technical Strategist and Customer Solution Architec...
To get the most out of their data, successful companies are not focusing on queries and data lakes, they are actively integrating analytics into their operations with a data-first application development approach. Real-time adjustments to improve revenues, reduce costs, or mitigate risk rely on applications that minimize latency on a variety of data sources. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Jack Norris, Senior Vice President, Data and Applications at MapR Technologies, reviewed best practices to ...
An increasing number of companies are creating products that combine data with analytical capabilities. Running interactive queries on Big Data requires complex architectures to store and query data effectively, typically involving data streams, an choosing efficient file format/database and multiple independent systems that are tied together through custom-engineered pipelines. In his session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Tomer Levi, a senior software engineer at Intel’s Advanced Analytics gr...
When talking IoT we often focus on the devices, the sensors, the hardware itself. The new smart appliances, the new smart or self-driving cars (which are amalgamations of many ‘things’). When we are looking at the world of IoT, we should take a step back, look at the big picture. What value are these devices providing? IoT is not about the devices, it’s about the data consumed and generated. The devices are tools, mechanisms, conduits. In his session at Internet of Things at Cloud Expo | DXWor...
Everything run by electricity will eventually be connected to the Internet. Get ahead of the Internet of Things revolution. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Akvelon expert and IoT industry leader Sergey Grebnov provided an educational dive into the world of managing your home, workplace and all the devices they contain with the power of machine-based AI and intelligent Bot services for a completely streamlined experience.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Synametrics Technologies will exhibit at SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Synametrics Technologies is a privately held company based in Plainsboro, New Jersey that has been providing solutions for the developer community since 1997. Based on the success of its initial product offerings such as WinSQL, Xeams, SynaMan and Syncrify, Synametrics continues to create and hone inn...