Joe McKendrick: Unraveling the confusion about PaaS

ATN-300InsightaaS:  ZDNet has assembled an enviable roster of knowledgeable IT commentators, including Joe McKendrick, whose "Service Oriented" blog provides a thoughtful perspective on IT management issues. The post featured today is actually the second in an informal series: the first ("PaaS may not be ready for the enterprise, at least this year") highlighted seven issues with the PaaS market, including the notion that it is more "NoOps" than "DevOps" oriented.

Today's featured post supplies an expanded view of PaaS. Using comments provided at a panel discussion as a starting point, McKendrick highlights some of the obstacles to 2015 being (as Gartner has predicted) "the year of PaaS." He highlights the murky PaaS definitions that "often overlap with Infrastructure as a Service," and impending competition from IaaS vendors like Amazon looking to move up the stack, and at the need for more and better support for the "operations" side of DevOps. He quotes one of the panelists as saying "Right now that the way that it is it’s not really DevOps in a box yet...It's hammers and nails and wrenches in a box that help you create DevOps practices to a degree. The biggest obstacles are stovepipes. PaaS can play a very significant role there."

Overcoming any skepticism about Platform as a Service will require more of an operational focus. As discussed in our last post, there's a lot of "dev" in PaaS, but not enough "ops."

Recently, JP Morgenthal, director of the cloud computing & DevOps practice at Perficient (and a long-time enterprise software thought leader), led a BrightTalk panel discussion on promoting PaaS adoption to skeptical enterprises. He was joined by Ed Anuff, Apigee; Sean Allen, OutSystems; and Sarbjeet Johal of Unified Cloud.

The first challenge is that definitions of PaaS tend to be relatively murky, and often overlap with Infrastructure as a Service. (Even the Wikipedia definition of PaaS is flagged with "multiple issues.")  Helping to kick off the discussion, Allen defined PaaS as "a cloud-based service that integrates and manages all aspects of your application stack.... anything that allows you to build cloud-based applications without worrying about storage or other stack-based components." Johal adds that PaaS is likely to be seen in implementations such as "Hadoop as a service, data crunching as a service or integration as a service."...

Read the entire post on ZDnet's Service Oriented blog: Link

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