Whether you’re part of a civilian or a government agency, the decisions you need to make around how you develop, deploy, and manage your IT infrastructure has drastically changed with the advent of cloud computing.
More specifically, “as-a-service” solutions are empowering organizations of all shapes and sizes to operate in a more complex world with an expanded set of capabilities. And those capabilities don’t need to be built or maintained in-house; instead, they are maintained by your service provider.
One of the most common “as-a-service” models is called “platform-as-a-service” (PaaS), which can be particularly beneficial if you have in-house developers for web-based applications. If you’re considering a PaaS solution for your organization, you’ve come to the right place.
IDT is a trusted enterprise technology solutions partner with decades of experience in empowering mission-focused agencies and organizations to achieve their goals through technology. We possess a proven track record of developing out-of-the-box solutions that are both innovative and cost-effective – including PaaS solutions.
By the end of this article, you’ll understand precisely what a PaaS solution is, as well as what examples of PaaS solutions exist today, so you can make the right choice for your organization’s IT infrastructure needs.
All cloud computing solutions that mitigate the need for on-premises IT infrastructure don’t fall into the same category. For example, here is a breakdown of infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) and PaaS, two commonly confused types of as-a-service products:
|Infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS)||Platform-as-a-service (PaaS)|
While both IaaS and PaaS offer networking, data center, and virtualization needs, only PaaS goes a step further by offering operating system and middleware components as part of its solution suite.
This key differentiation is what makes a PaaS product well-suited for organizations with that have any degree of focus on in-house software development. Leveraging a PaaS solution, your developers can rely upon built-in components while creating their own web-based applications. This not only makes their work more streamlined, it also reduces the amount of time they need to spend manually coding to create their own components.
Moreover, as with virtually all “as-a-service” solutions, maintenance and updates of those PaaS tools reside with the provider, rather than the organization using the service. With their subscription, they have access to the tools they need without the burden of IT administration.
One of the most common examples of a PaaS products on the market today is AWS Elastic Beanstalk. On the back of programming languages such as Python, .NET, Node.js, and others, development-focused teams can launch and scale web applications with relative ease using this solution.
Of course, not every PaaS solution you come across will look the same. In fact, there are nine different types of PaaS subtypes on the market today:
Like most cloud computing services, PaaS solutions offer two essential benefits for organizations – they’re convenient and they’re easy to use, again, without the hassle of IT administration.
On top of that, they tend to be more cost-efficient in the long run than deploying and maintaining your own on-premises software and hardware in a few different ways:
However, no technology solution or service is bulletproof, and PaaS solutions (or cloud computing solutions of any kind, for that matter) are immune to this inalienable fact.
For example, no PaaS provider can offer a 100% guarantee of absolutely no downtime or outages with their service. Additionally, while their agility translates into a more sophisticated product for you, a provider can make changes to what they offer and support at any time, for whatever reason.
In some cases, a solutions provider may trap you in what’s called a “vendor lock-in” scenario, because they do not want you abandoning them for a competitor. This can make data migration scenarios exceptionally difficult.
Of course, not all PaaS provider relationships will result in a vendor lock-in scenario.
Recently, we worked closely with a civilian law enforcement agency that was trying to move into the future through the adoption of innovative, third-party cloud solutions. By partnering with ID Technologies, this agency was able to break free of “vendor lock-in,” while also speeding up adoption of cloud resources. The future forecast is that these capabilities will significantly accelerate toward the end state they want to achieve.