As you know, I have long been interested in cloud computing and the possibilities it offers. That is why today I would like to share with you details of one of the models of this service – PaaS, and give you my opinions about it.
PaaS – the basics
You can read about what a cloud is and what types of clouds there are in my previous articles. Today I will only deal with one of its aspects, or to be more precise with one of its models. PaaS, or Platform as a Service, is a cloud computing platform aimed at developers. To use the service, you do not need anything more than a computer and a network connection – everything you need to actually work, i.e. the hardware and the environment are stored in a cloud, and you connect to them using a client, which can be for example Google Chrome or Opera! PaaS services include application design, development, testing, deployment and sharing. Other services include: the possibility of teamwork, integration of network services, database integration, security or scalability. By using this service, we do not have to worry about anything other than programming. The service provider takes care of system stability, updates and security. If we decide to move our code to another service provider, this may prove problematic, as some offer a cloud with generic languages, while others offer their own solutions. As long though as we want to move from a generic environment to another generic one, there is no problem. Complications may arise only if we decide to move, for example, from a service offered by Google to a general environment.
PaaS versus other cloud services
In short, PaaS is, for example, PHP, Ruby, Java, or C++, available and ready to work from the browser level. PaaS is located “in between” IaaS, i.e. Infrastructure as a Service, which is the basis of cloud computing, and SaaS – Software as a Service, which is at the top of the “cloud pyramid” and its scope covers the smallest area. In the case of the IaaS model, the service recipient gets a virtual machine, adjusted to their requirements (RAM, HDD, CPU), which we provide with an operating system as well as necessary software and applications. In the SaaS model however, the service recipient buys a specific service, for example a website creator.
PaaS – a solution to corporate problems
In the past, you could say that PaaS and cloud computing as a whole would be the future of the internet. Today, that future is already upon us. Every company is looking to save money, usually by downsizing their departments. By hiring third parties for particular tasks, you know you get the specialists that you need. This allows not only to reduce costs, but also to increase the efficiency of the product or service sold. This is exactly why Platform as a Service has become the primary platform on which applications are developed.
Using PaaS allows the programmers to focus on what they do best, which is code writing. By creating in a cloud, the programmer shifts the entire burden of control over all other aspects of app development to the service provider, i.e. to someone who does it every day and knows the ropes much better than anyone. You do not need to worry about administrator duties, hardware or stability of the environment in which you write and test your app. You get a tool to dynamically manage used resources and you use only what you need.
The predicted popularity of PaaS has become a reality. In 2011, 9% of users have used the PaaS service and 25% of users were considering using it. The following year, the number of PaaS users increased by 7 percentage points up to 16%.
A big change can be noted in 2018. According to IDG research, 61% of cloud users have used the PaaS service. This provides us with a clear picture that PaaS is still a top-tier service and its popularity is not going away. Indeed, research backs this up with predictions of systematic growth.
What do you think about PaaS and cloud computing? Share your opinions!