Moving from a 'Platform' to the 'Platform-as-a-Service' ~ What is it all about?
By Kathiravelu Pradeeban
- 14 May, 2012
The organizations host the applications over the middleware platform that they chose. In this cloud-era, the organizations too would like to have a singly managed Cloud Middleware Platform (CMP) instead of having multiple servers. A cloud middleware platform can be hosted over the local data centers, or the public infrastructure as a service, providing the means to use as a private, public, or hybrid cloud. The cloud middleware platform should be designed such as the applications hosted over the PaaS should be able to be migrated to the cloud middleware platform or vice versa.
SaaS Development over CMP
A cloud middleware platform, as the application platforms, can be hosted in local data centers, or even on personal computers that have the required amount of disk space and memory. This can be used to incrementally test and develop the SaaS applications locally, than developing and hosting them directly on the cloud.
A cloud middleware platform, when is hosted on a private, public, or a hybrid cloud infrastructure, becomes a Platform as a Service. Cloud Middleware Platform is also referred to as a cloud enabled application platform (CEAP), by Gartner, indicating that the application platform is cloud-enabled.
PaaS and ROI
Why should a Software as a Service developer/provider go for an PaaS provider, instead of hosting their applications directly on IaaS? The PaaS layer that stays between the applications and the infrastructure should provide value to the enterprise, to answer the above question. Moreover, a PaaS can also be hosted directly on the native hardware as opposed to hosting them on top of IaaS, as the commonly mentioned bottom up cloud architecture of IaaS -> PaaS -> SaaS. This prevents the application developer worrying about the underlying infrastructure or hardware when developing his applications.
PaaS for SMEs
For a start-ups or small and medium enterprises, a suitable PaaS provides faster time-to-market, providing higher return on investment (ROI). When you are hosting an application over the Platform as a Service, the platform should be able to handle the high-availability, fail over, auto-scaling, logging, throttling, and billing features. This eliminates the need for the application developers to code for these common requirements which to be available in the platform level. WSO2 StratosLive, as a complete middleware platform as a service, provides an entire architecture as a service. This made possible since Stratos/StratosLive is extending the WSO2 Carbon SOA enterprise middleware platform, sharing the same code base.
No Code for a platform or infrastructure!
An open platform as a service is committed to fight against the vendor lock-in, by adhering to the open standards. Open source technologies help a lot in being committed to being open. Being open means, the application developers should not be writing an application solely focusing a platform or the API provided by the cloud infrastructure or platform providers. WSO2 is open by design.
Kathiravelu Pradeeban, Software Engineer.