The Business Benefits of PaaS in Cloud Computing - dummies

The Business Benefits of PaaS in Cloud Computing

By Judith Hurwitz, Marcia Kaufman, Fern Halper, Daniel Kirsch

Two of the business benefits of PaaS (Platform as a Service) in cloud computing are reduced costs and increased speed of development and deployment. The potential cost savings of IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) are clear — you can rent computing resources only when you need them. PaaS can operate in a similar fashion to IaaS by allowing companies to use a PaaS service during development and deployment instead of having to purchase many different independent tools.

In a hybrid environment, when the same PaaS environment can support both public and private services, organizations can benefit by this level of flexibility and agility. By providing a homogenous platform, workloads can easily be moved from a private cloud to a public cloud for deployment and efficient scaling. This allows organizations to have a high degree of control over where a particular application is running.

Reducing costs

By providing the underlying software infrastructure, PaaS can reduce organizational costs. PaaS reduces many of the costs involved with the traditional application development and deployment model, including the following:

  • Server and storage overhead: Writing and testing new programs is computationally intensive and requires large amounts of server and storage space. Typically, once the development and deployment stages are complete, a company’s server and storage space lie dormant. This underutilized computing capacity requires power, cooling, and maintenance. As a result, organizations often devote considerable amounts of money to unused capacity.

    With a PaaS, companies don’t have excess resources in reserve. The development tools are provided by the PaaS, and not all of the iterations of the code need to be stored in the data center. These savings on server and storage overhead are realized whether developing on-premises or in the cloud.

  • Network bandwidth: The development and deployment process can put a strain on network bandwidth within a data center. Development teams must perform workload testing to see how the application will perform under different circumstances. This requirement to allocate network resources may slow down the operation of other applications or may require the acquisition of more bandwidth capacity. PaaS enables testing to be done in the cloud, rather than in the data center.

  • Software maintenance: The cost of managing software updates and changes is often a burden to development and operational organizations and a huge expense in terms of time and money. Although the cost structure of a PaaS requires a per-user, per-month charge, the cost is typically offset by reducing or eliminating software license costs and yearly maintenance fees. The platform vendor manages all patches and updates for the hardware and software and also provides physical and software security for the automation of day-to-day tasks.

  • Support personnel: To keep software and systems up to date and running smoothly and to fix problems when they occur, organizations must have IT staff at the ready — for everything from storage and archiving to patch management, networks, security, and the help desk. By adopting a standardized platform across an organization, hardware and software conflicts are greatly reduced, resulting in simplified service and support. This level of standardization and automation allows organizations to reduce or refocus its teams away from routine tasks.

  • Careless mistakes: During application development and deployment, there’s also a great deal of pressure on teams to get work done quickly. This pressure often results in careless mistakes. With PaaS, such mistakes are reduced or entirely eliminated because the platform has been fully tested and is known to work. Developers don’t get tied down with the middleware and tedious tasks that are prone to hasty mistakes.

  • Lower skill requirements: Development tools and middleware are complex and aren’t standardized. Successfully deploying an application takes a high degree of skill and experience. The learning curve on these skills is steep, and there’s also an ongoing need to manage these components. By providing the development tools and middleware, a PaaS lowers the skill level required to deploy applications and removes the bottleneck that can form while waiting for one specific person’s assistance.

Improving speed, flexibility, and agility

PaaS can provide greater speed, flexibility, and agility to the development process. By providing a predictable, heterogeneous application infrastructure, organizations don’t get bogged down with enabling applications and can quickly meet the needs of customers.

PaaS helps to do the following:

  • Enable faster time to market by allowing development teams to focus on the application

  • Enhance ability to react to changes and opportunities because the organization doesn’t have large up-front costs associated with typical application development and deployment

  • Spread capital investments further, which allows a company to be more competitive