What is PaaS? Platform-as-a-service explained
We all use the word cloud, but do you know what is behind it? Not all offers are the same. IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS are very different types of cloud options. Can you distinguish them? And even more, the important question is, do you know which one do you need? Let’s dive deep into the topic “What is PaaS” and discover is it the right choice for you.
What is PaaS?
PaaS is platform-as-a-service. It is a type of cloud computing, one level reacher in functionality than the IaaS (infrastructure-as-a-service). With it, the clients get a complete platform for developing and running applications without taking care of the infrastructure and the developing environment.
It is often used for developing and testing the environment, which already has all the components needed and provides an excellent condition for developers and testers to collaborate and do their job.
PaaS divides the responsibility between the client and the cloud provider this way:
Cloud PaaS provider
- Networking – all the connection, internet, and availability is a responsibility of the PaaS provider. They need to deal with network gear and network problems.
- Storage – the storage is also provided by the PaaS provider, and it should support it.
- Servers – the actual computers will be provided by the cloud provider. The clients usually have guarantee resources and share the servers.
- Virtualization – This part also goes for the cloud provider. It will manage the resources (servers) the way they decide to offer plans with guaranteed performance.
- O/S – The provider will offer the operating system. Often there will be Windows, for those who want to develop for it, and different variations of Linux like Ubuntu, CentOS, Debian, and more.
- Middleware – In this category comes the APIs, data management, drivers for devices, application services, and more.
- Runtime – Here comes the whole environment for development – all the framework and supported services that you need to have installed before you can develop.
- Data – the client will be able to use, store and process the data the way it likes.
- Applications – Clients will be able to install and maintain the software they want for developing applications. Yes, there are limits put from the Runtime and OS, but still, there is some freedom.
Although there are other uses of PaaS, the most common one is for developing and launching an app. Usually, PaaS has a monthly subscription. It is also possible to pay it yearly, daily, or based on the resource you use.
Advantages of PaaS
- Cost-effective. It is really easy to understand the final price of application development by using PaaS instead of creating your own platform. After choosing your plan, you can be sure this will be the price.
- Scalability. A big cloud benefit is a scalability. Usually, you can just upgrade to a better plan or negotiate a custom solution for your business needs.
- Ease-of-use. You already have the whole platform ready to start developing—no need to worry about hardware or software problems.
Disadvantages of PaaS
- Dependency. You can get extremely dependent on the cloud provider you choose. You might get used to a certain development environment, tools, or another that will be hard or even impossible to move to another provider.
- Runtime problems. The particular PaaS provider might not be support everything that you need. Check before you pay. Always!
What to consider before choosing a PaaS provider?
Before you pay for a PaaS, think about the following:
- What are the features that include? Can the application that you want to develop, be created and run with them?
- Is it optimized for the programming language of choice?
- Uptime. How often does the provider experience downtime? Is it ok for your needs?
- Can it scale if you need more resources? Consider the size of the cloud provider. Can it scale up if your app requires it? Or can you migrate easily to another PaaS provider?
- Can it support the number of users that you are expecting?
So, PaaS is for you if you want to get a fast and ready-to-use environment for application development. You can do it without all the worries and at a price that you can easily put inside your budget from the beginning.