HOW PAAS, CONTAINERS ARE FUELING NEXT-STAGE CLOUD GROWTH

As Google, IBM, Microsoft, Salesforce and others rev up the platform-as-a-service market, CIOs are faced with decisions. Here’s our guide to choosing the right PaaS for your business.

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During the go-go cloud rush years, as organizations scrambled to replace owned data center infrastructure and self-managed applications with IaaS and SaaS, respectively, PaaS was relegated to niche status.

No longer. As enterprises solidify their cloud strategies, the need for PaaS is coming into focus. These offerings are designed to simplify application design, construction and deployment by interposing an abstraction layer between the developer and the supporting infrastructure. Instead of dealing with VM and OS internals, PaaS lets dev teams work with higher-level services, such as API gateways, serverless functions, Hadoop clusters, web servers, mobile app back ends and, most recently, even managed container instances. 

Despite the benefits, market watchers struggle to set sales numbers on PaaS. That’s mainly because, in the era of cloud services, what constitutes an “application platform” is in the eye of the beholder. AWS (the behemoth of IaaS) and Salesforce (the SaaS pioneer) bake in higher-level application functions. That means PaaS products often make their way to customers as either bottom-up add-ons to IaaS platforms or top-down extensions to SaaS offerings.

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