Welcome!

Microservices Expo Authors: Cynthia Dunlop, Liz McMillan, Carmen Gonzalez, Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Java IoT, Microservices Expo, Linux Containers, Containers Expo Blog, @BigDataExpo

@CloudExpo: Article

Integrated PaaS/IaaS Technology Complements Your Enterprise Cloud Strategy

The migration to the cloud offers IT departments the ability to become an agile utility and services provider to the enterprise

Infrastructure-as-a-Service and Platform-as-a-Service are technologies that are fast becoming integrated, and this is good news for enterprises looking to implement private, public or hybrid clouds.

The availability of resources on-demand through companies like Amazon and Google has provided developers with the ability to quickly define a scalable and highly available infrastructure to develop and deploy applications. The availability of Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) means that anyone can provision servers, storage and networking in the cloud with a high level of configurability and control and pay (in general) for the amount of resources reserved.

While IaaS is growing quickly, for an enterprise looking to provide its architects and developers with control of their development environment and the ability to build and deploy applications rapidly, Platform-as-a-Service goes a step further. PaaS provides self-management for DevOps and developers, providing the ability to build scalable, load balanced and highly available application environments without worrying about app server configuration, load balancers or tools.

PaaS, however, has not grown as quickly as IaaS (IDC predicts that PaaS will grow to a $14B market by 2017 - IDC, The Evolving State of PaaS, October 2013) even though some might argue that PaaS is a key technology for enterprises looking to become more agile and utilize the cloud. To a large degree, the growth of PaaS has been affected by:

Confused market messaging:

  • A large number of PaaS vendors have emerged over the past few years with multiple marketing messages. With so many choices and, sometimes, conflicting messages, CTOs were left to separate the wheat from the chaff. More recently there has been consolidation in the PaaS space with infrastructure providers being motivated to move up the stack and provide PaaS functionality and vice versa.
  • The emergence of the Cloud Foundry Alliance, supported by IBM, EMC, VMware and others, and OpenShift, championed by Red Hat, provides enterprises with yet another decision point: both of these PaaS options have waves of support from the Open Source community and both run on top of multiple infrastructures. An enterprise CTO needs to decide if these initiatives are the safe choice, or whether one of these will turn into the Betamax of PaaS.

Black box approach:

  • Many PaaS vendors have adopted the approach of working on top of existing infrastructure offerings and obfuscating the infrastructure from the PaaS layer for ease of use. However, some solutions take this black box" approach too far, meaning that developers are restricted from even basic access to configuration files for their environments.

Vendor lock-in:

  • Most, but not all, PaaS solutions require that developers code or re-code applications to a proprietary API. While this might be acceptable for green-field environments it is not okay for large enterprises. In addition to the work involved in modifying legacy applications, betting on a particular vendor's API means that the decision to implement PaaS becomes a major strategic "bet" on the PaaS vendor's success in the market.

This last factor has been perhaps the largest inhibitor to PaaS adoption in the last few years.

However, there is good news for enterprises. PaaS and IaaS are merging and this means that many, but not all, of the barriers to PaaS are being removed. It also means that enterprises get more from their IaaS/PaaS solutions vendor.

Here are five reasons that enterprises will benefit from PaaS/IaaS convergence.

1. Easier and Faster Implementation
User quote: "One of the largest gains we are experiencing, and a key reason for adopting private cloud vs traditional server architecture is the ease and speed of server creation and deployment. Historically, if we have wanted to create additional servers, it's been a sys admin task that would take a week of turnaround. The difference is now staggering. The short version is I am minutes from new server deployment instead of weeks."

An integrated PaaS and IaaS solution means faster implementation and a more "turnkey" installation.

With Open Source solutions offering a building block approach to PaaS that can be integrated with multiple infrastructures, installation, configuration and management can become challenging.

PaaS/IaaS convergence will ultimately result in one-click installation on bare metal with everything from the operating system, container or hypervisor technologies, PaaS layer and tools being installed and pre-configured at once.

Server vendors today are already offering "cloud-in-a-box" solutions where popular cloud software is pre-configured by the server vendor.

2. Better Management - Lower ROI
User quote: "With the cloud, cost compared to our existing infrastructure is small enough that it is insignificant to me."

Beyond installation, PaaS/IaaS means fewer points of management that more accurately reflects the needs of the modern IT organization.

IT organizations are moving to provide IT-as-a-Service where the IT department retains tight control of resources, security and compliance (the infrastructure) but, for example, delegates the management of development and test environments (via PaaS) to developers and DevOps.

This move results in a more secure and agile enterprise by providing IT as a utility to the rest of the organization and allows agility in developing, deploying and managing new business applications

PaaS/IaaS convergence mirrors this trend by offering IT control of the resources in the cloud as a single point of management, and offering DevOps and developers control of their application environments through a delineated, second management utility.

3. Better Scalability and Density
User Quote: "I chose my cloud vendor for three key reasons. First and foremost, the ability to scale both vertically and horizontally. Particularly dynamic vertical scaling."

Application scaling in a traditional virtualization environment with VMs of a fixed size has been trumped by improved elasticity in the cloud, with IaaS providing more granular resource "chunks" that can be reserved by applications.

But true elasticity requires an infrastructure that is "application-aware." In enterprise environments being able to claw back unused resources is almost as important as scaling up. And freeing up underutilized resources means better application density and reduced overall resource consumption across the cloud.

IaaS/PaaS integration provides that level of control of applications.

  • Vertical scalability within a server beyond the traditional restrictions of a single VM or Container is possible by growing containers where necessary.
  • Use of a single server becomes more intelligent with, for example, a high-demand application being allocated more single-server resources by automatically moving other applications to different servers in the cloud.
  • Seamless horizontal scalability across multiple servers in the cloud.
  • Improved density with more granular allocation of resources and "claw-back" of unused resources in the cloud (for example, for unruly applications that claim resources but are reluctant to release them).

4. Improved Availability and Security
User quote: "For production we had a master and cold standby server, so worst case scenario recovery was a matter of hours of downtime. We also had no option for server clustering, without significant hardware investment. Now Clustering/HA is already a reality."

The improvement in availability and tightness of security in an integrated environment is more than just the intuitive benefit of limiting integration points and providing less moving parts.

The removal of a PaaS vendor's dependency on a changing and sometimes indeterminate infrastructure allows that vendor the luxury of controlling release environments and testing the full stack for security loopholes and solution stability.

In addition, the ability to manage installation and configuration more tightly reduces the opportunity for configuration issues.

Finally, integration should result in simplicity. An integrated IaaS/PaaS environment should limit or remove an enterprise's dependency on third-party services to build, configure and manage the cloud.

This reduction in architectural, business and operational complexity are major factors in the appeal of a single cloud stack for the enterprise

5. A Single, Yet Open, Cloud Stack
A single stack does not necessary imply a closed solution. As IaaS and PaaS continue to merge, vendors offering this integrated approach will "cherry-pick" the best technologies to use at each level of the stack. It makes sense for those components to provide open interfaces and APIs.

Ultimately, the worst type of vendor lock-in is at the application level. An enterprise that has rewritten legacy application and developed new applications for a particular API has made a total commitment to that solution. This should be avoided at all costs.

Further down the stack the integrated PaaS/IaaS vendor is free to make the best choice for the customer. The OS layer should offer the customer multiple choices, perhaps a free, open option and an upgrade to an "enterprise" OS. The container or hypervisor layer should offer the customer choice and advanced functionality. Tools, languages and plug-ins should be an ever-increasing set of options for the enterprise.

The migration to the cloud offers IT departments the ability to become an agile utility and services provider to the enterprise, and IaaS and PaaS are key technologies to enable this. The integration of these key technologies is inevitable as enterprise requirements become clear. PaaS/IaaS will drive a simplified, more functional cloud that directly responds to these trends within the enterprise.

More Stories By John Derrick

John Derrick is currently CEO of turnkey cloud provider Jelastic. He has extensive business leadership experience in the private and public cloud, big data, database, and enterprise markets. John focuses on the intersection of these markets, technology and teams to deliver solutions that really work for people. He has delivered product and profit at IBM, Chicory Systems, Conformative Systems, Intel, MIPS, and now Jelastic. Between these companies he has led and advised about 50 different startups and public companies.

John can be reached at [email protected]

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@MicroservicesExpo Stories
For Valentine's Day, here's a lighthearted look at the "relationship" between two complementary technologies: service virtualization and cloud dev/test labs. Hey, I know it's been a while since we started being "a thing." When we met, everyone said you were just mocking, and that I wasn't real enough to make a living, with my head in the clouds. Yet, here we are, a few years later.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Interoute, owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2015 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Interoute is the owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform which encompasses 12 data centers, 14 virtual data centers and 31 colocation centers, with connections to 195 ad...
Join us at Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo 2016 – June 7-9 at the Javits Center in New York City and November 1-3 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA – and deliver your unique message in a way that is striking and unforgettable by taking advantage of SYS-CON's unmatched high-impact, result-driven event / media packages.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Alert Logic, Inc., the leading provider of Security-as-a-Service solutions for the cloud, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Alert Logic, Inc., provides Security-as-a-Service for on-premises, cloud, and hybrid infrastructures, delivering deep security insight and continuous protection for customers at a lower cost than traditional security solutions. Ful...
In most cases, it is convenient to have some human interaction with a web (micro-)service, no matter how small it is. A traditional approach would be to create an HTTP interface, where user requests will be dispatched and HTML/CSS pages must be served. This approach is indeed very traditional for a web site, but not really convenient for a web service, which is not intended to be good looking, 24x7 up and running and UX-optimized. Instead, talking to a web service in a chat-bot mode would be muc...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Men & Mice, the leading global provider of DNS, DHCP and IP address management overlay solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. The Men & Mice Suite overlay solution is already known for its powerful application in heterogeneous operating environments, enabling enterprises to scale without fuss. Building on a solid range of diverse platform support,...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Column Technologies will exhibit at SYS-CON's @DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Established in 1998, Column Technologies is a global technology solutions provider with over 400 employees, headquartered in the United States with offices in Canada, India, and the United Kingdom. Column Technologies provides “Best of Breed” technology solutions that automate the key DevOps principal...
More and more companies are looking to microservices as an architectural pattern for breaking apart applications into more manageable pieces so that agile teams can deliver new features quicker and more effectively. What this pattern has done more than anything to date is spark organizational transformations, setting the foundation for future application development. In practice, however, there are a number of considerations to make that go beyond simply “build, ship, and run,” which changes ho...
SYS-CON Events announced today that AppNeta, the leader in performance insight for business-critical web applications, will exhibit and present at SYS-CON's @DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo New York, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. AppNeta is the only application performance monitoring (APM) company to provide solutions for all applications – applications you develop internally, business-critical SaaS applications you use and the networks that deli...
Adding public cloud resources to an existing application can be a daunting process. The tools that you currently use to manage the software and hardware outside the cloud aren’t always the best tools to efficiently grow into the cloud. All of the major configuration management tools have cloud orchestration plugins that can be leveraged, but there are also cloud-native tools that can dramatically improve the efficiency of managing your application lifecycle. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, ...
Microservices are a type of software architecture where large applications are made up of small, self-contained units working together through APIs that are not dependent on a specific language. Each service has a limited scope, concentrates on a specific task and is highly independent. This setup allows IT managers and developers to build systems in a modular way. In his book, “Building Microservices,” Sam Newman said microservices are small, focused components built to do a single thing very w...
When building large, cloud-based applications that operate at a high scale, it’s important to maintain a high availability and resilience to failures. In order to do that, you must be tolerant of failures, even in light of failures in other areas of your application. “Fly two mistakes high” is an old adage in the radio control airplane hobby. It means, fly high enough so that if you make a mistake, you can continue flying with room to still make mistakes. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Lee...
WebSocket is effectively a persistent and fat pipe that is compatible with a standard web infrastructure; a "TCP for the Web." If you think of WebSocket in this light, there are other more hugely interesting applications of WebSocket than just simply sending data to a browser. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Frank Greco, Director of Technology for Kaazing Corporation, will compare other modern web connectivity methods such as HTTP/2, HTTP Streaming, Server-Sent Events and new W3C event APIs ...
At first adopted by enterprises to consolidate physical servers, virtualization is now widely used in cloud computing to offer elasticity and scalability. On the other hand, Docker has developed a new way to handle Linux containers, inspired by version control software such as Git, which allows you to keep all development versions. In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Dominique Rodrigues, the co-founder and CTO of Nanocloud Software, discussed how in order to also handle QEMU / KVM virtual machin...
Microservices are all the rage right now — and the industry is still learning, experimenting, and developing patterns, for successfully designing, deploying and managing Microservices in the real world. Are you considering jumping on the Microservices-wagon? Do Microservices make sense for your particular use case? What are some of the “gotchas” you should be aware of? This morning on #c9d9 we had experts from popular chat app Kik, SMB SaaS platform Yodle and hosted CI solution Semaphore sha...
How is your DevOps transformation coming along? How do you measure Agility? Reliability? Efficiency? Quality? Success?! How do you optimize your processes? This morning on #c9d9 we talked about some of the metrics that matter for the different stakeholders throughout the software delivery pipeline. Our panelists shared their best practices.
SYS-CON Events announced today that FalconStor Software® Inc., a 15-year innovator of software-defined storage solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. FalconStor Software®, Inc. (NASDAQ: FALC) is a leading software-defined storage company offering a converged, hardware-agnostic, software-defined storage and data services platform. Its flagship solution FreeStor®, utilizes a horizonta...
Sensors and effectors of IoT are solving problems in new ways, but small businesses have been slow to join the quantified world. They’ll need information from IoT using applications as varied as the businesses themselves. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Roger Meike, Distinguished Engineer, Director of Technology Innovation at Intuit, showed how IoT manufacturers can use open standards, public APIs and custom apps to enable the Quantified Small Business. He used a Raspberry Pi to connect sensors...
Father business cycles and digital consumers are forcing enterprises to respond faster to customer needs and competitive demands. Successful integration of DevOps and Agile development will be key for business success in today’s digital economy. In his session at DevOps Summit, Pradeep Prabhu, Co-Founder & CEO of Cloudmunch, covered the critical practices that enterprises should consider to seamlessly integrate Agile and DevOps processes, barriers to implementing this in the enterprise, and pr...
The cloud promises new levels of agility and cost-savings for Big Data, data warehousing and analytics. But it’s challenging to understand all the options – from IaaS and PaaS to newer services like HaaS (Hadoop as a Service) and BDaaS (Big Data as a Service). In her session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Hannah Smalltree, a director at Cazena, will provide an educational overview of emerging “as-a-service” options for Big Data in the cloud. This is critical background for IT and data profes...