Welcome!

Microservices Expo Authors: Pat Romanski, John Katrick, Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Yeshim Deniz

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

@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 organizations that have amassed large sums of software complexity, taking a microservices approach is the first step toward DevOps and continuous improvement / development. Integrating system-level analysis with microservices makes it easier to change and add functionality to applications at any time without the increase of risk. Before you start big transformation projects or a cloud migration, make sure these changes won’t take down your entire organization.
When you focus on a journey from up-close, you look at your own technical and cultural history and how you changed it for the benefit of the customer. This was our starting point: too many integration issues, 13 SWP days and very long cycles. It was evident that in this fast-paced industry we could no longer afford this reality. We needed something that would take us beyond reducing the development lifecycles, CI and Agile methodologies. We made a fundamental difference, even changed our culture...
In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Mike Johnston, an infrastructure engineer at Supergiant.io, discussed how to use Kubernetes to set up a SaaS infrastructure for your business. Mike Johnston is an infrastructure engineer at Supergiant.io with over 12 years of experience designing, deploying, and maintaining server and workstation infrastructure at all scales. He has experience with brick and mortar data centers as well as cloud providers like Digital Ocean, Amazon Web Services, and Rackspace. H...
You often hear the two titles of "DevOps" and "Immutable Infrastructure" used independently. In his session at DevOps Summit, John Willis, Technical Evangelist for Docker, covered the union between the two topics and why this is important. He provided an overview of Immutable Infrastructure then showed how an Immutable Continuous Delivery pipeline can be applied as a best practice for "DevOps." He ended the session with some interesting case study examples.
"DivvyCloud as a company set out to help customers automate solutions to the most common cloud problems," noted Jeremy Snyder, VP of Business Development at DivvyCloud, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Without lifecycle traceability and visibility across the tool chain, stakeholders from Planning-to-Ops have limited insight and answers to who, what, when, why and how across the DevOps lifecycle. This impacts the ability to deliver high quality software at the needed velocity to drive positive business outcomes. In his general session at @DevOpsSummit at 19th Cloud Expo, Eric Robertson, General Manager at CollabNet, will discuss how customers are able to achieve a level of transparency that e...
The Jevons Paradox suggests that when technological advances increase efficiency of a resource, it results in an overall increase in consumption. Writing on the increased use of coal as a result of technological improvements, 19th-century economist William Stanley Jevons found that these improvements led to the development of new ways to utilize coal. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Mark Thiele, Chief Strategy Officer for Apcera, compared the Jevons Paradox to modern-day enterprise IT, examin...
We all know that end users experience the internet primarily with mobile devices. From an app development perspective, we know that successfully responding to the needs of mobile customers depends on rapid DevOps – failing fast, in short, until the right solution evolves in your customers' relationship to your business. Whether you’re decomposing an SOA monolith, or developing a new application cloud natively, it’s not a question of using microservices - not doing so will be a path to eventual ...
In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Scott Davis, CTO of Embotics, discussed how automation can provide the dynamic management required to cost-effectively deliver microservices and container solutions at scale. He also discussed how flexible automation is the key to effectively bridging and seamlessly coordinating both IT and developer needs for component orchestration across disparate clouds – an increasingly important requirement at today’s multi-cloud enterprise.
Your homes and cars can be automated and self-serviced. Why can't your storage? From simply asking questions to analyze and troubleshoot your infrastructure, to provisioning storage with snapshots, recovery and replication, your wildest sci-fi dream has come true. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, Dan Florea, Director of Product Management at Tintri, provided a ChatOps demo where you can talk to your storage and manage it from anywhere, through Slack and similar services with...
Containers are rapidly finding their way into enterprise data centers, but change is difficult. How do enterprises transform their architecture with technologies like containers without losing the reliable components of their current solutions? In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 21st Cloud Expo, Tony Campbell, Director, Educational Services at CoreOS, will explore the challenges organizations are facing today as they move to containers and go over how Kubernetes applications can deploy with lega...
Learn how to solve the problem of keeping files in sync between multiple Docker containers. In his session at 16th Cloud Expo, Aaron Brongersma, Senior Infrastructure Engineer at Modulus, discussed using rsync, GlusterFS, EBS and Bit Torrent Sync. He broke down the tools that are needed to help create a seamless user experience. In the end, can we have an environment where we can easily move Docker containers, servers, and volumes without impacting our applications? He shared his results so yo...
Enterprise architects are increasingly adopting multi-cloud strategies as they seek to utilize existing data center assets, leverage the advantages of cloud computing and avoid cloud vendor lock-in. This requires a globally aware traffic management strategy that can monitor infrastructure health across data centers and end-user experience globally, while responding to control changes and system specification at the speed of today’s DevOps teams. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Josh Gray, Chie...
Don’t go chasing waterfall … development, that is. According to a recent post by Madison Moore on Medium featuring insights from several software delivery industry leaders, waterfall is – while still popular – not the best way to win in the marketplace. With methodologies like Agile, DevOps and Continuous Delivery becoming ever more prominent over the past 15 years or so, waterfall is old news. Or, is it? Moore cites a recent study by Gartner: “According to Gartner’s IT Key Metrics Data report, ...
Kubernetes is a new and revolutionary open-sourced system for managing containers across multiple hosts in a cluster. Ansible is a simple IT automation tool for just about any requirement for reproducible environments. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 18th Cloud Expo, Patrick Galbraith, a principal engineer at HPE, discussed how to build a fully functional Kubernetes cluster on a number of virtual machines or bare-metal hosts. Also included will be a brief demonstration of running a Galera MyS...
In his session at Cloud Expo, Alan Winters, U.S. Head of Business Development at MobiDev, presented a success story of an entrepreneur who has both suffered through and benefited from offshore development across multiple businesses: The smart choice, or how to select the right offshore development partner Warning signs, or how to minimize chances of making the wrong choice Collaboration, or how to establish the most effective work processes Budget control, or how to maximize project result...
In his keynote at 19th Cloud Expo, Sheng Liang, co-founder and CEO of Rancher Labs, discussed the technological advances and new business opportunities created by the rapid adoption of containers. With the success of Amazon Web Services (AWS) and various open source technologies used to build private clouds, cloud computing has become an essential component of IT strategy. However, users continue to face challenges in implementing clouds, as older technologies evolve and newer ones like Docker c...
In IT, we sometimes coin terms for things before we know exactly what they are and how they’ll be used. The resulting terms may capture a common set of aspirations and goals – as “cloud” did broadly for on-demand, self-service, and flexible computing. But such a term can also lump together diverse and even competing practices, technologies, and priorities to the point where important distinctions are glossed over and lost.
In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, Kelly Looney, director of DevOps consulting for Skytap, showed how an incremental approach to introducing containers into complex, distributed applications results in modernization with less risk and more reward. He also shared the story of how Skytap used Docker to get out of the business of managing infrastructure, and into the business of delivering innovation and business value. Attendees learned how up-front planning allows for a clean sep...
"I will be talking about ChatOps and ChatOps as a way to solve some problems in the DevOps space," explained Himanshu Chhetri, CTO of Addteq, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.