Why public cloud providers need PaaS and how they can get it

Table of Contents

  1. Summary
  2. Understanding the barriers for PaaS adoption
  3. Approaching PaaS
  4. Operational considerations
  5. Key features of a white label PaaS solution
  6. Key takeaways
  7. About David S. Linthicum

1. Summary

Companies in search of rapid service provisioning for many concurrent users increasingly adopt the public and private Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) category of cloud services to address their needs. PaaS provides tools, manages dependencies, and handles integrations with software and middleware. IT personnel often require PaaS technology to manage the complete application life cycle, which includes rapidly building, testing, and delivering services, using an integrated development and scalable hosting environment.

PaaS reduces the initial investment and total cost of ownership (TCO), and it results in faster time to market for services. These benefits are reflected in the considerable growth of PaaS in the past few years in the still emerging public cloud computing space.

By one estimate (subscription required) the PaaS market will reach almost $7 billion in 2018, up from $2.5 billion in 2013. The sure bet is that rapid growth of PaaS will increase the amount of investment PaaS providers require. Those larger PaaS providers with cash reserves will continue to hold the advantage with the number of resources they can bring to bear. Existing public cloud providers, perhaps those that focus on Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Software as a Service (SaaS), won’t have the funding or the ability to arrive early to the PaaS market and thus will have fewer options.

The biggest question that public cloud providers must answer today is how to deploy PaaS as a major component of their cloud services. Cloud providers can take a do-it-yourself approach to PaaS using open-source CloudFoundry and OpenShift or partner with a commercial white label PaaS provider. Some may even choose to build the PaaS solution from scratch, which is an option perhaps better left to the much larger cloud players with more funding and time.

While the open-source approach is an option, it involves a huge amount of complexity, including significant development and deployment costs. Additionally, most companies do not have the technical expertise and resources to build or operate open-source PaaS.

White label PaaS is a new approach that can help new or existing cloud providers (IaaS and SaaS) catch up with the big three (AWS, Google, and Microsoft) by offering public IaaS and public PaaS under the same brand hosted on their own infrastructure or a third party’s. While partnering to obtain the right technology can be a daunting proposition, many existing public cloud providers will find that this route could be the best option. This report is written for those providers and others looking to provide a PaaS offering to enhance their new or existing cloud business.

Key findings from this report include:

  • A commercial white label PaaS solution is less-resource-intensive. It has a lower learning curve and lower risk, and it is a higher quality (i.e., it is an enterprise-grade solution offered by a commercial vendor that provides a superior technology and operational experience than a home-built solution). That means it saves time, resources and expensive technical expertise that can be better utilized elsewhere within the organization.
  • When wrestling with the decision to build or buy, companies should consider the experience and core competencies of the provider of commercial white label solutions. The critical decision criterion should be managed operations that ensure that the PaaS technology works without interruption.
  • The path to PaaS should consider the core requirements of the company’s end users and the best path to meet those requirements. White labeled solutions can typically provide a fast time to market, as well as the ability to place much of the complexity of building and deploying a PaaS in the hands of the white label PaaS providers.
  • Understanding the business and technical case is the first step toward understanding how to leverage the right PaaS approach for an enterprise or public cloud. An organization should consider certain steps that will define these requirements and point to the right approach for providing a PaaS service. This paper will explain what a company should look for in a white label PaaS provider, including the trade-offs.

Thumbnail image courtesy of Wavebreak Media/Thinkstock.

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