There are more and more signs that “as-a-service” offerings will be the
“norm” in the next few years, and there is a fundamental shift taking place on the software development front that is embracing this delivery model and it picking up some major weight behind it.
There are two major players in the Platform as a Service arena to date:
1. Cloudfoundry, the company that was spun out of VMware to form a new company name (under the EMC umbrella) called Pivotal that is headed by none other than Paul Maritz who was the CEO of VMware. I have been following this product very closely over the last few years and with the recent backing of GE and now IBM, this platform is poised to be a major player.
2. Red Hat has OpenShift which has a very good product suite defined. They have it broke down into three possible ways to consume platform as a service. The first being their own hosted solution called “online”, second being the “enterprise” version for on premise PaaS deployments and third being the “Origin” model that is open source.
It’s hard to say that this is something new. A few years ago I remember reading an interesting article (can’t recall the location of it), but it that stated that thousands of developers attended a PaaS seminar in Asia. Keep in mind that this was at least 2 years ago! The thought of removing the infrastructure layer away from the application development lifecycle is a huge change and something that will not happen overnight, but nonetheless – it will happen.
If you look at this from a developer’s standpoint, they will consume this much more rapidly and with very few road blocks. When they push code to the PaaS from their IDE, there is no need to compile that code. The platform does the work for them. Think about it. The delivery model is real-time, which makes this software as a service delivery system far more efficient and easier to maintain.
This is not to say that Infrastructure isn’t needed – quite the opposite. Automation is the key component to PaaS and therefore it is closely tied to a virtualized, dynamic environment that will need to scale at a moment’s notice. With all the gears, nodes, cloud controllers, routers, stagers, etc, the IaaS will need to be extremely elastic with the heavy demand for resources these components will need.