March 5, 2014
In our first post in this series, we defined cloud computing and introduced the three different types: SaaS (Software as a Service), PaaS (Platform as a Service) and IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service.) The first blog explained SaaS and how it can be used to solve a myriad of business problems, from data storage to hosting virtual meetings to managing corporate email accounts. This second blog in the series is going to explore the details of PaaS (Platform as a Service.)
What is Platform as a Service?
As we discussed before, cloud computing refers to using a third party to host and support computer functions that were traditionally handled in-house. Companies of all sizes can (and are) making use of this relatively new opportunity to not only save money, but to improve the way they do business.
Platform as a Service (PaaS), unlike Software as a Service (SaaS), involves remote storage and the hosting of software developed and written by a company. Most often this cloud service is utilized by software development companies or development teams within an organization. The company owns the license and the rights to the software, but it is stored on the cloud services provider's servers. PaaS is one of the most explosive trends in IT today. According to InfoWorld.com, the PaaS industry is expected to grow from $1 billion (in 2011) to $14 billion in 2017.
Like SaaS, PaaS saves companies from having to invest in servers, facilities to house them, utilities to cool them and the personnel to maintain them. As a result of this, PaaS allows companies to launch a software solution much more quickly than providing the hosting in-house. PaaS is ideal for companies with great ideas and an innovative IT team, but limited investment funds.
Depending on the company's needs, the PaaS provider may also include maintenance, testing, debugging and monitoring of the software, in addition to providing the server space. PaaS also offers the advantage of allowing developers in different geographical destinations to be able to work on the same software project simultaneously. This is especially beneficial for companies that partner with external software engineers or developers during development.
Benefits of Using a Managed Cloud Services Company
PaaS through a managed cloud service provider allows your company's IT team to devote their time to what they do best – finding and developing creative solutions, rather than getting distracted with server maintenance and upgrades. PaaS is also scalable, so you only have to spend money on the services and storage space that you need, and adjust it as needed in real time.
A managed cloud service provider can generally offer more enhanced security protocols than individual companies can on their own (because they are sharing their resources). For example, by storing your software product on a cloud platform, you are protected in the event of a fire, burglary, earthquake or even a power surge that occurs within the four walls of your office. Cloud service providers have effective disaster recovery plans in place to react and recover from these types of disasters.
New technology solutions, like the three cloud computing options, are often challenging to understand because of the technical jargon. We hope this blog helped clarify PaaS for you as another beneficial application of cloud computing. Read our third and final blog in our Cloud Computing series to learn about IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service). If you want to explore cloud computing solutions for your business, request a consultation with a cloud services specialist today.