PaaS | XenonStack

What is PaaS?

Platform as a Service (PaaS) comes under cloud computing services that provide an environment to build and run applications. It helps one focus on developing the application as it provides the rest of the requirements needed for the development, including middleware, servers, and storage.

Platform as a Service (PaaS) will attain a 41% CAGR through 2016, generating 24% of total cloud revenues.

Source: Forbes

Development tools provided by the PaaS vendor can be customized according to the needs of the user. Along with the infrastructure, it also provides management-related services like monitoring of the software that can be done by the user, or it can be handed over to the vendor.


PaaS Architecture

PaaS enables developers to develop, test, and deploy in the same environment. A typical PaaS architecture consists of the following categories:

  • Integration and Middleware: It refers to the software that offers runtime services.
  • API: It implies Application Platform Interface, which acts as a communication between client and server that offers abstraction (running the details in the background) and core connectivity.
  • Hardware: It comprises of all hard requirements to handle the resources.

This facilitates and allows the users to build and run applications without the complexity of constructing and maintaining the infrastructure as the PaaS architecture covers the requirements.


Understanding PaaS with Types of Services

PaaS leads to faster development as there is no need for the user to worry about setting and maintaining the infrastructure. PaaS services are available in 3 types:

  1. Public
  2. Private
  3. Hybrid

1. Public PaaS

Public Platform as a Service runs on the public cloud the user have to focus on building application. It helps developers to be more agile, which helps them to develop and deliver faster. And the vendor manages and maintains the infrastructure.

2. Private PaaS

Private Platform as a Service lets the developer build, run, and test applications on the platform, but the users buy the hardware resources required for the development. This provides control over the resources and infrastructure.

3. Hybrid PaaS

Hybrid Platform as a Service offers flexibility to choose what percent of the user’s infrastructure in his control. Private PaaS provides scalability for hybrid PaaS. Well, a hybrid is a combination of a bit of private and public.

These platforms reduce the time taken to develop and deploy, increase flexibility, help users achieve performance and better results, and maintain control over the cost.


Pros and Cons of PaaS

Pros

Cons

  • Pay only for what you use. In the case of PaaS, it can be priced per time in use, peek period, or on subscription metric.
  • It improves the developer’s productivity helping with a faster rate of development, turning ideas into innovation.
  • It provides agility and scalability to the process of development.
  • Enabling testing on a cloud rather than testing it in a data center helps maintain the development pace.
  • Software maintenance was made easy with the services provided by PaaS, just like the service providing vendors to handle cooling systems and bandwidth.
  • As the software is available publicly, it comes with certain risks of it getting exploited.
  • PaaS providers have a unique configuration for each vendor, and moving from one vendor to another is difficult. (Vendor migration)
  • Less control over the availability of the software is indeed a major disadvantage of PaaS services.
  • It often increases complexity. As some of the applications are developed locally and some in the cloud, this results in complexity issues.
  • Although PaaS provides a data backup facility, it is better to back up in our own environment to prevent any disaster.

Serverless vs PaaS

Both serverless and PaaS provide the same facilities, as they both are backend architectures that hide the backend from the developers. They only differ in scalability, timing, startup time and tools, and deployment process. Let’s learn about the differences below:

  1. The pricing of serverless is exact as it charges developers for the time the application utilizes. On the other hand, PaaS pricing is not as precise as serverless, as PaaS vendors charge a monthly fee for the services offered.
  2. PaaS provides more control over the deployment environment, while on the other hand, serverless provides less control over the environment.
  3. Serverless applications are active most of the time. The built-in PaaS applications can be up and run quickly, but they are not as lightweight as serverless. Serverless provides agility to its built-in applications makes it more suitable for web applications.

It is not that serverless services are more affordable. It depends on the type of application we are developing and the facilities and services we require. We have to choose between PaaS and serverless according to the project requirements.


Communication PaaS

Communication PaaS (or CPaaS) allows developers to add real-time communication features such as calls, messages, and video communications to the applications using a set of communication APIs.

Communications Platform as a Service (cPaaS) offers application leaders a cloud-based middleware on which they can develop, run and distribute communications software.

Source: Gartner, Inc

They are many APIs that can be integrated into new software or even into existing software as they are built to serve as communication between applications and databases. A few examples of these CPaaS are SMS, MMS, voice calling, and Rest API.

Benefits of CPaaS

There are various benefits of employing CPaaS in the organizations’ working. Some of them are mentioned below:

  1. Communication API’s helps businesses move forward as their computer programs interchange capabilities and communicates with one other.
  2. With the usage of cloud technologies, CPaaS providers can develop and offer communication features of any size.
  3. There is 24×7 live support to get the information needed and affordable pricing models where developers can pay for the services they need.
  4. Multi-tenancy enables multiple customers to use the same service at a time in a separate and secure environment.

These are all considered great advantages for developers to focus on building their applications rather than IT infrastructures.


Conclusion

To conclude, PaaS includes an operating system, execution environment, servers, and database to host software and hardware in its infrastructure. Salesforce Heroku, AWS Elastic Beanstalk, Microsoft Azure: all these services come under PaaS. Note that Open PaaS doesn’t include hosting, but it provides an open-source software (or) Environment to run apps. With new technologies like CPaaS coming into the picture, it has become trivial for entrepreneurs to employ such advancements in their enterprises.

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