Heroku: PaaS is future of development tools

The mantra that all companies need to become software companies is starting to sound familiar. PaaS clouds are the key to making this happen, by providing the means to get customer-facing applications up and running quickly, Heroku CEO Adam Gross argued this week at a developer’s conference.

Gross said that even companies not known for producing software need to be as good at operating customer apps as Amazon, Facebook, or Google. “How are they going to absorb all that complexity and sophistication? It’s not going to be by starting at the bottom of the stack,” he said. Instead, a higher level of abstraction is needed.

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Computerworld Cloud Computing

Microsoft blends IaaS and PaaS with new Managed Disks

Microsoft introduced a nifty new feature to its Azure public cloud this week called Managed Disks. The idea is that developers will not have to worry about provisioning storage when spinning up virtual machines. Managed Disks automatically adds persistent disk storage for Azure virtual machines as applications demand it.

+MORE AT NETWORK WORLD: HPE’s Mesosphere reseller agreement heats up the container management market | Rackspace is cutting 6% of its workforce +

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Network World Cloud Computing

IDG Contributor Network: Is PaaS dead?

First, a mea culpa: I was one of the handful of people who closely followed the PaaS world a few years ago.

For those not in the know, PaaS (platform as a service) was all about providing a development and automation solution for application developers so that they didn’t need to think about managing infrastructure themselves. The initial PaaS offerings were Heroku (acquired by Salesforce) and Engine Yard (once a high flier but now, at least by my assessment, languishing in obscurity).

Thereafter the world of PaaS moved on a little with two distinct camps, Red Hat OpenShift on one side (itself the product of an acquisition as Red Hat scooped up Makara) and Cloud Foundry, a product initially incubated within VMware but now part of the Pivotal world.

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Computerworld Cloud Computing

Too late, PaaS, you missed your shot in the cloud

PaaS simply isn’t used as much by enterprises as initially predicted. Although PaaS offerings vary greatly, most provide facilities for application design, deployment, testing, and self-provisioned hosting. It’s best described as a turnkey development and deployment solution.

Why hasn’t PaaS taken off? I see several reasons.

  • Strong tools from IaaS providers, such as Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure, seem to be getting enterprises’ main attention and investment. Even when broad cloud platforms have PaaS as part of their tool set, most developers opt for core IaaS, such as storage and compute platforms.
  • Developers do not like to be confined in a sandbox. Many PaaS providers impose restrictions—such as tools, databases, and programming languages—that developers typically don’t prefer.
  • IaaS seems to be a better fit than PaaS for devops organizations because it provides the operational platforms (what the “ops” part in devops manages) that developers will ultimately use: those in the IaaS platform, as well as their in-premises environments, which they can replicate in an IaaS cloud.

Back in 2008, when the cloud was new, the federal government and industry partners defined what became PaaS to address a real need of that era. That need still exists, but today PaaS has become the most ill-defined area of cloud computing as the industry broke it apart into narrow slices.

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InfoWorld Cloud Computing

IDG Contributor Network: Learning from the PaaS

In 2009, the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) published a draft definition of cloud computing. The NIST definition, created for government agencies buying cloud services, simplified cloud computing into three types of services: 1) IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service), where vendors offer on-demand compute, network, and storage; 2) PaaS (Platform as a Service), where vendors provide application development frameworks and deployment tools; and 3) SaaS (Software as a Service) where vendors deliver entire applications.

While IaaS and SaaS are well understood and widely adopted, PaaS has lagged behind. But I expect a massive surge in platform adoption in the next few years.

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InfoWorld Cloud Computing

The sun sets on original Docker PaaS

In yet another sign that the Docker container technology has grown bigger than any one PaaS, the dotCloud PaaS from which Docker originated will be shut down Feb. 29, as it no longer has a discernible advantage over more upscale competitors.

Docker was originally created as an internal application for dotCloud by Solomon Hykes, but generated so much interest that it was spun off into its own product. dotCloud even changed its name to Docker Inc., to better declare its newfound direction, and eventually sold dotCloud to the Berlin-based startup CloudControl, a PaaS used mainly by European customers.

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InfoWorld Cloud Computing