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The Cloud Helpers Blog Series - Platform as a Service

Welcome to our blog series, The Cloud Helpers. This series focuses on cloud computing topics and helps you understand how the cloud can impact your business today and in the future. Today we are going to focus on one on the definition of Platform as a Service or PaaS.

What is Paas?

Platform as a service (PaaS) is a complete development and deployment environment in the cloud, with resources that enable you to deliver everything from simple cloud-based apps to sophisticated, cloud-enabled enterprise applications. You purchase the resources you need from a cloud service provider on a pay-as-you-go basis and access them over a secure Internet connection.

PaaS includes infrastructure—servers, storage, and networking—but also middleware, development tools, business intelligence (BI) services, database management systems, and more. PaaS is designed to support the complete web application lifecycle: building, testing, deploying, managing, and updating.

PaaS allows you to avoid the expense and complexity of buying and managing software licenses, the underlying application infrastructure and middleware or the development tools and other resources. You manage the applications and services you develop, and the cloud service provider typically manages everything else.

Advantages of PaaS

  • DON’T HAVE TO INVEST IN PHYSICAL INFRASTRUCTURE - Being able to ‘rent’ virtual infrastructure has both cost benefits and practical benefits. They don’t need to purchase hardware themselves or employ the expertise to manage it.

  • MAKES DEVELOPMENT POSSIBLE FOR ‘NON-EXPERTS’ - With some PaaS offerings anyone can develop an application, simply through their web browser utilising one-click functionality.

  • SECURITY - Security is provided, including data security and backup and recovery

  • TEAMS IN VARIOUS LOCATIONS CAN WORK TOGETHER - Using the internet, developers spread across several locations can work together on the same application build.

  • FLEXIBILITY - Customers have control over the tools that are installed within their platforms and can create a platform that suits their specific requirements.

  • ADAPTABILITY - Features can be changed if circumstances dictate that they should.

PaaS vs. SaaS vs. IaaS PaaS is one of three main categories of cloud computing services. The other two are software as a service (SaaS) and infrastructure as a service (IaaS).

With IaaS, a provider supplies the basic compute, storage and networking infrastructure along with the hypervisor (the virtualization layer). Users must then create virtual machines, install operating systems, support applications and data, and handle all of the configuration and management associated with those tasks.

With PaaS, a provider offers more of the application stack than IaaS providers, adding operating systems, middleware (such as databases) and other runtimes into the cloud environment.

With SaaS, a provider offers an entire application stack. Users simply log in and use the application that runs completely on the provider's infrastructure.

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