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Deloitte on Cloud Blog

Platforms for hybrid and multicloud need to be native to the cloud platforms they are supporting, and thus you’ll choose a platform as a service (PaaS) from the infrastructure as a service (IaaS) provider of choice. However, there is no reason that you can’t mix and match PaaS and IaaS players if you need to.

October 25, 2018

A blog post by David Linthicum, managing director, chief cloud strategy officer, Deloitte Consulting LLP

When considering platforms for hybrid and multicloud computing PaaS is a desirable feature, including Amazon Web Services' (AWS) Elastic Beanstalk, Google’s App Engine, Microsoft Azure, as well as Oracle and IBM. If you’re offering up an IaaS cloud, you have a PaaS cloud offering as well.

What’s interesting here is while both Google and Microsoft worked from PaaS to IaaS, Amazon worked in the opposite direction.

That said, it seems that none of the traditional PaaS/IaaS players have focused much on their PaaS offerings over the last few years, other than ways to program internal cloud services, such as serverless, governance, and security. This due to the fact that enterprises are picking their own development tool sets, they view pass as too much of a “sand box” in terms of leveraging a limited number of languages, databases, and deployment models.

There are PaaS players that are indeed getting traction, and don’t have an IaaS cloud. This include players such as Salesforce Platform, OpenShift, and Pivotal Cloud Foundry. Moreover, most of their PaaS systems have been bound to DevOps tool chains and are working hard and becoming a part of their core set of DevOps services, and part of the larger DevOps strategy for enterprises.

Platforms for hybrid and multicloud need to be native to the cloud platforms they are supporting, and thus you’ll choose a PaaS from the IaaS provider of choice. However, there is no reason that you can’t mix and match PaaS and IaaS players if you need to, and it’s often done with multicloud deployments. For instance, leveraging a native database on AWS from Google App Engine, or Microsoft Azure. It can be done.

The business case for PaaS is tied to the business case for development in general. The reality is that the ability to streamline development for hybrid and multicloud is the objective here, and PaaS is part of the solution. However, enterprises need to take the PaaS provider on a case-by-case basis, even down to the application and application requirements. It’s not unusual for enterprises to leveraged dozens of platforms, and more than three PaaS providers for hybrid and multicloud.

However, this working to “best of breed” comes at a cost, the cost of complexity. Indeed, as we expand from on premises systems, to multicloud and hybrid cloud platforms, the existing on premises platforms don’t seem to be going away. Thus, you’re left with an development and operations teams that must cover both, and still maintain and uptime that approaches 100 percent.

So, what are enterprise to think of all this? It’s really a matter of understand your core requirements and backing the right solution or solutions into the problem. While we wish we could leverage a single provider set of solutions, the reality is that we will likely be mix and matching many PaaS and IaaS brands together to achieve our business objective. While that does add complexity, there may not be a way around it.

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