The New PaaS Looks a Lot Like CaaS, with Orchestration

C. Dunlap
C. Dunlap

• The benefits of PaaS are being realized through a consistent deployment format, easing DevOps processes

• New microservices architectures and containers will usher in advanced technologies including serverless architectures

PaaS is evolving to address growing DevOps concerns through open technologies; these, in turn, support new architectures, new forms of deployment through containers, and necessary features including orchestration, management, monitoring, and push services. PaaS services have evolved beyond providing basic app hosting to address modern DevOps’ needs, including the ability to leverage hybrid cloud and multi-cloud portability to ensure continuous integration and continuous deployment (CICD). Platform services provide containerization with particular importance now being placed on the ability to deploy and orchestrate containers, with policy, in order to modernize and port legacy and new apps onto any cloud infrastructure.

Operations groups need to address where an app is run, whether it’s a cloud-based service, in the data center as part of a virtual stack, private cloud, or public cloud. Because of issues of efficiencies around traditional infrastructures, e.g., virtual machines, these app development projects are increasingly being run within containers, which address operational imperatives around infrastructure portability and management, while supporting the process of breaking down apps into microservices. This evolution into a container service, with the ability to host microservices, is in essence standardizing application platforms.The importance of container management standards is now more important than ever, because realizing portability in the cloud ecosystem assumes everyone’s adhering to the same industry standards. A number of container-related initiatives are currently under way include Kubernetes, Apache Mesos, Swarm, Docker’s OCI initiative, and CF’s Diego.

Key drivers around PaaS over the next 12 months:

Enterprise-Grade Container Management: A number of container management platforms and open standard initiatives aim to assist enterprise IT operations groups tasked with managing and orchestrating container clusters, especially as vendors are being pressed to improve platform portability.

Need for Netflix-like Speed: The ability to support continuous integration and delivery is being realized by unifying all aspects of the app development process, including build, test, production, and orchestration of applications and other supporting services, shored through the use of containers.

DevOps Is the New Target: The advent of microservices makes DevOps collaboration even more necessary to ease operational challenges around scalability and resiliency shored through containers. IT operations is the new target of app platform providers.

PaaS Enables Advanced Functions: In an effort to automate and reduce IT operational requirements, leading application platform vendors are working on a new area of ‘functions as a service’ (FaaS), including AWS Lambda, IBM OpenWhisk, and Microsoft Azure Functions. Under the technology, aka serverless computing, once an event is triggered, a function is invoked automatically via a container to provide the context and execution framework for the work.

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