lunedì 4 aprile 2016

IaaS e PaaS inside the IT World

Good afternoon everybody, in this post I'd like to share my point of view on the Services evolution, identified with "as a Service (aaS)".

Infrastructure-as-a-service (laaS) offerings enable IT teams to cost-effectively boost scalability and flexibility, but how do you go about implementing an effective laaS strategy, choosing the right provider, and getting the most from this cloud service? And when do Platform-as-a-service (PaaS) offerings come into play?Therefore, usually we talk about Infrastructure-as-a-service (laaS) and Platform-as-a-service (PaaS). Indeed, the IaaS enables IT teams to cost-effectively boost scalability and flexibility, but how do you go about implementing an effective laaS strategy, choosing the right provider, and getting the most from this cloud service? And when do platform-as-a-service (PaaS) offerings come into play?. The term cloud computing initially referred to a way to automatically provision resources, computational storage and networking using an API or automated scriptsThe most exciting enterprise applications for cloud are those that use Web- scale techniques, such as the massive scale seen at Netflix. And while enterprises should also look at offloading workloads with less business impact to the cloud, getting the right workload to the cloud isn't the only way to find value. Finding a vendor-partner is also critical.In the early days of public cloud, test and development was the first logical step for enterprises moving workloads there. Within the data center, virtual servers were allocated for test-and-dev projects only to be abandoned soon after. Moving this to the cloud cleans up the on-premises data centers and transfers the cost to an expense-based model. And as long as these servers are turned off or de-allocated when not in use, IT reaps significant value.But just how economically valuable is it for providers to host workloads that run only part of the time and can be offloaded to another cloud vendor when a more attractive price model is quoted? And what happens in the enterprise when the cloud vendor's race to the bottom ends?Are laaS price drops just a shiny object for enterprises? Moving workloads to cloudstrictly because of cost reduction can be problematic. Costs can change and It's important for companies to focus on workloads with high business value in the cloud. Vendors that understand the importance of partnering with customers are one key to success; a commodity mindset doesn't nurture that mindset.The latest round of the Infrastructure as a Service (laaS) price wars raised the topic of vendor margins and how low will they go. Currently, public cloud providers find it necessary to fly toward the ground with the hopes of sorting out profit margins later. And each round of price cuts, it becomes increasingly attractive for enterprises to move less-important workloads to laaS. Evolution from laaS to PaaS seems like a no-brainer as the benefits of cloud platforms becomes clear.However, finding the best path to PaaS means going through three possible options. I've noticed an important discussion about raising cloud services above the infrastructure as a service (laaS) level. In the cloud hierarchy, the next option up the value chain is platform as a service (PaaS). Unlike laaS, which is virtual machine hosting and requires the user to supply an OS and middleware, PaaS provides the complete platform, both hardware and software, on which applications run. PaaS does more, so it has more potential benefits for users. And because of this, providers can justify a higher price tag.PaaS may be a natural evolution from laaS for cloud services, but there's more than one way to get there.For instance, when Amazon Web Services designed its Infrastructure-as-a-service offering, IT teams saw it as a way to launch products that allowed them to focus on the product, not its development. Platform as a service (PaaS) created opportunities to simplify and accelerate deployments while offering new features with very short development cycles. It offers a quick way to publish and manage applications.The first PaaS offering, Google AppEngine, had some limitations. Other choices began to emerge, but they were still limited in which languages they supported, and most supported only Web applications. These offerings automatically scaled and could spin up servers, but developers still had to determine when to scale. And they often had no control over the underlying hardware.I've red on Internet that Microsoft's Azure represents one path: take an existing data center platform and replicate it in the cloud. A second PaaS approach is offered by tools like Cloud Foundry: build your own "platform" from selected tools and deploy it. The third way, supported by Amazon Web Services (AWS), is to augment laaS with Web services to create a "platform services" model. All three paths between laaS and PaaS have merit, so deciding which trail you'll blaze means looking deeper into the details.The problem with composed PaaS is figuring out who will build and maintain the platform images. A public cloud provider could use a composition tool to build a platform to base PaaS, but it's unlikely a vendor would take this risk. The vendor would have to bet on whether there are sufficient apps available to run on it to create a viable market opportunity. If the composition tool's agility is exploited to create multiple platforms, then keeping each up to date becomes labor-intensive, and management costs rise. These tasks would be passed on to cloud users.The second approach to PaaS is that tools such as Cloud Foundry and OpenShiftprovide a start with laaS and add in OS and middleware tools to build a cloud platform. With this approach, the applications have a dependable hardware/software combination to run on. Users and application lifecycle processes are immunized against maintenance efforts of platform software.The final option is platform services, which is being adopted de facto by AWS. Platform services presume the goal of PaaS is to add highly cloud- optimized or cloud-specific services and support them in any app that exercises a Web service through a URL. This approach is unique because it's targeting applications changed or written for the cloud rather than ones migrated from on-premises.This focus on the future makes platform services the driver of public cloud service trends. The platform services model offers improved agility but, it aligns new platform elements with valuable cloud application features.Where it falls short is that users must maintain their machine images, because this model doesn't host OS or middleware. Adding a composed platform tool such as Cloud Foundry to manage those elements could address this issue for users.In theory, a public cloud provider like AWS could provide so many platform services that it would effectively be defining a cloud OS. If this were done, and if special development tools were provided to build applications to that cloud OS the same way they're built for current platforms-on-premises platform providers might decide to support it to take advantage of the new applications. Then the cloud would have arrived, shifting the market from the cloud accommodating on-premises platforms, to on-premises platforms accommodating the cloud.

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