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Should your company use PaaS or IaaS for its custom software needs?

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The tech world has always enjoyed throwing around acronyms to communicate complex ideas — SQL for structured query language, SAN for storage area network, JSP for java server page.

Now the Cloud has introduced a new set of acronyms that could use some explaining. PaaS and IaaS are two such examples that are related yet highly differentiated in terms of what services you decide to locate in the Cloud.

The question is, should your company, as part of a broader software modernization strategy, begin to use one of these Cloud models for its IT needs?

Many small and mid-market enterprises are beginning to embrace the Cloud as they seek to minimize the cost (and risk) of their IT operations. But what the Cloud is now capable of offering is not limited to storing data offsite for ease of system restores, although that is certainly still a value of using the Cloud. You now have the ability to run the bulk of a company’s IT operations entirely through Cloud service providers like Azure and AWS, including using the Cloud to setup and run a software development environment.

There are a couple of Cloud service models in particular that represent a golden opportunity for companies to take full advantage of the Cloud’s virtues: Platform as a Service and Infrastructure as a Service. Both have advantages for custom software development, so we’ll give you highlights of both.

Advantages of Platform as a Service (PaaS)

PaaS excels at helping development teams create custom apps by taking advantage of an existing framework which provides everything from the OS and middleware to storage and infrastructure. A PaaS software development environment is built on virtualization technology that makes scaling resources a breeze. Being 100% Cloud-based, PaaS configuration is accessed solely through a web browser.

For companies that want to develop software without the hassle of maintaining it, PaaS excels at enabling software teams to quickly create and deploy applications without the need of configuring and maintaining servers and databases. In addition to providing a toolkit and standards for development, many PaaS providers allow team collaboration, application versioning and workflow management.

Bottom-line: Since PaaS has a built-in infrastructure and overhead support, developers can focus far more time on application development, making it far easier to implement a continuous delivery workflow and automate software deployment. It’s also perfect when you have multiple developers working on the same project from different locations (e.g., inside developers working with an outside team).

Advantages of Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)

The differences between IaaS and PaaS are important to understand because IaaS is a good fit for some companies but not necessarily all of them. Here are some situations when IaaS is an ideal solution:

  • Need greater control over your environment
  • Need to install custom software not supported by PaaS
  • Have networking resources available to manage Virtual Machines

IaaS is hands-down the most versatile Cloud model for companies to employ. Based 100% on virtual servers, it eliminates the need to deal with network infrastructure like physical computing, storage, security, etc. That said, IaaS allows for (and requires) greater control over the application development environment including the applications themselves, middleware, data and more.

Most IaaS providers may have multiple users/clients on a single machine given the inherent ability to utilize hypervisors to manage large numbers of virtual machines as guests. In other words, you probably won’t run on a single, dedicated server’s resources; rather, your computing needs will be shared across multiple VMs based on your constantly changing needs.

Final Analysis

Most mid-market companies in non-technical industries are not such heavy users of computer resources that they will need to rely upon IaaS or PaaS for their needs. But, it’s entirely possible some elements of these Cloud offerings will be the ideal for:

  • Setting up continuous delivery for business critical custom software
  • Enabling a company to rely upon Cloud for hardware and basic operating infrastructure
  • Lowering risk of IT interruptions
  • Reducing need for major IT capital investments

Clear Measure as a Service (CMaaS)

You can rely upon CMaaS to transition and manage any XaaS on the market.

We have Cloud experts who have helped companies in a wide variety of industries move some, or all, of their IT resources to the Cloud as part of our software modernization service offering.

In short, building value back into your aging software is our speciality. So if you want to Make Your Software New Again while also reigning in your total IT spend, why not set up a meet and greet with one of our technology experts today?

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