Understanding PaaS Software

What’s the Difference Between PaaS and SaaS?

PaaS is a software layer that stiches together networked resources”?OS instances, database server instances, Web server instances, and even load balancers”?into a single, shared hosting layer. It’s important to distinguish between the software platform offered by PaaS and the software offered by SaaS. Unlike SaaS, which offers ready-to-use applications as a service, PaaS allows developers to create unique, wide-ranging applications for their business. PaaS thus offers a competitive advantage for organizations by increasing efficiency, flexibility, and speed in the cloud.

What does PaaS provide to businesses and developers?

Essentially, PaaS is a data center OS. Instead of writing an application and going through the long, tedious process of configuring it to be deployed on a specific infrastructure, application developers can simply upload the application onto the PaaS and have it up and running within minutes. The PaaS can handle the job of matching various application components to the infrastructure, deploying and dynamically configuring those components, and even providing developers with tools to scale and update the application over time.
PaaS providers deliver a full PaaS software stack consisting of proprietary components. If developers have enough experience, developing applications with the PaaS approach will be their best and most money-saving option. Private PaaS gives enterprises the ability to deploy and host a PaaS within their IT infrastructure, allowing internal developers to reap the benefits of PaaS without the accessibility problems of public PaaS. For example, your company might employ hundreds of developers who write internal software, which is hosted on thousands of internal servers; a private PaaS will incorporate that entire infrastructure into a single, internal PaaS that is accessible to the entire community of internal developers. Flexible PaaS software technology can be deployed on any infrastructure. There are several vendors out there that offer such flexible PaaS software technology. For instance, Apprenda makes a flexible PaaS software stack for enterprises running Microsoft’s .NET framework.

What kind of software is supported by PaaS?

It depends, but enterprises commonly use PaaS to support social, mobile, and employee applications, and even applications with no Web front-end: trading systems, modeling systems, payment processing, client servers, messaging applications, and more.