What is Platform as a Service (PaaS)?

Platform as a service (PaaS) is a type of cloud computing service that allows developers to build, deploy, manage, and scale applications outside of an organization’s on-premises infrastructure.

Developing, running, and managing applications in the cloud

PaaS is a cloud computing service that offers developers a way to develop custom apps without dealing with any infrastructure or where the app is hosted. Instead, using PaaS, developers can automate the back-end work of setting up servers and allow them to run transparently in the background. Using PaaS, the development process can focus on coding, testing, and deploying applications rather than provisioning servers, storage, and backup.

Complete infrastructure quickly and efficiently

PaaS brings together middleware, operating systems, development, and deployment in an abstracted environment, separate from an organization’s infrastructure. By outsourcing those functions to a cloud, as in PaaS, developers can more quickly and efficiently manage the repeatable processes needed to create new applications.

What are the advantages of PaaS?

PaaS helps streamline the development process by shifting the nuts and bolts work of managing individual software and hardware—servers, operating systems, and storage—into a complete development and deployment environment. With PaaS, developers can virtualize the entire infrastructure layer and make it work like a single server. As such, this platform and service combination allows an organization to avoid purchasing and maintaining the infrastructure needed to develop and deploy new applications. 

In addition, by automating the back end of development, developers can achieve improved consistency and reliability. And because PaaS systems often have security and data protection built in, development teams don’t need to work on resiliency measures such as replication and backups. Moreover, when it comes to the many details of deploying applications from multiple systems and across both the web and the Internet of Things, PaaS offers integration and aggregation components that simplify the process.

Using PaaS, a business can take advantage of:

  • Shorter development times
  • Increased workforce capabilities
  • Lower costs
  • Rapid scalability
  • Access to business analytics
  • Team collaboration support
  • Streamlined application lifecycle management

What are the differences between PaaS, IaaS, and SaaS?

All three of the services, PaaS, IaaS, and SaaS, comprise the service layer, or what’s known as the software stack in cloud computing. This stack is a set of programs that provide the software infrastructure of a computer or server. These cloud services work together—not in isolation—to support a business, manage configurations, and provision the right resources on demand.

Starting with the base layer of cloud services, Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) offers fundamental computer operations including operating systems, networks, virtual machines, and storage. Users can “rent” the space for these to free up their in-house hardware for more proprietary or resource-intensive computing.

Platform as a service (PaaS) occupies the middle layer and provides development and deployment services. A PaaS platform performs the testing, deployment, management, and maintenance of application development. It also allows multiple users to run copies simultaneously and separately from each other.

Software as a service (SaaS) holds the top spot of the software stack, comprising the actual applications offered to end users. The typical services offered share several characteristics. Among these, the applications usually include general business services, such as accounting or CRM. The navigation of these applications must also be both sophisticated yet easy to use to keep customers on board. Moreover, the applications need to be modular, easily customized, constantly updated, and securely separated from other users’ data.

What do PaaS providers offer?

PaaS providers offer services for several programming languages:

AWS Elastic Beanstalk helps companies deploy and scale web applications and services developed with Java, NET, PHP, Node.js, Python, Ruby, Go, and Docker on services such as Apache, Nginx, Passenger, and IIS.

Microsoft Azure App Services offers companies ways to build, test, deploy, and manage applications and services through Microsoft-managed data centers.

Google App Engine provides access to Google’s scalable hosting and tier one Internet service. The App Engine requires that web app developers and enterprises write apps in Java or Python, store data in Google BigTable, and use the Google query language.

IBM Cloud offers developers the platform capabilities they need to quickly build and deploy applications using services such as IBM Cloud Continuous Delivery and Tekton. IBM Cloud integrates its IaaS and PaaS services to offer a more blended solution than other cloud providers.

Red Hat OpenShift is an open-source container-based platform focused on the private PaaS market. OpenShift primarily targets Kubernetes as its go-to deployment platform. It provides an integrated development environment where developers can build and deploy Docker-formatted containers.

In the latest move, PaaS is entering the artificial intelligence space, where providers are starting to offer AI platform as a service (AIPaaS). Now companies can begin using pre-trained machine learning models, which they can then personalize to integrate specific AI capabilities into an application with APIs.

How can HPE help with switching to PaaS?

Businesses across industries can use PaaS to plan for growth. PaaS can relieve the burden of monitoring, maintaining, and updating a development platform so you can focus on your core business. HPE helps you analyze, evaluate, and design cloud computing solutions so you can quickly deploy the new applications that drive your business. We offer the following solutions to help you get to the next level in your industry.

Transition services

For some enterprises, moving to a cloud platform efficiently is an uphill climb. HPE offers guidance on how to transform and consolidate your data center. Our PaaS experts can help you with both the strategy and design of your digital transformation. We provide on-premises service to help you with every step, from IT infrastructure planning to provider integration.

Determining platform services for delivery

HPE can also help you determine which platform services will best serve your goals. We help you optimize and integrate a broader IT supply chain using a detailed approach to right-sizing your future data center, whether you provision yourself or source from elsewhere.

Modernization

HPE offers exclusive roadmaps and workshops to help you adopt and implement modern software-defined and private-cloud-based architectures using converged, hyper-converged, and composable infrastructure platforms.

With years of experience, our experts will guide you towards a software-defined infrastructure and help shift your unique IT supply chain toward future subscription services. Using our platform services, you can expect flawless and on-time implementation, on-budget execution, and creative configurations that get the most out of your platform investment.