Choosing the right PaaS for Developing and Running Cloud Applications

The software industry is undergoing rapid changes as cloud-native trends continue to change the way of developing, deploying and operating software and application products. This trend takes the approach of building applications as micro services and running them on containerized and vigorously orchestrated platforms with full benefits of cloud computing technology.

Containers that are run in a virtualized environment give applications that are independent, highly portable and easy to scale. A system of microservices is easy to implement, understand, scale and speed up the development tasks that you have at hand.

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Cloud computing services

Hosted computing services like IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS are consumed through the internet just like a utility. The reliance on these services continues to grow as enterprises look to either extend their on-premise infrastructure, find an easy platform for application development or leverage an already existing application.

A platform as a service or PaaS is a solution that allows you to develop, build and run applications on the cloud. It comes with many benefits including rapid development, infrastructure management, on-demand scaling, application monitoring and no in-house ITSM expertise requirements.

The reliance on PaaS for developing cloud applications has deepened, but that does not mean that all PaaS platforms are the same. So, how do you choose the right PaaS for developing your cloud applications?

Understand your project

There are three PaaS models depending on whether it is anchored on specific SaaS, a particular cloud environment or not linked to any cloud. Does your organization value a full cloud experience, high control or high productivity? The answer will determine which PaaS model is most suitable for you.  The one that is linked to a SaaS provides you will a complete package hence the easiest, fastest and most secure when it comes to creating custom applications. If you want to make use of your professional developers or provide complex services, then it will be good to go beyond standard models and approaches.

Cloud benefits

The benefits of the cloud technology may be many but no single PaaS platform is best in everything. You need to rate each product based on whether its strong points match the needs of your project. Those that are good at scaling on demand may not have high productivity, low latency, high availability, quick disaster recovery or continuous accessibility globally.

Preferred language and framework

Since each PaaS supports different languages and frameworks, it is good to choose a platform that supports many languages and frameworks such as Java, Python, Node.js, Ruby, Rails and so on.

Functional requirements

Consider the specific databases that you need to work with as well as the integration and data analytics services that you will require. For instance, cloud-based logging is not straightforward and very few platforms offer log management services.  This should not bother you since you can easily send any platform generated logs to a managed security service provider the way you would send your Heroku logs to Loggly.

Architectural needs

It is important to choose a PaaS solution that matches your architectural needs if you are using hybrid, cloud or portable services. It should also match you event-driven or real-time application architecture as in the case of IoT.

Unless you do not like the idea of your application relying heavily on a provider’s cloud platform, PaaS will enable you to focus solely on your application and data and not infrastructure. This is good for hustle-free and faster application development that comes with automated provisioning, scaling and redundancy. There may not be standard practice for platform consumption but you need to look at the time and resources that you have, flexibility that you need and your internal organizational structure and goals.

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