|By Ruslan Synytskyy||
|December 1, 2011 09:30 AM EST||
Like evolution, constant technological change is unstoppable, whether through improvements or the emergence of entirely new technologies. This is especially true in the hosting industry where a new generation of more flexible and efficient platforms is emerging to take advantage of the cloud.
Historically, hosting services have been very inflexible. For example, a customer looking to change out servers rented from a hosted service provider would have to wait for several days, sometimes resulting in a significant blow to credibility and other losses. Amazon, with its infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) solution, was able to reduce that operation to minutes, yet still left most of the server administration tasks to users. Later, first generation platform-as-a-service (PaaS) offerings, like Google AppEngine and Heroku, allowed developers to upload their application code to a preconfigured environment, but with a trade-off. Developers often had to rewrite code to run on the vendor's platform and give up control of the execution environment.
PaaS for the cloud needs to evolve to address the shortcomings of earlier platforms. This next generation platform - PaaS 2.0 - should combine the global availability of the hosting ecosystem (hosters, their customers and application developers), the standardization and flexibility of IaaS, and ease of provisioning and scaling.
Proprietary Engines to Standard Execution Environments
The first Java platforms as a service, like Google App Engine, implemented proprietary execution environments. Developers had to learn the new environment and its limitations, and change their code to work in that environment. Some platforms, like Heroku, tried to mitigate this problem by taking an existing open source server and customizing it. While this made the learning curve smaller, the limitations imposed on developers, such as the absence of multi-threading and limited server choice, meant that most existing applications could not be deployed "as is" in PaaS.
Java, a popular and established programming language, is supported by numerous application servers that suit various deployment scenarios. The Wikipedia page on Java Platform Enterprise Edition lists a variety of server options, including Tomcat, GlassFish and Jetty - each with its share of devoted users and advantages in particular scenarios. Developers are not eager to switch between servers and want the exact environment required by their applications.
The same situation is true for database servers. Older platforms offer either proprietary solutions or support only one type of database server, such as MySQL, so the environment topology for the applications can't be set up. Use of proprietary storage platforms, such as Google's Big Table or Amazon SimpleDB, lock developers into a specific service and hold them hostage to changes in the service provider's policies. Recent price increases by Google AppEngine illustrate the problem.
PaaS 2.0 should offer a wide range of application and database servers. This is the only way that developers can achieve 100 percent compatibility with existing open standards, use a wide range of libraries and frameworks, and establish environment topologies according to their tastes, needs and knowledge, without vendor lock-in.
Separation of Platform and Service
Early PaaS offerings lack a separation between platform and service. Google, for example, is the only service provider offering Google App Engine. Amazon is the only one offering Amazon Elastic Beanstalk. Salesforce.com (the owner of Heroku) is the only one offering Heroku, and so on. If you like the platform, but don't like the service - too bad. If the price goes up (as in Google's case) or if you need the service outside the U.S. with a different set of service level agreements (SLA) or certifications - again, too bad. This marriage between platform and service limits consumer choice and stifles innovation.
PaaS needs to evolve to an ecosystem model where platforms are developed by software companies, and the service is available in multiple geographies, across a variety of industries, at attractive price points, and with value-add options from an ecosystem of hosted service providers.
Scalability for first-generation PaaS offerings came at a price. Platforms were not able to automatically add resources, such as RAM and CPU, when apps needed them. Instead, developers had to change their apps to use multiple parallel machines, and add machines each time more resources were needed.
While horizontal scaling creates highly scalable and available Internet applications, it imposes huge additional requirements on application developers, making code redesign necessary just to ensure the application has the resources it needs.
The next-generation PaaS needs to be more flexible in adapting to applications. If a developer chooses to run a single instance of an application (or the application is just not designed to run on multiple machines), the platform needs to automatically give the application the resources it needs when usage goes up. The same is true when usage goes down. If no one is using the system at 1 a.m. and it only needs 128 MB of memory, PaaS needs to automatically recycle the rest of the resources to reduce the bill.
PaaS 2.0 shouldn't force developers to change their applications and behaviors, but should support both scaling scenarios without imposing limitations.
Control over the Environment
Like the limitations that early PaaS imposed on the application server, developers were also very limited in how they could work with the execution environment to extend and control it. If an extra library was needed for an application, the developer could only use frameworks made available by the vendor. If the developer needed to fine-tune server configuration files or add new ones, he was out of luck if the application did not fit within the platform's limits. PaaS 2.0 needs to allow developers to use all of the libraries and configurations currently available.
Graphical User Interface
Usability is another key requirement for PaaS technology to go mainstream. First-generation PaaS platforms often required using obscure command-line utilities to get anything done, making the learning curve even bigger and limiting its use among enthusiasts. PaaS 2.0 needs to easily integrate into the tools that developers know and use already with a highly intuitive graphical user interface of its own.
|StevenDDeacon 12/07/11 01:09:00 PM EST|
For more information on cloud computing Integrated Service Management with IBM Cloud Computing Reference Architecture read IBM Whitepaper "Integrated service management and cloud computing" here [PDF].
|StevenDDeacon 12/06/11 12:58:00 PM EST|
Great Article! Many IT IaaS providers are now emerging offering many of the features your article describes required for PaaS 2.0. I've come across a few with interesting offerings. I currently write a blog "Information Technology Infrastructure Logistics". I hope to see more articles on this subject as PaaS offerings mature.
In his General Session at 16th Cloud Expo, David Shacochis, host of The Hybrid IT Files podcast and Vice President at CenturyLink, investigated three key trends of the “gigabit economy" though the story of a Fortune 500 communications company in transformation. Narrating how multi-modal hybrid IT, service automation, and agile delivery all intersect, he will cover the role of storytelling and empathy in achieving strategic alignment between the enterprise and its information technology.
Jan. 18, 2017 04:45 PM EST Reads: 4,501
Buzzword alert: Microservices and IoT at a DevOps conference? What could possibly go wrong? In this Power Panel at DevOps Summit, moderated by Jason Bloomberg, the leading expert on architecting agility for the enterprise and president of Intellyx, panelists peeled away the buzz and discuss the important architectural principles behind implementing IoT solutions for the enterprise. As remote IoT devices and sensors become increasingly intelligent, they become part of our distributed cloud enviro...
Jan. 18, 2017 04:30 PM EST Reads: 4,632
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo 2016 in New York. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, is co-located with 20th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry p...
Jan. 18, 2017 03:30 PM EST Reads: 3,666
"LinearHub provides smart video conferencing, which is the Roundee service, and we archive all the video conferences and we also provide the transcript," stated Sunghyuk Kim, CEO of LinearHub, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Jan. 18, 2017 02:45 PM EST Reads: 1,585
Things are changing so quickly in IoT that it would take a wizard to predict which ecosystem will gain the most traction. In order for IoT to reach its potential, smart devices must be able to work together. Today, there are a slew of interoperability standards being promoted by big names to make this happen: HomeKit, Brillo and Alljoyn. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Adam Justice, vice president and general manager of Grid Connect, will review what happens when smart devices don’t work togethe...
Jan. 18, 2017 02:00 PM EST Reads: 373
"There's a growing demand from users for things to be faster. When you think about all the transactions or interactions users will have with your product and everything that is between those transactions and interactions - what drives us at Catchpoint Systems is the idea to measure that and to analyze it," explained Leo Vasiliou, Director of Web Performance Engineering at Catchpoint Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York Ci...
Jan. 18, 2017 01:00 PM EST Reads: 5,592
The 20th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Containers, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportunity. Submit your speaking proposal ...
Jan. 18, 2017 01:00 PM EST Reads: 5,097
Discover top technologies and tools all under one roof at April 24–28, 2017, at the Westin San Diego in San Diego, CA. Explore the Mobile Dev + Test and IoT Dev + Test Expo and enjoy all of these unique opportunities: The latest solutions, technologies, and tools in mobile or IoT software development and testing. Meet one-on-one with representatives from some of today's most innovative organizations
Jan. 18, 2017 12:15 PM EST Reads: 1,525
20th Cloud Expo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy.
Jan. 18, 2017 12:00 PM EST Reads: 4,228
SYS-CON Events announced today that Super Micro Computer, Inc., a global leader in Embedded and IoT solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Supermicro (NASDAQ: SMCI), the leading innovator in high-performance, high-efficiency server technology, is a premier provider of advanced server Building Block Solutions® for Data Center, Cloud Computing, Enterprise IT, Hadoop/Big Data, HPC and E...
Jan. 18, 2017 12:00 PM EST Reads: 5,755
SYS-CON Events announced today that Linux Academy, the foremost online Linux and cloud training platform and community, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Linux Academy was founded on the belief that providing high-quality, in-depth training should be available at an affordable price. Industry leaders in quality training, provided services, and student certification passes, its goal is to c...
Jan. 18, 2017 12:00 PM EST Reads: 1,941
WebRTC is the future of browser-to-browser communications, and continues to make inroads into the traditional, difficult, plug-in web communications world. The 6th WebRTC Summit continues our tradition of delivering the latest and greatest presentations within the world of WebRTC. Topics include voice calling, video chat, P2P file sharing, and use cases that have already leveraged the power and convenience of WebRTC.
Jan. 18, 2017 10:30 AM EST Reads: 3,103
"Matrix is an ambitious open standard and implementation that's set up to break down the fragmentation problems that exist in IP messaging and VoIP communication," explained John Woolf, Technical Evangelist at Matrix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Jan. 18, 2017 09:45 AM EST Reads: 11,553
WebRTC sits at the intersection between VoIP and the Web. As such, it poses some interesting challenges for those developing services on top of it, but also for those who need to test and monitor these services. In his session at WebRTC Summit, Tsahi Levent-Levi, co-founder of testRTC, reviewed the various challenges posed by WebRTC when it comes to testing and monitoring and on ways to overcome them.
Jan. 18, 2017 08:15 AM EST Reads: 5,977
"A lot of times people will come to us and have a very diverse set of requirements or very customized need and we'll help them to implement it in a fashion that you can't just buy off of the shelf," explained Nick Rose, CTO of Enzu, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Jan. 18, 2017 07:45 AM EST Reads: 4,632
DevOps is being widely accepted (if not fully adopted) as essential in enterprise IT. But as Enterprise DevOps gains maturity, expands scope, and increases velocity, the need for data-driven decisions across teams becomes more acute. DevOps teams in any modern business must wrangle the ‘digital exhaust’ from the delivery toolchain, "pervasive" and "cognitive" computing, APIs and services, mobile devices and applications, the Internet of Things, and now even blockchain. In this power panel at @...
Jan. 18, 2017 06:45 AM EST Reads: 2,765
Every successful software product evolves from an idea to an enterprise system. Notably, the same way is passed by the product owner's company. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Oleg Lola, CEO of MobiDev, will provide a generalized overview of the evolution of a software product, the product owner, the needs that arise at various stages of this process, and the value brought by a software development partner to the product owner as a response to these needs.
Jan. 18, 2017 06:30 AM EST Reads: 1,186
WebRTC services have already permeated corporate communications in the form of videoconferencing solutions. However, WebRTC has the potential of going beyond and catalyzing a new class of services providing more than calls with capabilities such as mass-scale real-time media broadcasting, enriched and augmented video, person-to-machine and machine-to-machine communications. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Luis Lopez, CEO of Kurento, introduced the technologies required for implementing these idea...
Jan. 18, 2017 06:30 AM EST Reads: 4,633
The WebRTC Summit New York, to be held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, announces that its Call for Papers is now open. Topics include all aspects of improving IT delivery by eliminating waste through automated business models leveraging cloud technologies. WebRTC Summit is co-located with 20th International Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo. WebRTC is the future of browser-to-browser communications, and continues to make inroads into the traditional, difficult, plug-in web co...
Jan. 18, 2017 05:45 AM EST Reads: 2,915
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place June 6-8, 2017 at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, is co-located with the 20th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. @ThingsExpo New York Call for Papers is now open.
Jan. 18, 2017 05:15 AM EST Reads: 3,594