Platform as a Service is a set of cloud computing services that provide companies with software services using the cloud vendor's set of tools. You want to find the PaaS provider that's right for your business. If your business needs change in the future, you don't want to find your business locked into an expensive contract.
Here are 5 Tips for Choosing the Right PaaS:
1. Determine your business's requirements.
What are your goals? Faster, less expensive projects developed? A reduction in application administrative needs?
Transferring existing applications to the cloud can result in difficulties. Will you need middleware for cloud integration?
Do you want a PaaS tied to a particular Software as a Service environment, such as Heroku is? Do you want a PaaS that is part of a particular cloud infrastructure, such as Amazon's Elastic Beanstalk? Or a PaaS that is not linked to any particular cloud?
The first is best if you wish to quickly get started developing applications entirely in that environment. If you wish your applications to run just in a particular operating environment, the second works better. If your business uses Microsoft's .Net Framework for application development, then using Microsoft's Azure as its PaaS makes sense.
What programming languages does your team use?
SEE ALSO: What is PaaS?
2. Determine what services and technologies the PaaS providers offer.
How many stacks and stack combinations do they offer? As your applications run, the stack will remain with them. How many languages? Which ones?
How is the deployment system architected? This machinery goes into effect when you deploy an application. It is code itself, and might use software such as Puppet or Chef, and it exposes parameters and makes functions available through a Graphic User Interface.
Some PaaS providers use a particular programming language such as Java, Ruby, or Python. Others allow clients to use any languages. Others are a hybrid.
What server-side technologies and data storage options do they offer? What kind of support do they give for developer tools and integrating applications? How easily can you scale as your business grows? Do they use open source software?
3. Evaluate the PaaS graphical control panel or its command line.
How easy is it to understand and use? Are the screens and controls logical and intuitive to use? You don't want your developers wasting their time just trying to figure out how to carry out a few simple tasks. You want it simple yet flexible. You don't want to your team to need extra training just to operate the PaaS.
4. Look at the PaaS's ecosystem. How rich is it?
Who are their software providers, their partners and their developers? How familiar and comfortable with them are you? Having environments in common will make integration easier and faster. Do they constantly develop new applications to improve their services, giving your business the most up-to-date software available?
5. What security precautions do they take?
Doubts about security have plagued cloud computing since its beginning. Many IT professionals just can not get their minds around the idea of a business using computer power on the far side of a fire wall. Not with so many hackers in the world. PaaS is now common and accepted, but that doesn't mean anybody should take security for granted. Every PaaS should protect your data and applications with the best security tools available.
What is their documented rate of uptime? Remember that when your PaaS goes down, so do your applications. Ask around. What is their reputation for customer service?
As you can see, price is not one of the five tips for choosing the right PaaS for your business. That doesn't mean it's not important. Once you determine your enterprise's needs, then find the PaaS that fullfills them. If two or more PaaS providers are otherwise equal, then by all means go with the least expensive. However, as with products and services that are not interchangeable, you'll rarely find all other things being equal.
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