As a startup, you obviously have many budgetary limitations that may hold you back on getting the technology you need to spread your wings. The cloud might sound daunting if you're new to it, but it's an obvious choice to startups that can't afford to buy physical equipment. At the heart of this is numerous "as a service" features many cloud providers offer.
While these services vary depending on the provider, the most popular are SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS since all three give you comprehensive infrastructure through the cloud. PaaS (or Platform as a Service) is particularly popular because it provides your in-house developers a more convenient platform for deploying and testing their applications.
This can become a lifesaver for your own startup once you realize the cost realities in dealing with server hosting and configuration. With so many PaaS providers out there, though, how do you properly evaluate them so you know which is right for you?
Let's take a look at how to evaluate Platform as a Service providers for your startup to make a more educated decision.
Cutting to the Chase: The Price
What's great about the cloud is it's more affordable than you think. In comparison to investing your startup capital into physical hardware and software, the savings are quite exponential. With PaaS, you get all sysadmin features (just for starters) directly through the cloud.
Your first evaluation of a provider should begin by asking what the cost is and whether it's a flat rate per month. Cost may vary depending on what you need, despite still saving you time having to install the equipment your developers require.
Before you sign a contract, be sure to evaluate whether you'll get a free trial so you can try out PaaS for a while to see if it fits your startup's criteria.
The Five Essential Services You Need to Have
Now it's time to see what services your PaaS provider offers. Look out for five particular services you should never be without.
1. The first is application development so you can have the maximum amount of tools available for your developers to keep up with demands.
2. Second, make sure you get integration services so you can easily consolidate hardware and software without conflicts. This includes assuring the provider gives you the programming language your developers have the most familiarity using.
3. Third, make sure they have database services that give you enough space to store your applications. Add to this having excellent support and security, which are easy to overlook.
4. With technical support, make sure they have available communication 24/7 so you can get help even on weekends and holidays.
5. For security, ask them what security features they use and whether you'll have monitoring around the clock.
Choosing Between Portable and Vertically Integrated PaaS
These two choices differ considerably, and you'll want to evaluate which is most important to you. Portable PaaS makes it possible to switch from public to private cloud easily, depending on what you want to use.
Vertically integrated PaaS lets you combine other "as a service" options. Typically, you'll be able to integrate IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) with PaaS through this system.
Design Resources for Your Developers
It helps when the PaaS provider has resources available to your developers to help with application design. A quick learning curve is always valuable through your provider. Yet, you want to have a place where your developers can go and get help if they're new to using the service.
If the provider doesn't offer this, don't let your developers experiment, because designing cloud applications needs careful guidance.
At ContainerShip, we can provide a superior PaaS option for your startup to save you having to invest in expensive resources.