Using PaaS (or Platform as a Service) has become a favorite element of cloud services to help development and deployment of your cloud applications. It's never a good idea to build a cloud application until you have PaaS in place since it provides the hardware and software you need to help your developers work properly.
The problem is finding a PaaS provider within a sea of competitors. You'll notice PaaS provider competition is intense due to the technology being so much in demand in the development community.
What's important is to avoid sitting on the fence about PaaS if your company plans to develop applications soon. Using traditional means could cost you more than you expect in capital expenditures. Dealing with your own servers, data services, resource allocation, and monitoring can end up draining your budget before you even begin.
As with all vetting, you should have a basic checklist in place to find a provider fitting your criteria.
Here's some smart things to consider toward selecting a PaaS cloud provider this year.
Is the Provider Certified for Regulatory Requirements?
You may overlook this question before considering technical needs. PCI DSS is one cloud regulation, though don't forget about Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX). These and other regulatory demands could get ignored if your provider isn't thorough in staying compliant.
If you don't pay attention, you could end up paying huge fines for violations while using PaaS. Fines could end up costing your company more than you would have paid for upkeep of physical hardware and software.
How Much Control Will You Have of Your Resources?
Not having control of your hardware environment could end up causing problems for your developers when they need specific resources to design their applications. Some providers don't give you the control needed to do what you want, including application freedoms and integrations.
Make sure your provider gives you enough control so your developers won't have to waste work day waiting for specific resource requests to be fulfilled.
How Much Storage Space Will You Have?
What happens if you unexpectedly need more storage space for your applications? Does your provider offer instant scalability for storage, or are there strict limitations?
Growth can happen virtually overnight, and you may need to expand your application in order to accommodate customers. Not having enough storage space could place you in a detrimental situation where you switch to another PaaS provider midstream just to keep up with demands.
How Much Database Management Will You Get?
Some features above (like scalability and compliance) should occur through proper database management from your PaaS provider. Do they provide comprehensive management on a constant basis?
Many providers give you complete monitoring and management to safeguard your network 24/7. Others might have limitations, and this should matter if you need a dedicated team to look over things at all times.At the center of this is security and making sure your network stays safe from cyber threats. You shouldn't have this only part of the time, especially when something unexpected could happen on a weekend or holiday.
Providing Multiple Programming Languages for Developers
A true mark of a quality PaaS provider is how many programming languages they support. The development languages your developers use (and frameworks) may not have full compatibility with the provider you choose. Be sure to find out before you sign a contract.
Ask if the provider offers an interface that lets you use different components in the languages they offer. Having this only makes things easier for your developers, which is a key reason you need PaaS in the first place.