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Passionate about technology and startups. Have worked for the BBC in London, Livedoor.com in Japan, Cloudera in San Francisco and MailChannels in Vancouver, Canada. Currently reside in Vancouver where I'm working on building PaaS based on Cloud Foundry, called Stackato. I enjoy writing about technology, especially when it relates to interesting startups. Phil is a DZone MVB and is not an employee of DZone and has posted 59 posts at DZone. You can read more from them at their website. View Full User Profile

6 Reasons Why IT Needs PaaS

07.16.2014
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[This article was originally written by Kathy Thomas.]

Developers have enjoyed the benefits of a public PaaS—deployment of their apps without a cumbersome process of IT tickets and wait times. However, circumventing the process and using a "rogue" cloud, while tempting, is only a temporary solution and not suitable as a long-term strategy. IT will shut it down… eventually.

As annoying as it may seem to developers, these checks are in place because IT needs to have some control (over security, data, etc.). A private PaaS is a very good alternative to a public one for this reason--it gives developers the freedom they want, but with the control IT requires.

While developers know the benefits (and power) of a PaaS, does IT know how it can help them? In the world of bare metal and virtualization, an application's runtime environment is not top of mind and is seen as just one more thing for IT to do. However, for developers the application is their primary concern and that is what PaaS is all about.

So how does PaaS really help IT?

  1. IT will hear from developers less. While we can't say no more requests will come from Dev, Stackato will automatically provision the application's environment. By coupling the configuration file with the code, you can push your application to any version of Stackato. This functionality enables self-service for developers. IT doesn't need to set up the environment for developers because now they can do it themselves. This saves significant time for both Dev and IT. With Stackato there is no more going back and forth with requirements, so IT won't need to hear from developers quite as much as they currently do.
  2. Easy monitoring of applications and increased reliability. Stackato presents a lot of information about what is happening with the application through the Stackato Dashboard and powerful API-backed command-line tools. This visual display means IT can quickly take a look at what is happening and having the information lets them react sooner when issues arise. Coupled with application autoscaling and availability/placement zones, IT will be able to ensure greater reliability and stability of the applications in their cloud.
  3. Extra security in the cloud. Security is always top of mind for IT. In addition to the security that exists at the infrastructure layer, Stackato uses Docker-based Linux Containers to host their applications and provides an extra layer of security around the application itself.
  4. No vendor lock-in. Any stack, any cloud. Whatever your IaaS (or hypervisor), Stackato will work with them. And if you don't know if you're going with a public or private cloud (or maybe hybrid?), Stackato is flexible and portable enough to accommodate whichever way your business is moving.. IT is not committed to one infrastructure vendor or one cloud set up.
  5. IT will have all the control they need. With an on-premise platform like Stackato, IT has the control that they require. Stackato gives IT users control over user administration, where the applications are hosted on the cloud and resource allocation.
  6. Supports a DevOps approach. Since communication is a key part of DevOps, now both groups can have an online dialog around any application-based event, such as allocating more resources, application restarts or scaling events. Even though a private PaaS will actually reduce the amount of interaction time, you can have more quality interactions that aren't constrained to the details of programming languages, runtimes or frameworks.

By moving to Stackato, developers can deploy their apps faster (just like they did with a public PaaS), but at the same time Stackato also meets the needs of IT. The pitfalls and delays typically associated with the application development process can be overcome with Stackato. The claims coming from the PaaS market can sometimes seem "too good to be true" (I think I've heard the term "unicornish"), but the benefits are significant and they are real. Check out some of our customer case studies and see for yourself.

- See more at: http://www.activestate.com/blog/2014/07/6-reasons-it-needs-paas#sthash.PW9EBt7y.dpuf
Published at DZone with permission of Phil Whelan, author and DZone MVB. (source)

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