The cloud service architecture can be divided into 3 main levels of provisioning, each of which comprises different services. These delivery levels are: Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Software as a Service (SaaS).
In this article, we will discuss the platform delivery layer, which is the central building block of the delivery layer. Often, the PaaS layer is difficult to separate from the IaaS layer because many vendors automatically offer these layers in a federation.
Platform-as-a-Service is a cloud-based service that provides companies with a platform, tools and resources needed to develop web-based apps and business applications. These platforms provide application developers with a comprehensive development and runtime environment in which they can develop and run new Web-based applications. PaaS vendors provide their customers with the necessary resources such as servers, operating systems and networks, as well as the necessary development tools, middleware and libraries. Overall, it works like traditional on-premise infrastructure, without the company having to worry about installing or managing the platform.
The best known PaaS providers are Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure or Google.
With Platform as a Service you develop your product basically as in a self-developed development environment. Once you have created the code, you transfer it to the platform, where it is executed in a provided container that meets the specific resource requirements. This allows you to see changes immediately. Many PaaS services are capable of running multiple versions of a program simultaneously. This can be used, for example, to create live test environments or to roll back previous versions.
Web hosting plans are a simple example of how Platform as a Service works. Here, you, as the customer, create the code and enter it into the web hosting service. This runs the code and displays the Web site you created. You don’t have to worry about storage space, maintenance, or database setup.
However, PaaS offerings are not limited to hosting websites; they also include much more complex projects and features.
However, if you’re interested in a PaaS solution, keep in mind that only certain programming languages are supported at any given time. For example, there are vendors that only support Java and others that only support Python.
The application areas of Platform-as-a-Service are not exclusively limited to the development of applications. It is also used in the following areas:
Development of APIs (programming interfaces)
Data analysis for more accurate forecasts
Communication platform that offers voice and video content
Business process management platform used to store SLAs and business rules
In the future, the area of IoT (Internet of Things) will become more attractive for PaaS, since PaaS environments are ideally suited for the development of IoT applications.
The Platform-as-a-Service delivery layer is primarily aimed at developers and thus offers them the most benefits, but companies benefit not only indirectly from the advantages, but also directly in the form of reduced costs.
Platform-as-a-Service offers the following benefits:
fast and easy development of new applications
no high investment costs for special infrastructure
low administration costs
high scalability of resources