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Which Cloud PaaS is best for your business?

At first glance, it might look like many PaaS options can meet your needs. A closer look reveals that only a few are true commercial-grade solutions and that significant philosophical and architectural differences exist between them.

Here are some important criteria to keep in mind:

  • Open and non-proprietary, with no lock-in
  • Meets existing reliability, performance and scalability requirements
  • Provides transparency and configurability
  • Backed by an organization with deep technical expertise and elite support

You should also ask prospective vendors the following questions:

  • What technologies does your PaaS support?
  • What stage of development is your PaaS in? Production, beta or pre-beta?
  • What does your support model look like?
  • What level of scalability, high availability and security do you provide?
  • Will your PaaS allow me to quickly and easily extract my data and run my application elsewhere?

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Other cloud computing models

Besides PaaS, there are two other primary cloud computing models: infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and software as a service (SaaS).


Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS):

  • The cloud provider manages and delivers the underlying infrastructure, including storage, network and computing resources.
  • You are able to deploy, run and control software, which may include operating systems, applications with possibly limited control of select networking components (e.g. firewalls).

Platform as a Service (PaaS):

  • The cloud provider manages and delivers programming languages, frameworks, libraries, services and tools for you to create and deploy applications.
  • The service provider also manages and controls the infrastructure, including network, servers, operating systems and storage.
  • You have control over the deployed applications and configuration settings for the application hosting environment.

Software as a Service (SaaS):

  • The cloud provider manages and controls the underlying cloud infrastructure, operating systems, application platform and even individual application capabilities, with the possible exception of limited user-specific configuration.
  • You have the ability to use the vendor's applications running on a cloud infrastructure.
  • The applications are accessible from various client devices through either a web browser or an application programming interface (API).

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