Platform-as-a-Service or PaaS is a cloud-based model that offers a platform for customers with hardware, software, and infrastructure capabilities. It allows development teams to develop, deploy, and manage applications without the cost, complexity, and inflexibility of building and maintaining that platform on-premises.
The PaaS provider houses everything — servers, networks, storage, operating system software, databases — in their data center; the customer uses it for a usage-based monthly fee and can add more on-demand resources as necessary. Through this, PaaS helps the development teams to scale applications (and to innovate in response to market opportunities and threats) much more quickly and less expensively than they could if you had to build out and manage your on-premises platform.
Some unique benefits the company can realize by using PaaS are as follows:
Reduce time to market: With PaaS, there is no need to buy and deploy the hardware and software that you want to build and maintain your application development platform. There’s no need for development teams to wait while you’re doing that. You tap into PaaS resources from the cloud service provider and start developing immediately.
Faster, accessible, less risky implementation of a wider range of resources: PaaS platforms usually provide access to a broader range of options. Such as scaling up and down the application development stack — operating systems, middleware, and databases, and tools like code libraries and software components — then you can affordably or practically manage on-premises. It allows you to test new operating systems, languages, and tools without risk – that is, without having to invest in the infrastructure required to run them.
Quick, cost-effective scalability: If an application is built and hosted, on-premises start getting more traffic; then you’ll need to buy more computing, storage, and even network hardware to meet the demand. It might not achieve quickly enough or can be wasteful (if you purchase more than you require). However, PaaS allows you to scale on-demand by buying the amount of additional capacity you need.
Inexpensive: Since there’s no infrastructure to develop, your upfront cost will be lower. Costs are also more economical and more consistent since PaaS providers charge customers based on their usage.
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How PaaS, IaaS, and SaaS are different?
The three most common models of cloud services are PaaS, IaaS (Infrastructure-as-a-Service), and SaaS (Software-as-a-Service). The use of all three is not unique to an organization. There’s often confusion between the three, though, and what’s included with each:
- With IaaS, cloud providers provide access to ‘raw’ computing resources, such as servers, storage, and networking. But you are responsible for the infrastructure and software applications.
- With PaaS, cloud provider offers to deliver and manages the entire platform infrastructure; now, you don’t need to take care of lower-level details of the environment and use the platform for the development and deployment of your applications.
- While SaaS is the software that you use via cloud like it was installed on your computer. However, in some cases, parts of it may be installed on your computer. SaaS applications are hosted on the cloud network, and users can store and analyze data in a comprehensive project.
Artificial Intelligence Platform-as-a-Service (AIPaaS)
For the past few years, cloud services are the preferred option for Artificial Intelligence that allows you to tap into individual AI without investing in the infrastructure required to run it or expertise required to operate; manage and maintain it.
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However, the leading cloud service providers have introduced comprehensive AI-Platform-as-a-service (AIPaaS), which includes an AI-enriched application platform. AIPaaS provides infrastructure and data storage that is hardened to meet the computing power and voluminous AI storage requirements. While pre-trained machine learning models, you can use to customize APIs to incorporate different AI capabilities such as facial recognition or text-to-speech conversion into your application.
Is Kubernetes different from Open Source PaaS?
An open-source PaaS allows developers and users to add source code and plugins and distribute them. There are two common open sources PaaS systems are Cloud Foundry and OpenShift.
Cloud Foundry allows you to install and run applications on your computing infrastructure or use a PaaS that is deployed by a commercial Cloud Foundry. Moreover, a broader community of vendors contributes and supports Cloud Foundry. While OpenShift is a Red Hat’s cloud computing offering for PaaS. OpenShift is designed around Docker containers that are orchestrated and managed by Kubernetes through a Red Hat Enterprise Foundation.
There is always a misunderstanding about whether Kubernetes is a PaaS. Well, we all know Kubernetes is an open-source, container orchestration platform that is essential for the management of cloud applications. It offers some common features to PaaS offerings such as deployment, scaling, load balancing, logging, and monitoring but is not a typical, all-inclusive PaaS.