Home The State of the Platform and its Increasing Diversity

The State of the Platform and its Increasing Diversity

As RedMonk‘s Stephen O’Grady points out, platform-as-a-service wasn’t a hot topic for most of 2010. But interest has exploded since Salesforce.com purchased Heroku and Red Hat purchased Makara. Last week Amazon Web Services launched its Elastic Beanstalk PaaS, week before last PHPFog raised $1.8 million and we’ve been seeing Node.js hosts cropping up steadily for the past few weeks.

We predicted last year that PaaS would emerge as the hottest area of cloud computing. Today we’ll take a look at the state of PaaS. If you’re still confused about the difference between IaaS, PaaS and SaaS check out CloudAve’s guide to the terminology.

The Big List of PaaS Providers

We were going to make a list of all the “Heroku for X” type PaaS providers we could find. Then we found Roch Delsalle’s big list. It’s the most comprehensive list we’ve seen, and Delsalle has been good about updating it with newcomers.

Delsalle lists PaaS providers for the following platforms:

  • Ruby

  • Python

  • PHP

  • Drupal

  • .NET

  • Java

  • Node.js

  • RingoJS

The 3 Types of PaaS

For an interesting take on the different approaches to PaaS, check out Subraya Mallya’s article “Multiple Personalities of Platform-as-a-Service.” Mallya looks at the different types of PaaS:

  • Application Development Platforms
  • Application Management Platforms
  • Data Processing Platforms

Mallya also covers what capabilities you should look for in each type of PaaS.

What Developers Look for in PaaS

RedMonk’s Michael Coté takes a look at how developers decide on a PaaS. Coté notes that for many developers, the financial opportunities presented by proprietary platforms with established user bases (for example, Force.com) will often trump fears of vendor lock-in. However, those building full applications with an eye to the future tend to prefer open platforms like Heroku. Coté also looks into why companies, particularly middleware vendors, are getting into the PaaS business.

The Future: Certification

Last week we made the case for the need for third-party certification to ensure customers that PaaS providers follow best practices. In 2009, Alan Wilensky wrote a four part series examining the case for cloud provider certifications, including some ideas for what to include.

For a further look at PaaS and the future of the cloud, please see our report The Future of the Cloud: Cloud Platform APIs are the Business of Cloud Computing.

Photo by LukeGordon1

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