Programmers prefer to stay focused on creating code but often find themselves encumbered by the process of maintaining infrastructure. Organizations are increasingly focused on setting up the best possible infrastructure for programmers so that they can leverage technology effectively to achieve business goals. Due to this, cloud computing platforms are becoming increasingly popular. According to an O’Reilly survey, cloud professionals in the U.S. can earn an average salary of $182,000. If you intend to take up cloud computing as a profession, you must have heard of ‘platform as a service’ (PaaS). In this blog, we will be looking into the question of what is PaaS in cloud computing.
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What is PaaS in Cloud Computing?
If you’ve been wondering what is PaaS in cloud computing, platform as a service, or PaaS, is a kind of cloud computing platform. In this platform, a third-party provider delivers the hardware, software, and infrastructure needed to develop, operate, and manage applications. This is done so that their customers don’t have to build them on-site. This helps customers avoid the cost and complexity of building these resources.
Benefits of PaaS
1. Time to Market Decreases
With PaaS, programmers don’t need to bother about building and provisioning their infrastructure, which means that they can build the applications they aim for more quicker.
2. Single Environment
The PaaS platforms usually provide features that let programmers build, debug, test, deploy, host, and update their applications in the same space. This makes the development cycle much simpler.
PaaS is usually very cost-effective; customers don’t have to spend to set up or manage infrastructure.
How PaaS Works
Solutions offered by PaaS work using three parts. These include:
- Cloud infrastructure (virtual machines, storage, firewalls, etc.)
- Software to build, deploy, and manage applications
- A Graphic User Interface (GUI) on which development teams work
Programmers can log in to the PaaS platform from anywhere to work on projects. Once they log in, they can develop applications directly on these platforms.
Characteristics of PaaS in Cloud Computing
This platform delivers high-end software and hardware infrastructure to companies on the cloud. It is used by programmers to develop applications and offers customers the flexibility to build their application and customize it to their requirements using the provider’s infrastructure. Customers can usually choose from various tiers depending on their needs. Hence, this works out to be cost-effective for companies that don’t need to spend on building or maintaining their development platforms.
PaaS, IaaS, and SaaS
PaaS, IaaS, and SaaS are both common service models in cloud computing.
Infrastructure as a service, or IaaS, provides customers with access to basic IT infrastructures like physical servers, virtual machines, storage, and firewalls hosted by the cloud provider. It also eliminates the cost associated with setting up in-house infrastructure and is usually included in PaaS solutions to host the platforms.
Software as a service, or SaaS, is a form of software you can use via the cloud. It lets companies use their software without needing to set up the infrastructure to run it. Nearly all web applications are considered SaaS. The SaaS models include IaaS and PaaS components needed to run them.
Use Cases for PaaS
PaaS is useful for several IT applications, including:
- Application Programming Interface (API) development
- Internet of things (IoT)
- Cloud-native development
- Hybrid cloud strategy
Advantages and Disadvantages of PaaS in Cloud Computing
The following are some advantages:
- Low Cost: The PaaS platforms can be set up without the cost needed to set up and maintain infrastructure.
- Easy Availability: Since it can be accessed through the cloud, PaaS can be used by programmers irrespective of their physical location.
- Scalable: These platforms are flexible enough to accommodate the expansion of businesses without requiring significant investments.
- Automatic Upgrades: Platform updates are usually delivered by the PaaS provider.
- Support: The PaaS developers make sure that their applications are compatible with various platforms.
The following are some of the disadvantages of PaaS:
- Security Concerns: Private and sensitive information stored inside the cloud database can be viewed by the provider.
- Unreliable: Solutions provided by PaaS can be unreliable. Due to things like power outages or connection issues, users can face downtimes that impact business operations.
- Irrelevant Features: Some features of the PaaS platform may be irrelevant to the user, but will still be factored into the cost of the service.
Purpose-Built PaaS Types
Many PaaS providers offer specific solutions to build particular types of applications. Some of them include:
1. AIPaaS (Artificial Intelligence PaaS)
It offers significant computing power, storage capabilities, and networking capacity required by AI applications. It typically includes pre-trained machine learning and deep learning models.
2. iPaaS (Integration Platform as a Service)
Used for integrating applications, iPaaS provides companies with a standardized model to integrate data, processes, and services.
3. cPaaS (Communications Platform as a Service)
It lets programmers add voice, video, and messaging capabilities to their applications.
4. mPaaS (Mobile Platform as a Service)
It simplifies development for mobile applications and provides methods to access mobile device features like the camera, motion sensor, etc.
Learning, the Emeritus Way
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment opportunities in the cloud computing sector are set to grow by 15% between 2021 and 2031. Therefore, it is certainly a field worth entering. Now that you have an idea about what is PaaS in cloud computing, consider expanding your knowledge of the space; take up a course on online technology from Emeritus today.
By Tanish Pradhan
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