It seems like there is a new *aaS, *aaP, or even *aa* coming out every day! A lot of the time these are just buzz words or a way to rationalize a product. Today I want to focus on two of these, PaaS and IaaS, and why Microsoft is pushing a shift to one from the other.
First things first, let’s talk about IaaS and PaaS from a high level so we can have a nice understanding of what they are and what are their benefits and faults. There have been many metaphors and sayings used to describe the difference between IaaS and PaaS such as “Pizza as a Service”, but from a high-level stand point Infrastructure as a Service(IaaS) is being able to create networks, virtual machines, storage, and all the normal things you would create while setting up an on-premise cloud without having to deal with the cost of bare metal kit. PaaS is the same end goal of IaaS with only part of the work, the provider gives you a platform to deploy your code/function/batch and then runs it to your specifications. Beyond that the user has no control, the perks to this are of course less configuration and hassle from the user side, the cons are you have to be hands off on a lot of the interworking’s of the environment.
Honestly? There are a number of reasons, ease of use, cost, and honestly the lack of infrastructure needed to use it. Just think of how much less time it would take to move through the software development life cycle by being able to cut out the infrastructure portion of your design and implementation. What if you could just spin up web app, deploy straight to it from one of your deployment tools, and then boom it’s up and running. This all without having to put in a ticket for infra to create a VM, configure it to your specifications, and then security harden it. This is just the example with a “web app,” what PaaS offerings all us to do is take advantage of all these great technologies that are being put out by the likes of Microsoft, Google, and Amazon! Things like Machine Learning, Big Data Analytics, logic apps, all services that if setup on premise would take loads of infrastructure, lots of configuration, and even more time, with PaaS all this is done for you! Not only do you get these great new technologies, but there are the classic backbones that are used every day to move environments forward such as all flavours of SQL (NoSQL, MySQL, MSSQL), monitoring solutions, and even batch job processing. This essentially allows anyone in your organisation to respond to ever growing needs of the business in a timely manner.
As you can see this is just a brief overview of what PaaS is and how it compares at a high level to IaaS. Next time we will be diving into one of the PaaS services directly to really break it down and see how it is currently being used in the industry, and where it is moving to in the future.