Platform as a service (PaaS) is a category of cloud computing services that provides a computing platform and a solution stack as a service. Along with software as a service (SaaS) and infrastructure as a service (IaaS), it is a service model of cloud computing. In this model, the consumer creates an application or service using tools and/or libraries from the provider. The consumer also controls software deployment and configuration settings. The provider provides the networks, servers, storage, and other services that are required to host the consumer’s application.
PaaS offerings facilitate the deployment of applications or services without the cost and complexity of buying and managing the underlying hardware and software and provisioning hosting capabilities. All “as-a-service” offerings are characterized as providing low initial cost, incremental cost as your service usage grows, self-service, best practices built-in, resource sharing, automated deployment, management services, lifecycle management, reuse. PaaS provides these capabilities for application and service development.
There are various types of PaaS vendors; however, all offer application hosting and a deployment environment, along with various integrated services. Services offer varying levels of scalability and maintenance.
PaaS offerings may also include facilities for application design, application development, testing, and deployment as well as services such as team collaboration, web service integration, and marshalling, database integration, security, scalability, storage, persistence, state management, application versioning, application instrumentation, and developer community facilitation.
Besides the service engineering aspects, PaaS offerings include mechanisms for service management, such as monitoring, workflow management, discovery, reservation, etc.
There are a number of reasons why PaaS is experiencing fast market adoption. Today, there are compelling economics around these offerings. Not only does PaaS allow IT teams to do much more with what they have; it also reduces development time – in some instances by as much as 50 percent. Add to this the fact that the market is now maturing and you can start to see why organizations are seeking out PaaS options.