Providers of Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) face a common set of challenges that must be overcome to ensure successful service delivery and encourage adoption. First, let's define IaaS and PaaS.
IaaS essentially refers to purchasing the basic storage, processing power and networking to support the delivery of cloud computing applications. It's a logical next step for organizations that want to move specific processes and applications into the cloud, but that still want to maintain a large degree of control and administration over the functions and applications themselves.
PaaS can be viewed as a step higher on the cloud computing ‘food chain,' where organizations purchase not only the computing power, storage and networking from a third-party provider, but also key components for application development such as databases, file sharing and other functionality. These reduce control somewhat for the customer organization, while ostensibly freeing up resources to focus on building out need-specific elements of software that will run on the platform.
Both IaaS and PaaS have been experiencing exponential growth. A recent study by Gartner reports that IaaS penetration will grow 45.4% in 2012, to $6.2 billion, while PaaS is predicted to reach $1.2 billion in 2012.
Clearly, IaaS retains more control of IT infrastructure within the enterprise. But that control comes at a cost. Typically, IaaS models have cost structures that are more difficult to predict and manage. PaaS, on the other hand, has a cost structure that can be more closely managed. Its downside risk is related to vendor lock-in, and the flexibility that is sacrificed by integrating the "product with the platform". While PaaS is coming into its own and will likely grow in relation to IaaS in the coming years, some organizations will always choose control over cost.
Capacity and performance are perhaps the key operational considerations shared by both PaaS and IaaS vendors. That's because usability factors so highly into adoption of Web-based applications in either scenario.
The global reach and capacity of Akamai's Intelligent Platform™ enable us to meet the needs of both IaaS and PaaS vendors and customers. Not only is it the world's largest distributed computing platform; it is also one of the most secure. To learn more about how Akamai provides clear, predictable pricing and unmatched performance for IaaS and PaaS, read about Ion, Akamai's solution for IaaS and PaaS providers.