By 2016, competition among PaaS vendors will produce new programming models, new standards and new software market leaders.
as a service (PaaS) is a core layer of the cloud computing architecture, and
its evolution will affect the future of most users and vendors in enterprise
software markets, according to IT research firm Gartner. PaaS is a common
reference to the layer of cloud technology architecture that contains all
application infrastructure services, which are also known as
"middleware" in other contexts.
is the middle layer of the end-to-end software stack in the cloud. It is the
technology that intermediates between the underlying system infrastructure
(operating systems, networks, virtualization, storage, etc.) and overlaying
application software. The technology services that are part of a full-scope
comprehensive PaaS include functionality of application containers (servers),
application development tools, database management systems, integration
middleware, portal products and business process management suites-all offered
as a service.
large and growing vendor investment in PaaS, the market is on the cusp of
several years of strategic growth, leading to innovation and likely
breakthroughs in technology and business use of all of cloud computing,"
said Yefim Natis, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner.
"Users and vendors of enterprise IT software solutions that are not yet
engaged with PaaS must begin building expertise in PaaS or face tough
challenges from competitors in the coming years."
Gartner predicted last year in the report "PaaS Road Map: A Continent
Emerging," the broad vendor adoption in 2011 amounted to a sound industry
endorsement of PaaS as an alternative to the traditional middleware deployment
models. In 2012, the PaaS market is at its early stage of growth and does not
yet have well-established leaders, best use or business practices, or dedicated
standards, and the adoption of PaaS offerings is still associated with some
degree of uncertainty and risk, the report said.
PaaS products are likely to evolve into a major component of the overall cloud
computing market, just as the middleware products-including application
servers, database management systems (DBMSs), integration middleware and portal
platforms-are the core foundation of the traditional software industry,"
Natis said. "The tension between the short-term risk and the long-term
strategic imperative of PaaS will define the key developments in the PaaS
market during the next two to three years."
of the newly announced PaaS offerings will reach general availability late in
2012, and by the end of 2013, all major software vendors will have competitive
production offerings in the PaaS market. By 2016, competition among the PaaS
vendors will produce new programming models, new standards and new software
market leaders. However, until then, users will continue to experience
architectural changes to technologies, business models and vendor alignments in
the PaaS market.
there are clear risks associated with the use of services in the new and
largely immature PaaS market, the risk of avoiding the PaaS market is equally
high," Natis said. "The right strategy for most mainstream IT
organizations and software vendors is to begin building familiarity with the
new cloud computing opportunities by adopting some PaaS services now, albeit with
the understanding of their limitations and with the expectation of ongoing
change in the market offerings and use patterns."