Platform as a Service: Top 10 PaaS Trends of the Next Five Years
Workload Growth Will Drive PaaS Adoption
The work isn't getting any easier, nor are management expectations. Growing workloads will put greater pressure on IT departments to cut costs and deliver productivity gains. Cloud technology in the form of PaaS will provide the flexibility, control and efficiency that developers, IT managers and CIOs need to hit their performance metrics.
IaaS Providers Will Climb Up the Stack to Subsume PaaS IT
Market-leading IaaS technology will emerge as a commodity model for infrastructure delivery. Potential winners in the race to IaaS ubiquity are Amazon, Rackspace, HPCS, OpenStack, CloudStack, Dell vCloud, IBM SmartCloud, Eucalyptus and Azure. To differentiate themselves, IaaS leaders will integrate middleware technology, or else PaaS providers will build down the stack and bypass them entirely.
Public PaaS Will Win the SMB Market
For smaller setups, public cloud services will continue to provide cost-effective IT systems and allow small and midsized businesses to focus on strategy instead of infrastructure. Cheap subscription pricing and standardized middleware service offerings will ultimately drive the SMB market to commit to public PaaS.
But Public Services Will Concede the Enterprise Market to Private PaaS
Big business must move into the cloud. But reliability issues, security risks and the limitations of one-size-fits-all public PaaS services will push the enterprise market toward private PaaS alternatives. Enterprise clouds will remain on-premises and rely on private-PaaS middleware—and ultimately look for a hybrid approach.
Open-Source PaaS Platforms Will Flourish
As workload evolution drives cloud architecture revolution, there will be an increased need for highly customized cloud environments. Big business will need middleware on which to build, and enterprise developers and CIOs will look to extend open-source PaaS IT.
Open-Source PaaS Platforms Will Be Delivered via Popular Linux Distributions
Linux offerings will become an even stronger indirect distribution channel for open-source PaaS technologies. Canonical's Ubuntu has already started down this path with its inclusion of Cloud Foundry client and server components in its Linux distribution. Red Hat is investing in OpenShift and will make it the PaaS of choice for Red Hat Enterprise Linux customers.
Proprietary PaaS Will Start to Look Like Open Source
Enterprise customers want the flexibility of open source with the security (and service-level agreements) of commercial software. Proprietary PaaS will become more extensible and evolve to support even more languages, frameworks and APIs. Development and operations leads will be able to drop in runtimes, add-ons, third-party services or database clusters—whatever is needed to complete a custom stack.
PaaS Compatibility? More Like PaaS Combatibility
The PaaS space is going to get ugly. Well, at least the marketing noise will be less civil. Vendors in a crowded middleware market will seek to differentiate themselves and will pursue greater specificity ("PaaS for Sporting Goods Retailers Under 50VMs") and produce more desperately aggressive marketing messages (think political-campaign-level rhetoric).
Orchestration and Configuration Management Will Merge With PaaS IT
Just like IaaS, PaaS middleware providers will need to adapt to survive. PaaS technologies—both open source and proprietary—will become more extensible, and incorporate orchestration and configuration management tools like Chef, Puppet and Juju.
Hybrid Will Win the Cloud War, Thanks to PaaS
Developers and enterprises will soon hit the cloud wall. New approaches will place currently unfathomable demands ("I need 10,000 VMs for 10 hours") on big cloud architectures—demands that simple public or private models simply won't be able to serve. Hybrid models—though two years away on the adoption horizon—will enable new enterprise value creation. Envision easy bursting, effortless resource scaling and highly accelerated workload lifespans, all empowered—seamlessly, even invisibly—by PaaS middleware management technologies. PaaS will take enterprises where they want to go; end users won't know or care if they're using public or private clouds and it won't matter because "hybrid-ing" will be so ubiquitous.