PaaS Explained
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PaaS Explained


Hi, I’m Tessa Rodes and I’m a designer
on IBM Cloud and today we’re going to talk about
Platform as a Service, and it’s hard to define Platform as a Service without
talking about its neighbors, Infrastructure as a Service, or IaaS, and
Software as a Service, or SaaS. So, let’s start with the foundation here with
IaaS. IaaS is a set of compute, networking, and storage resources that
have been virtualized by a vendor so that a user can access and configure
them any way they want. In design we have a concept of talking about users
called personas, and the persona for IaaS is a System Admin, or an IT Admin. Let’s
jump up to the top with Software as a Service, that’s the easy one. Software as
a Service is just software that you don’t have to install on your machine
and you don’t have to manually update and so the user for Software as a Service
could be anyone. In fact, if you’re watching this on YouTube right now then
you’re a user of Software as a Service it’s usually charged on a subscription
model rather than a one-time license fee. And that brings us to Platform
as a Service, PaaS takes advantage of all the
virtualized resources from IaaS and then just obstructs them away so the
user doesn’t have to worry about managing any of those virtualized
resources. The user for PaaS is not a System Admin usually, it’s usually a Dev.
In IBM we call this Dev “Jane”, that’s the name of our persona. And so this whole
metaphor, the pyramid metaphor, is meant to indicate that as you move down you’re
increasing complexity in terms of your knowledge and and management of
infrastructure resources and you’re increasing the ease of use. Another
metaphor I use when I’m talking to the designers on my team about PaaS is
having to do with a car. So, in this metaphor IaaS is like leasing
a car. So, if you’ve got leased a car you probably did a lot of research and
you care about the specs of the car and the performance,
you care about the color of the car, what kind of car it is. You’re the one driving and
you’re paying for it. You’re also paying for the gas and any tolls or maintenance.
With Platform as a Service in this metaphor that’s more like
renting a car. So, say you’re on vacation and you just got out off the Airport and
you’re going to pick up your rental car, you don’t really care what color it is,
you don’t even care about the specs of it, but you’re still driving and
you’re paying for the gas and any tolls you go through. Software as a Service is
again the easiest one. That one’s more like getting a taxi, or an Uber. So, with the
taxi or Uber you don’t care at all about what kind of car it is, what color
it is, and in fact you’re not even the one driving or paying for gas or any
tolls because that’s baked into the price. So, let’s think about what that
means in terms of cloud computing and what the vendor provides and what the
developer, or “Jane”, provides. So, the vendor provides servers, storage,
networking, virtualization, middleware, the operating system, and the runtime. All
that leaves for the developer to provide is their data and applications. So, this
is and this is the vendor, cloud vendor. So, there are some pros and cons with
that just like with leasing, renting, or getting a taxi. The pros for using
Platform as a Service are generally assumed that it’s
quite fast and easy to get an app up and running which is great. It’s easy to
create and delete the resources which is important for say you’re running a
proof-of-concept app for a conference and you want to spin it up right before
the conference and then delete it right after, you’re not paying for the whole
month and it’s easy to spin it up and delete it.
Also, that really results in some cost
benefits. Another cost benefit of Platform as a Service is that you don’t
have to pay for a full time system or IT admin to run this app, they can
focus on something else. And another Pro is that a lot of providers of
Platform as a Service have been building out some tools on their platform. So, you
can use DevOps tools, collaboration tools, and there’s a lot of API marketplaces
that have been coming out which is great because you can just take those services
and plug them into your app, again still without having to worry about any of
this. There are some Cons to using Platform as a Service. This big one is
lack of control but some people will still say that that is a Pro because
although some people like to pull all the levers and push all the buttons
having to do with fine-tuning their infrastructure, a lot of people don’t
want to have to worry about that, nor do they have the understanding or ability
to do that. Another Con is the vendor lock-in, it’s a little bit hard to
migrate your app unless you’re using an open-source framework like Cloud Foundry,
it’s a little hard to migrate Platform as a Service app from one cloud
to another. So make sure you trust and like your cloud provider before you
choose it. And then finally the performance at scale can be an issue. Performance at scale, so say Jane the
developer had a Platform as a Service proof of concept app from that
conference, and then she released it to 10,000 people the next day. It definitely
won’t have the same in and out performance as if it was running on a
dedicated bare metal server for example. So, that’s a consideration to have. So, I
hope that helps you understand the benefits and the reasons for choosing
Platform as a Service. Thanks for watching. If you have questions please
drop us a line below. If you want to see more videos like this in the future
please like and subscribe and don’t forget you can always get started on
cloud at no cost by signing up for a free
IBM Cloud account.

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