Popular cloud computing services: the PaaS (Platform as a Service)

One model for many developing companies, particularly those who are developing new software is Paas.  Paas or Platform as a Service is somewhere in between Iaas and Saas services because while it is not as restrictive as Saas it also is not as flexible as Iaas.  Paas lets the customer scale their operations according to their growth, and helps with development by having a consistent platform for a group of developers.

One use for Paas is for developing programs from multiple remote videos xxx locations, because its services streamline the programing side.  By standardizing the available products or tricks in the bag, multiple people can remotely add to the programs being designed by the engineers without stepping on each others toes.  It is often used by companies that offer specialized services to other companies.  A company offering these services will often rent a cloud platform that gives them tools to then design programs for other companies to use.  The service is the platform like a Windows or Mac platform, except not as simple and customized by the Cloud providers themselves.

Paas is a convenient tool for developers and others who wish to coordinate their projects onto interpretable software.  A developer of some sort often needs to be working in the same language as their coworkers, to be able to integrate their particular designs with each other.  And for many companies that have developers working remotely this helps keep their work on the same level.  Paas works for other types of structures as well, a company that provides a software service to other companies may use Paas system to supplement their own servers.  The cloud is often used as a way for start-ups to avoid many of the costs associated with owning a server.  Paas is often a ‘pay as you go’ platform, meaning you can pay as your need arises.  If you need to rent more space you can pay according to your needs.  This helps young start-ups get costs associated with initial investments down.  Though by no means is a Paas provider limited to a start-up as their customer base.  A more developed company might want to use a Paas system to streamline operations.

Though the customer base for Paas is generally designers who offer applications for consumption, the advantage to using a platform specific Cloud service is that the customer can write all the code, and not be tied down to creating up the entire infrastructure of Iaas.  Saas services just wouldn’t work for developers.  The platform provided by the cloud services frees the developers up to work on more necessary tasks.

Paas customers can be varied, not limited to software developers alone.  A Paas provider might simplify their platform to provide more basic services that allow a company to have many built-in features.  While Saas and Iaas have elements of this, Paas is more variable in what it offers from provider to provider.  The Paas system is not as simple as a Saas system or an Iaas system.  The Iaas systems tend to be more hardware oriented, where the platform and software are already developed; in this way it is generally utilized by companies that already have a product to push out.  The Paas while solely for developing companies enables a developer to utilize the Cloud offering at all ends of their development process.

Paas in this way really enables new ideas and new developments in the tech world. Essentially keeping an application or web developer set from the beginning to the end. Though as the company grows they may want to consider hosting their own servers or depending on their needs renting out an Iaas host down the road.  But having the availability of the Paas enables young companies to begin and sell their products by saving them from hardware and various software development tools needed to really make excellent products.

Popular cloud computing services: the IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service)

A popular type of Cloud service these days is Iaas. It is a means of keeping costs down in the flexible area of hardware needs.  Iaas or Infrastructure as a Service is designed around providing a user with the available hardware to host whatever project needs hosting.

The best way to think about this is you are paying for the use of a network like you would a tax on infrastructure.  One day you may have to use the subway, another day the roads, and then some days you have five trucks and a subway car on the infrastructure.  Infrastructure as a service gives you real or virtual hardware that you can upload your information to.  Your programs or the users of your webpage go through the infrastructure of the Cloud host.  The host gives you the availability of storage and memory that scales according to your needs, but you have to build the project from the ground up to make use of the available infrastructure.

Getting down to basics allows the customer or the company renting out the Cloud service to scale their operations according to their needs.  For some the question may be why go through the extra effort to provide your own platform.  The scale of your operation when you rent out virtual room in the Iaas system is more flexible this way.  While Paas offers more software services to the customer, the open nature of Iaas gives a more established flexibility to create their own services with the hardware rented out.  The provider has the hardware, whatever particular hardware services they are offering, and the customer rents it out to keep costs down.  Any large database needs to be kept in a cool dry environment, and this amongst other things drives costs up especially for a project with variable memory needs.

Many services are virtual server space, network connections, bandwidth, IP addresses and load balancers.  Like Saas and Paas, Iaas is accessed by a client through the internet.  The Cloud in general is essentially an Application or a Web page that accesses the server through the internet and creates available storage for the user. The provider is able to keep their own costs down by letting the customer base make decisions on what type of platform or software to install on their hardware.  In turn, everything works seamlessly together. The hardware of an Iaas provider is often stored in many different facilities, allowing them to provide a product of scale.  Basically they can rent out their hardware to other users and by having a large facility or facilities they are able to keep costs down that are passed on to the customer.

The customer does not have to rent out their own facility this way.  By not having to maintain their own facility they are able to scale their operation according to peak and low traffic times.  For instance a weight loss website might want to rent out from an Iaas or Paas provider to keep costs down during  lulls in business.  But after New Years they might acquire a lot of customers that providing for would be a huge expense the rest of year.

Between Iaas and Paas providers the user has to decide what type of operation needs they have.  For a developer Paas might be the way to go, but for a more established company, or a company that has a product in line for their users a Iaas provider will be able to give them the hardware they might need at a scalable rate meeting their needs as it is needed.  Time, money, efficiency and ease of use are important factors in any business and tuning into the correct providers is the way to go.

Scaling and Economics of Scale for the Cloud

The advantages of moving your computing needs into the cloud is for some an obvious move and for others an important question to consider. The simple explanation is that the market is designed to be more efficient, in this case by moving separate databases to a central location. With new technologies there is a market for unused storage that the economy of scale allows us to free up and eliminate waste by a centralized server. Now pricing isn’t the only motivating factor one might use the Cloud; wether you are outsourcing a whole IT department to the Cloud, a few simple tasks, the hardware systems of your operation, or some combination taking into account waste becomes a vital part of any entrepreneur’s job.

For most new entrepreneurs they are growing their operations and want to keep costs as lean as possible, and as scalable as possible, to keep the business growing according to needs that may not be predictable. So you may be shopping for a Paas operation to meet your particular needs, now one thing to consider is what do you want to keep in house and what services do you want to pay for. Your Paas provider is going to be able to provide a number of services that when you started would have been generally wasted resources. And in the future you have the capacity to move into a different system depending on one’s needs. This flexibility is the essence of the scalability of the information economy in general, it gives a whole new model to the information that wasn’t available in the past.

Economies are run by many factors, one such factor can be scaling, which is what having a dedicated server allows for. By hosting one large server and being able to adjust how the data is stored between computers allows for the Cloud provider to eliminate waste that might be collecting by each company hosting their own dedicated server. The advantages to this model is that it saves start up money for the client, and gives them greater flexibility for their needs, and provides a third party to profit in a new way. This process is one factor in driving our economy, in fact Adam Smith isolated this phenomenon. Adam Smith gave an example of separating tasks between three different individuals, and by doing this he found they were able to produce more; this is an example of an economy of scale. In a more industrial world we see this process going on in factories and all over our economy. The scale of the Cloud provider’s servers allows for them to make more profit than is lost by each client individually.

There are by some standards two ways to scale your operation using Cloud resources, that is horizontal scaling and vertical scaling. Vertical scaling is the ability to add more hardware resources and horizontal scaling is the codes ability to utilize those increased resources. On the one hand you may have more need for a more robust network of memory, and then on the other you may have to scale your operation to be able to handle an increase in RAM usage. The usage of greater quantities of RAM demand a more agile program that can convert between sources of data. An operation that is scalable in these two ways are able to effectively utilize the Cloud to its potential. Different Cloud providers are able to utilize these scaling effects differently. Fore-instance a Paas Cloud service will handle both horizontal scaling and vertical scaling; while a Iaas Cloud provider may only help you to scale your operation vertically.