What Makes a PaaS Truly Modern?
by Diane Mueller

Diane Mueller, February 12, 2013

A truly modern private Platform as a Service (PaaS) includes a deployment strategy that gives enterprises the control they need and mitigates dependency on third-party providers. Enterprise IT teams already expect that a “modern” PaaS should be able to be deployed on any cloud, public or private. Until now, the missing piece of the modern PaaS puzzle was IT teams’ ability to self-manage and administer the PaaS itself, i.e. take control and ensure compliance.

One PaaS technology company CEO recently blogged about his company’s “modern” PaaS, noting that it can run in either a public or private cloud, operate behind or in front of a firewall, and support application migration between public and private clouds.

This description is a starting point, but those capabilities aren’t enough for the truly modern enterprise. A truly modern PaaS delivers more value to an enterprise. IT must ask:

  • Can the enterprise deploy and migrate the PaaS itself anywhere, on public, private, private-hosted cloud, behind a firewall? Or is it dependent on a third-party provider to deploy the PaaS on behalf of the enterprise?
  • Is the enterprise in control?
  • Does the PaaS integrate seamlessly with existing monitoring and compliance methodologies? 

With Stackato, Enterprise IT teams are always in control of the PaaS cluster and can eliminate the needless risks associated with third-party management.

Third-Party PaaS Versus Do-It-Yourself Deployment

A truly modern PaaS is about much more than managing where an enterprise deploys its applications. It is also about where and how the enterprise deploys the PaaS itself.

“Enterprise wants to deploy PaaS in private cloud?” asked IT specialist Tony O’Grady in a recent tweet. (Yes. Yes it does.) The key issue lies in how the enterprise defines “private cloud” and whether it decides to administer its private PaaS on its own or let a third-party provider manage the PaaS on the enterprise’s behalf.

The choice is clear: Why would an enterprise want to use a third-party provider to deploy a “modern” PaaS cluster when it has the option to do it itself in less than an hour with Stackato?

Too Many Cooks Spoil the Private Cloud Broth

At ActiveState, we couldn’t agree more with the three distinguishing features of a modern PaaS outlined by that PaaS company blogger. Indeed the open source project Cloud Foundry gives both Stackato and its open-source PaaS compatriots a solid base. But there is more to a modern PaaS.

Stackato goes one step further and truly modernizes the PaaS by giving back the control of PaaS deployment, administration, and management back to the enterprise. With Stackato, enterprises no longer rely on others to deploy and manage private PaaSes. They can run the show themselves, and ensure that their PaaSes comply with company risk management practices and are embedded into existing workflows.

Cloud Foundry’s scalability in public PaaS deployments is proven. For example, HP Cloud Services, AppFog, and Cloud Foundry have all built strong public PaaS offerings on top of the Cloud Foundry architecture. But enterprises are looking for more. They require self-managed private clouds as well as the ability to bring the power of PaaS behind the firewall.

Stackato demonstrates that the Cloud Foundry architecture is easily packaged and extended to run at scale on any cloud as a private PaaS behind the firewall, on public clouds, private-hosted clouds, and on any infrastructure (OpenStack, CloudStack, AWS, HPCloud, and a myriad of others).

The Stackato advantage is that ActiveState has built and packaged an easily-deployable private PaaS offering with an administration and management layer that integrates into existing enterprise workflows.

With Stackato, the enterprise is in control. Third-party PaaS providers are no longer needed to “deploy” the PaaS. Deploying a PaaS becomes a simple, automatable process...owned by the enterprise itself.

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Diane Mueller is a Cloud Evangelist at ActiveState. She has been designing & implementing financial applications at Fortune 500 corporations for over 20 years. Diane has been actively involved in development efforts of XBRL Open Standard ( since 1999.