What’s the difference between IaaS and PaaS?
Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) provides access to resources such as virtual machines (VMs), virtual storage, networks and operating systems. You rent IT infrastructure from a cloud provider on a pay-as-you-go basis, meaning you don’t have to buy and install the underlying infrastructure because you can outsource it instead.
Where Platform as a Service (PaaS) differs is that it refers to cloud computing services that supply an on-demand environment for developing, testing, delivering and managing software applications. It is designed to support the complete web application lifecycle: building, testing, deploying, managing and updating.
The platform’s versatility makes it easier for developers to quickly create web or mobile apps, without worrying about setting up or managing the underlying infrastructure of servers, storage, network and databases. They can write code in the language of their choice, and it integrates with other cloud computing products that use customer data, which allows companies to track an app’s performance.
PaaS is significantly less complex than IaaS to manage. It allows you to avoid the expense and complexity of buying and managing software licenses, the underlying application infrastructure and middleware, container orchestrators such as Kubernetes, or the development tools and other resources. You manage the applications and services you develop, and the cloud service provider typically manages everything else.
However, it’s also worth noting that engineers and developers are bound by the scope of services offered by the PaaS platform.
Benefits of PaaS
PaaS comes in several different forms. You can receive it as a general cloud service from a provider, which allows the user to control software deployment but lacks configuration options. The provider will manage all needs for the network, servers, storage, OS support and other IT-related functions, such as Java or .NET runtime, and any other integrations.
An alternative solution is consuming PaaS as a private service from software or an appliance that sits behind the firewall or deployed as software on AWS or some other public cloud.
PaaS is an easy way to build an application, and it offers multiple benefits:
- Faster development time – there is no need to build infrastructure before you start coding.
- Cost savings – your IT team doesn’t need to spend time on manual deployments or managing servers.
- Enhanced security – PaaS providers lock down your applications so that they’re more secure than traditional web apps.
- High availability – PaaS providers can ensure your application is always available, even during hardware failures or scheduled maintenance.
PaaS market growth
- According to Gartner analysts, end-user public cloud spending will have grown by 20.7% in 2023, to nearly $592 billion globally, up 18.8% on 2022 spending.
- Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) purchases will be above the 20% average, with an annual growth rate of 23.2%.
- A Statista report reveals that revenue is expected to show an annual growth rate (CAGR 2023-2027) of 16.74%, resulting in a market volume of US$210.4bn by 2027.
The increased adoption of cloud-based solutions across all industries has led to the rapid growth in PaaS platforms. By leveraging the scalability, cost-effectiveness and reliability of the cloud, businesses can easily integrate PaaS capabilities into their existing infrastructure.
The rising demand for omni-channel communication has also fuelled the growth of PaaS. Organisations and their customers expect seamless interactions across multiple channels, such as voice, SMS, email and social media.
The top trends in the PaaS market
1. Cloud convergence and multi-cloud PaaS
Many organisations are adopting hybrid cloud and multi-cloud strategies, combining public cloud, private cloud and on-premises infrastructure. However, they must fully understand the needs of the entire organisation and determine which workloads can be cloud-based, which must remain on-premises and how to best operate in a hybrid environment.
As new IT multi-cloud architectures are emerging, cloud services, security and networking can be integrated: they are no longer separate appliances and devices. Not only are organisations utilising multiple public cloud platforms, such as Azure, AWS and Google Cloud Platform, they are often getting involved in multiple PaaS implementations.
Software services can operate alongside cloud-based applications and PaaS providers are catering to this trend by offering seamless integration and management capabilities across different cloud environments. They provide tools and services to enable workload portability, data synchronisation and unified management of resources across hybrid and multi-cloud architectures.
2. Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Another trend is that AI is becoming increasingly more accessible. Usage will not only continue in 2023, but will be popular for many years to come. According to the IBM Global AI Adoption Index 2022, 35% of global companies are already using AI solutions, while 42% are testing them.
PaaS providers are now incorporating machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities into their platforms. They offer pre-built ML models, APIs and frameworks for tasks like natural language processing, image recognition and predictive analytics. Software developers can integrate ML and AI functionalities into their applications without having to actually build and train models.
3. Reducing complexity
PaaS growth is being fuelled by a desire for businesses to move to real-time, data-centric services, such as IoT platforms, real-time financial services, streaming media or factory automation.
The automated management offered by PaaS platforms reduces the complexity of cloud native infrastructure. Tasks like application deployment, scaling, load balancing and monitoring are more streamlined because PaaS offers pre-built tools and features for creating applications. This helps developers avoid the hassle of integrating these components into their applications, and it also reduces the need for manual intervention and the potential for human error.
PaaS platforms offer automated scaling features that can automatically adjust the resources allocated to an application based on usage. They also provide deployment tools and services, including continuous integration and continuous deployment (CI/CD) pipelines. These tools can make the process of building, testing and deploying applications easier and faster to launch new features and updates.
Finding the right PaaS partner
PaaS empowers a level of customer experience that was previously unattainable, with flexible features and resources that can be modified to meet business needs. In the context of subscriptions and payments, it is vital not to take a one-size-fits-all approach.
Increasingly, PaaS providers offer their technology both via API as well as supporting white label alternatives. Not only does this allow the businesses to maintain their identity and support a seamless integration across the organisation, but it also enables them to leverage the latest innovative technology, which may be beyond their bandwidth and expertise to develop on their own.
How Securus can help
Securus owns a private cloud infrastructure across three separate data centres, offering up 100% uptime across the estate. We approach PaaS like pieces of a puzzle, using it to fill gaps in existing infrastructure or provide the entire end-to-end experience in a single platform. We can bridge the gap in resources and support long-term goals across multiple industry sectors.
Looking ahead, the PaaS market is set for continued growth and innovation. It will continue to be an important area of support opportunity for developers and ISVs looking to take advantage of platform technologies and expertise.
The demand for AI-powered communication solutions will rise, driving the development of intelligent chatbots and virtual assistants that leverage PaaS capabilities.
Furthermore, SMEs will increasingly recognise the benefits of PaaS in streamlining their communication processes and enhancing customer engagement with a personalised and tailored service.
Please do get in touch with the Securus infrastructure experts on 03451 283457 to discuss your PaaS requirements.