A few weeks back, I outlined several ways that Private Platform as a Service (PaaS) can help your hybrid cloud strategy. Clearly, Private PaaS has a lot of potential for the enterprise. Now I’d like to explain what makes up a Private PaaS and the most common situations in which your company might use a Private PaaS.
First, an easy to to think of a Private PaaS (sometimes referred to as Enteprise PaaS) is as an application server that overlays almost any infrastructure and provides built-in functionality for the cloud era. Apprenda’s Private PaaS is managed by central IT and may envelop both private data centers and public Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) to create a layer of abstraction that allows easy application migration no matter what infrastructure you use.
The PaaS offloads a majority of the heavy lifting related to deployment, configuration, and scaling of custom Web and SOA applications. Apprenda is app-centric, which means the application components are first-class citizens. In the Apprenda model, server infrastructure and operating system images are merely commodity resources. Apprenda stands up the configuration of the application to reduce the complexity of DevOps and IT automation. This architecture differs from the current application delivery model, where infrastructure and virtual machines (VMs) are primary, applications are subservient to infrastructure constraints, and complex DevOps and corporate workflows try to bridge the gap.
The Apprenda platform pools together infrastructure resources such as servers and networking components and exposes them to developers through a self-service mechanism, like a command line or graphical user interface. Apprenda includes high availability, scalability, load-balancing, and multi-tenancy to decrease development time for existing and new custom applications.
Apprenda uses lightweight containers for both Linux and Windows Servers to provide isolation, increased resource usage, and better scalability. Other resources, such as database servers and network components, can also be managed to varying degrees by the platform to automate provisioning and connectivity activities.
All of this brings us to how you can actually use Private PaaS. Four common enterprise initiatives where organizations need to consider Private PaaS are:
- Hybrid Cloud – Apprenda acts as a control plane for applications in internal data centers and the public cloud. The application containers for the PaaS abstract the infrastructure details, making migration seamless, while the application policy placement can ensure the apps are hosted on the right infrastructure during each phase of the lifecycle.
- Cloud Enablement of Existing and New Apps – Applications using Apprenda inherit cloud features such as scalability, elasticity, and high availability. New application development can take advantage of the PaaS API for advanced cloud features, such as self-monitoring of resource constraints and auto-scaling.
- Private Cloud Strategy – Private PaaS should be included as part of an overall cloud strategy to reduce friction between developers and internal IT. The Enterprise PaaS may include IaaS (public or private) or may be deployed without those solutions.
- Microservices and APIs – Apprenda is often used to manage API access and host microservices. API layers are built up to abstract access and tasks that cross disparate systems to enable business level developers to quickly create mash-up applications of enterprise services.