PaaS simply isn’t used as much by enterprises as initially predicted. Although PaaS offerings vary greatly, most provide facilities for application design, deployment, testing, and self-provisioned hosting. It’s best described as a turnkey development and deployment solution.
Why hasn’t PaaS taken off? I see several reasons.
- Strong tools from IaaS providers, such as Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure, seem to be getting enterprises’ main attention and investment. Even when broad cloud platforms have PaaS as part of their tool set, most developers opt for core IaaS, such as storage and compute platforms.
- Developers do not like to be confined in a sandbox. Many PaaS providers impose restrictions—such as tools, databases, and programming languages—that developers typically don’t prefer.
- IaaS seems to be a better fit than PaaS for devops organizations because it provides the operational platforms (what the “ops” part in devops manages) that developers will ultimately use: those in the IaaS platform, as well as their in-premises environments, which they can replicate in an IaaS cloud.
Back in 2008, when the cloud was new, the federal government and industry partners defined what became PaaS to address a real need of that era. That need still exists, but today PaaS has become the most ill-defined area of cloud computing as the industry broke it apart into narrow slices.