In a previous post titled Hyped Cloud Technologies Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) tied in the fourth place in a ReadWrite Cloud survey of Hyped Cloud Technologies.
Yesterday, I read a Forrester Research Note about PaaS, which may explain why it is rated as one of the most Hyped Cloud Technologies.
Simply, PaaS is immature technology.
Immature technologies related to in the spotlight topic such as Cloud Computing, are natural hype candidates.
PaaS and IaaS
PaaS and IaaS are related concepts: both provide technology for development and deployment of applications in the Cloud.
IaaS solutions such as Amazon EC2 or Amazon S3 provide basic platform for Application Development and Application Deployment. It is only infrastructure.
Unlike IaaS, PaaS provides a complete Application Platform which includes Development Tools (e.g Integrated Development Environment), Runtime Environment and Management tools.
Developing Applications in IaaS environment is a lot more difficult task than developing them in a PaaS environment. IaaS inferiority derived from the necessity to develop Applications Platform components which are missing in IaaS environments and hopefully are available in PaaS environmnets.
Forrester Research explains the difficulty of developing in IaaS in the following words: " You have to worry about the details of Virtual machines, storage blocks, execution threads and network connections".
However, people often use IaaS because it is a mature technology and PaaS is not mature yet.
PaaS Immaturity indicators
The Forrester Wave(TM):Platform as a Service For App Dev and Delivery Professionals, Q2 2011 written by Forrester Analysts John R. Rymmer and Stephan Ried Ph.D with Mike Gilpin, Andrew Magarie and Alissa Anderson name SalesForce.com and Microsoft as Leaders and Cordys, Longjump, Wavemaker and Google as Strong Performer. Tibco Software is the only vendor listed as Contender.
Only two Leaders is an indicator of immaturity.
The small number of vendors listed is another immaturity sign.
The list of vendors which were not listed is another immaturity indicator:
IBM, Red Hat (Jboss) and VMware were not listed because they enter the PaaS market in spring 2011.
Oracle and SAP did not enter the PaaS market yet.
Last but not least, most of PaaS vendors listed are small companies who are not market leaders in other markets. The result is, according to Forrester Research, that Microsoft's Windows Azure, Google App Engine and Salesforce.com's Force.com are the only products which get significant attention and adoption. Many potential customers neglect PaaS and use Amazon's IaaS products or wait.
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