Silent Lucidity: IaaS — Already A Dinosaur? The Evolution of PaaSasaurus Rex…
How much longer do you feel pure-play Infrastructure-As-A-Service will be a relevant service model within the spectrum of cloud services?
I couched the question with previous “incomplete thoughts*” relating to the move “up-stack” by IaaS providers — providing value-added, at-cost services to both differentiate and soften the market for what I call the “PaaSification” of the consumer. I also highlighted the move “down-stack” by SaaS vendors building out platforms to support a broader ecosystem and value proposition.
In the long term, I think ultimately the trichotomy of the SPI model will dissolve thanks to commoditization and the need for providers to differentiate — even at mass scale. We’ll ultimately just talk about service delivery and the platform(s) used to deliver them. Infrastructure will enable these services, of course, but that’s not where the money will come from.
Just look at the approach of providers such as Amazon, Terremark and Savvis and how they are already clawing their way up the PaaS stack, adding more features and functions that either equalize public cloud capabilities with those of the enterprise or even differentiate from it. Look at Microsoft’s Azure. How about Heroku, Engine Yard, Joyent? How about VMware and Springsource? All platform plays. Develop, click, deploy.
As I mention in my Cloudifornication presentation, I think that from a security perspective, PaaS offers the potential of eliminating entire classes of vulnerabilities in the application development lifecycle by enforcing sanitary programmatic practices across the derivate works built upon them. I look forward also to APIs and standards that allow for consistency across providers. I think PaaS has the greatest potential to deliver this.
There are clearly trade-offs here, but as we start to move toward the two key differentiators (at least for public clouds) — management and security — I think the value of PaaS will really start to shine.
Probably just another bout of obviousness, but if I were placing bets, this is where I’d sink my nickels.
* The most relevant “incomplete thought” is the one titled “Incomplete Thought: Virtual Machines Are the Problem, Not the Solution…” in which I kicked around the notion that virtualization-enabled IaaS and the VM containers they enable are simply an ugly solution to an uglier problem…