Welcome!

Containers Expo Blog Authors: Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, Yeshim Deniz, Elizabeth White, Zakia Bouachraoui

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Microservices Expo, Microsoft Cloud, Containers Expo Blog, Agile Computing, Cloud Security, @DXWorldExpo, SDN Journal

@CloudExpo: Article

Leveraging Your Private PaaS for Feature Delivery

Improving the product and delivering value to users

The growth of cloud services for business has been a hot topic for years now, but 2012 was the year when the cloud went from market hype to mainstream deployment. Most organizations have now adopted a private cloud of some kind, but caution is preventing them from taking full advantage. Exploring the potential benefits of new tools is vital if IT departments hope to see real performance gains.

Recent Gartner research highlights the importance of digital technologies for CIOs in the coming year. Gartner's Mark McDonald described the problem succinctly, "IT needs new tools if it hopes to hunt for technology-intensive innovation and harvest raised business performance from transformed IT infrastructure, operations and applications. Without change, CIOs and IT consign themselves to tending a garden of legacy assets and responsibilities."

What Is the Problem?
As it stands we are seeing widespread adoption of private clouds that essentially act as virtualized infrastructure. That's undeniably useful, but it doesn't solve the underlying business problem which is how to accelerate the delivery of features. Features come from the application. If we really want to leverage the potential power of the private cloud then we should be working toward a setup that supports fast, cost-efficient and error-free changes to the application layer.

What we're talking about here is adding value by rolling out features internally and externally at a much quicker clip without jeopardizing the end quality. We need to go beyond infrastructure to private PaaS.

Why PaaS May Fall Short
There are quite a few PaaS solutions on the market, but many of them are not suitable for today's enterprise and there are a number of reasons for that. The majority of them run fully or mainly in the public cloud, which immediately raises security concerns. They tend to support a very limited subset of middleware and database solutions, so integration is difficult. Interoperability has not been given enough weight and that can lead to serious difficulties down the line. There's a real lack of mobility for an application deployed via a typical PaaS service right now. You may find your business locked into a cloud service platform provider.

A start-up might see the value in adopting one of these PaaS solutions because it allows them to avoid capital expenditure at the outset, but what if your business already has a large datacenter? Many enterprises will want the option to use their existing setup and they'll naturally shy away from becoming reliant on a particular vendor environment.

What Is the Goal?
What we are really looking for here is the ability to deliver the benefits of PaaS with your existing middleware environment. You need a solution that supports automated, efficient, error-free application updates. You need a system that supports auto-scaling of your runtime environment. You need a system that can deliver an end-to-end insight into your running applications and their configuration.

The aim is to free your business and your development team from the cost and complexity of managing the underlying hardware and software systems that allow you to deploy your applications. When a new feature request comes in or customer feedback leads development in a new direction, private PaaS should enable you to deliver faster than ever before and with fewer errors. An automation interface that is accessible for the team is infinitely more efficient, not to mention more cost-effective.

Working Towards Automation
Once you have a private PaaS it's important to ensure that your new features are rolled out onto the platform automatically if you want to leverage the maximum benefits from the system. Integration of your development tooling and test suites will enable your company to provide frequent, automated updates of incremental feature improvements that happen automatically.

The benefits are obvious both internally and externally. Not only can you automatically scale and manage your existing functionality as required, but you can also add new functionality without fear of introducing errors. It's easy to get a clear overview of your complete application state every step of the way.

If you can roll out new features and updates in this way then your development team can remain focused on what's important - improving the product and delivering value to its users.

More Stories By Andrew Phillips

Andrew Phillips heads up product management at XebiaLabs. He is an evangelist and thought leader in the DevOps, Cloud and Continuous Delivery space. He sits on the management team and drives product direction, positioning and planning.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


IoT & Smart Cities Stories
The deluge of IoT sensor data collected from connected devices and the powerful AI required to make that data actionable are giving rise to a hybrid ecosystem in which cloud, on-prem and edge processes become interweaved. Attendees will learn how emerging composable infrastructure solutions deliver the adaptive architecture needed to manage this new data reality. Machine learning algorithms can better anticipate data storms and automate resources to support surges, including fully scalable GPU-c...
Machine learning has taken residence at our cities' cores and now we can finally have "smart cities." Cities are a collection of buildings made to provide the structure and safety necessary for people to function, create and survive. Buildings are a pool of ever-changing performance data from large automated systems such as heating and cooling to the people that live and work within them. Through machine learning, buildings can optimize performance, reduce costs, and improve occupant comfort by ...
The explosion of new web/cloud/IoT-based applications and the data they generate are transforming our world right before our eyes. In this rush to adopt these new technologies, organizations are often ignoring fundamental questions concerning who owns the data and failing to ask for permission to conduct invasive surveillance of their customers. Organizations that are not transparent about how their systems gather data telemetry without offering shared data ownership risk product rejection, regu...
René Bostic is the Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America. Enjoying her career with IBM during the modern millennial technological era, she is an expert in cloud computing, DevOps and emerging cloud technologies such as Blockchain. Her strengths and core competencies include a proven record of accomplishments in consensus building at all levels to assess, plan, and implement enterprise and cloud computing solutions. René is a member of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and a m...
Poor data quality and analytics drive down business value. In fact, Gartner estimated that the average financial impact of poor data quality on organizations is $9.7 million per year. But bad data is much more than a cost center. By eroding trust in information, analytics and the business decisions based on these, it is a serious impediment to digital transformation.
Digital Transformation: Preparing Cloud & IoT Security for the Age of Artificial Intelligence. As automation and artificial intelligence (AI) power solution development and delivery, many businesses need to build backend cloud capabilities. Well-poised organizations, marketing smart devices with AI and BlockChain capabilities prepare to refine compliance and regulatory capabilities in 2018. Volumes of health, financial, technical and privacy data, along with tightening compliance requirements by...
Predicting the future has never been more challenging - not because of the lack of data but because of the flood of ungoverned and risk laden information. Microsoft states that 2.5 exabytes of data are created every day. Expectations and reliance on data are being pushed to the limits, as demands around hybrid options continue to grow.
Digital Transformation and Disruption, Amazon Style - What You Can Learn. Chris Kocher is a co-founder of Grey Heron, a management and strategic marketing consulting firm. He has 25+ years in both strategic and hands-on operating experience helping executives and investors build revenues and shareholder value. He has consulted with over 130 companies on innovating with new business models, product strategies and monetization. Chris has held management positions at HP and Symantec in addition to ...
Enterprises have taken advantage of IoT to achieve important revenue and cost advantages. What is less apparent is how incumbent enterprises operating at scale have, following success with IoT, built analytic, operations management and software development capabilities - ranging from autonomous vehicles to manageable robotics installations. They have embraced these capabilities as if they were Silicon Valley startups.
As IoT continues to increase momentum, so does the associated risk. Secure Device Lifecycle Management (DLM) is ranked as one of the most important technology areas of IoT. Driving this trend is the realization that secure support for IoT devices provides companies the ability to deliver high-quality, reliable, secure offerings faster, create new revenue streams, and reduce support costs, all while building a competitive advantage in their markets. In this session, we will use customer use cases...