1 PLATFORM-AS-A-SERVICE: ADOPTION, STRATEGY, PLANNING AND IMPLEMENTATION White Paper May 2012 Abstract Whether enterprises choose to use private, public or hybrid clouds, the availability of a broad range of application infrastructure services also known as Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), is critical for the adoption of cloud computing. And as PaaS speeds time-tomarket for business critical applications, PaaS technology directly impacts the organization as a whole. For these reasons, PaaS technologies should be carefully evaluated to suit the organization business needs. In this paper, we highlight various type of PaaS offerings available, including a comparison between PaaS and Cloud Application Platform (CAP), important criteria to consider when choosing a PaaS or CAP solution, and how to plan for implementation in a phased manner.
2 CumuLogic, Inc Table of Contents Platform-as-a-Service and Cloud Application Platform...2 PaaS... 2 Cloud Application Platform...2 Benefits of PaaS and CAP...3 CAP Use Cases... 4 Development of Cloud-based Applications...4 Application Migration and Consolidation...5 Runtime Management...5 Strategy For Cloud Application Platform Adoption...6 Key Cloud Application Platform Selection Criteria...6 Application Portability and Vendor Lock-in...6 Programming Languages and Development Frameworks...6 Multi-Cloud Support... 7 Compliance and Security Requirements...7 Application Migration...8 Investment Protection... 8 Architecture Flexibility...8 Functionality and Customization...9 Implementation of CAP within Enterprises...9 Developing New Applications...9 Migrating Existing Applications to Clouds...10 Evaluate Impact on Business Processes...10 Evaluate Development, Testing Tools, DevOps Collaboration...10 Retire and Eliminate Old-Generation Technology...10 Next Steps...11 About CumuLogic...11
3 1 Executive Summary As the application platform has direct impact on the agility and delivery of cloud services, Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) is the single most important layer of cloud computing. Whether enterprises choose to use private, public or hybrid clouds, the availability of a broad range of application infrastructure services is a key component for the adoption of cloud computing. The IaaS layer, which is the orchestration of virtualized infrastructure, provides better utilization of resources. It has however limited impact on application development and manageability. PaaS on the other hand provides a greater value proposition and return on investments for developers, IT departments and enterprises as a whole. PaaS improves developer productivity, lowers the cost of application management and speeds time-to-market for business critical applications, while making businesses more agile and ready to handle rapidly changing business conditions. Today's PaaS environments tend to focus on application development and fall short on deployment features that are essential for mission critical applications in Fortune 1000 enterprises. Enter Cloud Application Platforms. Cloud Application Platforms are an evolution of PaaS, providing more flexible architectures, application portability and enterprise-ready management capabilities. A comprehensive Cloud Application Platform comprises three elements of the application lifecycle, including development, application migration, and runtime management. Because Cloud Application Platforms have an impact on the entire organization, they must be carefully evaluated to suit the organization business needs. In this paper, we highlight various type of PaaS offerings available, including a comparison between PaaS and Cloud Application Platform (CAP), important criteria to consider when choosing a PaaS or CAP solution, and how to plan for implementation in a phased manner.
4 2 Platform-as-a-Service and Cloud Application Platform PaaS Platform-as-a-Service is an application development platform which abstracts some high level functionality that applications commonly use, so developers can use high level interfaces to speed the application development cycle. Platform-as-a-Service is an application development platform which abstracts some high level functionality that applications commonly use, such as storing data objects, managing users, authentication, manipulating files, etc., based on the platform s target functionality, so developers can use high level interfaces to speed the application development cycle. Developers typically use a specific vendor s SDK to develop platform specific applications. Applications developed using such PaaS provider s SDK are locked-in to the platform itself and cannot be ported to any other platforms without major code changes or re-writes. For example, Google App Engine applications cannot run on Salesforce.com s Force.com platform and vice versa. Both the platforms, provide high level of abstraction to develop applications and deploy on their respective clouds. PaaS is typically a black box service offering which does not provide flexibility and choice of deployment infrastructure to developers, and for the most part developers may not care about the underlying infrastructure and architecture as such. PaaS providers bear the responsibility of managing the applications, and developers have limited visibility into the performance aspects. PaaS is mostly available on public clouds, such as Microsoft Azure, and has a proprietary application platform or infrastructure stack. However, companies, such as CumuLogic are making it possible to deliver platform-agnostic PaaS in private and hybrid cloud environments. Cloud Application Platform CAP is a technology to build the PaaS layer on any IaaS cloud, and includes: development, application migration and runtime management. A Cloud Application Platform (CAP) is used to build a scalable application infrastructure which can be delivered as-a-service (PaaS) on clouds. CAP is a technology to build the PaaS layer on any IaaS cloud. A comprehensive Cloud Application Platform comprises three elements of the application lifecycle, and includes: 1. development, 2. application migration, 3. runtime management. One of the elements of CAP is the application development environment. This is usually a PaaS layer which simplifies application development and improves developer productivity. CAP may or may not provide SDKs to develop applications making CAPs more suitable for standards based cloud applications, such as Java EE and Spring applications. PaaS providers may choose to offer their own proprietary SDKs or APIs for development, and use CAP for deployment and runtime management of applications. Such platforms are highly
5 3 A very important element of CAP is the runtime management of applications, including application infrastructure services, such as monitoring, autoscaling, high availability of infrastructure resources and self-healing of applications. customized for proprietary applications and mostly virtualized and designed for multi-tenancy. Second and more important element of CAP is the runtime management of applications. CAP provides application infrastructure services usually integrated stacks to run applications, and provides services, such as monitoring, autoscaling, some degree of high availability of infrastructure resources and selfhealing of applications. In addition, CAPs also provide a high level of abstraction to the underlying compute and storage infrastructure or IaaS clouds, so applications are not tied into a particular deployment platform and allow portability across the infrastructure clouds. CAPs support a wide range of infrastructure services and components, and provide developers with the flexibility to choose infrastructure components that suit best for reliability, scalability and performance of their applications. Such cloud platforms allow developers to write application code which is decoupled from the underlying infrastructure, as well as to decouple the application infrastructure form the underlying compute, storage and networking infrastructure. Another important aspect of CAP is application migration. It s usually possible to migrate existing applications to clouds using CAP without major code changes. Third element of CAP is providing visibility into the usage and consumption of compute storage and networking resources by the applications. Metering data is usually offered as a way for users to analyze their resource usage or chargeback mechanism for PaaS providers to their end customers. Benefits of PaaS and CAP PaaS and CAP allow developers to write applications independently of the application infrastructure, providing complete, pre-provisioned infrastructure services on-demand to quickly deploy applications, hence speeding time-tomarket. PaaS and CAP provide many benefits across the enterprise for application developers, IT Ops, DevOps, business units and CIOs. Unlike Infrastructure-asa-Service (IaaS), which provides an orchestration layer over the already virtualized environment, and self-service for dynamic resource allocation, the PaaS layer allows developers to write applications independently of the application infrastructure, providing complete, pre-provisioned infrastructure services on-demand to quickly deploy applications, hence speeding time-tomarket. Because of the application manageability of CAPs, business units and CIOs can lower the cost of managing the applications. Here are some of the benefits organizations can derive from CAP: 3
6 4 Benefits of Platform-as-a-Service and Cloud Application Platforms CAP Use Cases Development of Cloud-based Applications CAPs are ideal to start developing new applications as they eliminate the need to manually install, configure and manage the application infrastructure. The majority of applications developed today are targeted for cloud deployment. Additionally, most of the applications deal with tremendous amounts of data (i.e. big data structured or unstructured) and tend to use SOA, RESTful interfaces or Web Services with a combination of SQL and NoSQL database, and messaging services. Developers can benefit from developing applications on CAP as they can take advantage of new frameworks and infrastructure components to quickly develop, test and deploy applications. CAPs are ideal to start developing new applications as they eliminate the need to manually install, configure and manage the application infrastructure. Architects and developers can design and architect distributed and horizontally scalable applications to take advantage of cloud platforms along with economies and flexibility of clouds. CAPs also eliminate the need for buying expensive high-end servers, and virtually eliminate the need for high capital expenditures. CAPs which provide support for open source infrastructure services can help enterprises develop applications using next generation platforms. CAPs can also help evaluate new architectures with little investment and eliminate the need for expensive frameworks that are designed only for vertically scalable systems.
7 5 By migrating and consolidating applications on a Cloud Application Platform, enterprises can eliminate variations and multiple versions of infrastructure components to have a single enterprise-wide application platform to manage. Application Migration and Consolidation Some Cloud Application Platforms, such as CumuLogic's platform, provide support for traditional middleware stacks on the cloud along with next generation open source infrastructure services, making it possible to migrate and consolidate existing siloed applications running within the enterprises. It s very common to see several hundred applications running on siloed servers and different versions of infrastructure stacks, which make application management expensive and inefficient utilization of resources. Such siloed applications when not updated or patched, will have security holes and vulnerabilities that can be exploited to cause threats to business critical applications. By migrating and consolidating applications on a Cloud Application Platform, enterprises can eliminate variations and multiple versions of infrastructure components to have a single enterprise-wide application platform to manage. Application infrastructure consolidation may also result in improved software licensing use in case commercial software is deployed with the Cloud Application Platform. Runtime Management The runtime management in an enterprise-ready CAP includes: Autoscaling High availability and self-healing Application monitoring Real-time app-level usage metering One of the most critical aspects of cloud computing is autoscaling the dynamic allocation of required resources on-demand to maintain desired service levels and optimize the utilization of the given compute, storage and platform resources. The autoscaling engine in a CAP allows applications to scale and maintain desired application-level performance by scaling web, application and database tiers as needed. The autoscaling engine should be independent of the IaaS clouds to provide similar autoscaling rules across multiple clouds whether private or public cloud. Applications and infrastructure can fail, experience performance degradation, or systems crash. A CAP should be able to recover from such failures, minimizing application downtime and re-provisioning the services either on the same infrastructure or standby if available. High availability services should monitor the health and availability of all infrastructure services, and monitoring services should provide visibility into utilization and performance of the entire stack and applications. The metering feature in CAP allows you to track application usage so you can properly charge your organizational departments. Ideally, the metering services should calculate the resource utilization by each application and provide a $/application cost metric to make it easy to understand the actual cost of running an application.
8 6 Strategy For Cloud Application Platform Adoption Choosing the right Cloud Application Platform, planning and implementation are key to successful transformation of the IT infrastructure and evolution of new application architectures. To avoid vendor lock-in and to have multiple choices of platforms and clouds, it is important to choose a platform-agnostic, infrastructureagnostic, hypervisor-agnostic platform which allows to move workloads when needed. Cloud Application Platforms can have an impact on your developers, administrators, and processes beyond the technology investment. Some of the most common criteria to consider and their impact are listed below. Key Cloud Application Platform Selection Criteria Application Portability and Vendor Lock-in Almost all PaaS environments provide proprietary SDKs, which may provide a permanent application lock-in to the platform. Applications must be written to the vendor-specific PaaS and hence must be deployed to the underlying infrastructure that they provision applications on. PaaS providers, such as Google App Engine, Salesforce.com s Force.com and Microsoft Azure allow to write applications to their PaaS and will manage them on their own infrastructure, hindering application portability, including portability of applications from public clouds to internal clouds or internal virtualized infrastructures. Any trade offs in the functionality versus multi-language support must be part of your strategy to choose a PaaS solution. Several other PaaS providers, such as EngineYard, will provision workloads to a single cloud provider, such as Amazon EC2. Such PaaS providers provide not only lock-in to their SDK or APIs, but also to the underlying cloud. Depending on the nature of the business and application, it may be acceptable to write applications to the proprietary platforms. For example, developing a marketing application on Salesforce platform may be acceptable and will have lower timeto-market with low risk of exposing corporate data. While application portability is a major consideration, the ability to choose the underlying infrastructure cloud, virtualization technology and datacenter locations are also important criteria in platform selection. To avoid vendor lock-in and to have multiple choices of platforms and clouds, it is important to choose a platform-agnostic, infrastructure-agnostic, hypervisor-agnostic platform which allows to move workloads when needed. Programming Languages and Development Frameworks The second most important criteria for choosing a suitable platform is the programming language support. Most of the PaaS providers provide SDKs which limit the capability to use any other languages than what they already support. It s important to consider what
9 7 programming languages you have already invested in, and what you will be investing in the future. If you have specific requirements, such as scalability, service level commitments, datacenter locations, etc., you may want to choose a PaaS vendor which provides a robust, scalable and highly available platform that also offers the flexibility to provision applications on multiple clouds, including private, public clouds or hybrid clouds. While some PaaS offerings support multiple programming languages (also called polyglot platform), most of them provide single language support while offering a depth of features and functionality. Any trade offs in the functionality versus multilanguage support must be part of your strategy to choose a PaaS solution. For the past 15 years, the most predominant programming language within enterprises has been Java. JVMs have evolved over the last decade and now support programming languages such Scala, PHP, Python and Ruby (or JRuby), hence Java PaaS will allow to run multi-language applications within the virtual machine. Having support for native languages in the PaaS may not be as critical if the Java PaaS can provide the same level of scalability and reliability of the JVMs. Multi-Cloud Support Proprietary PaaS vendors such as Saleforce.com, Google App Engine and Microsoft Azure run their own infrastructure in their datacenters. They provide high level of redundancy and failover capabilities to ensure application availability. If compliance and security are main concerns, using private clouds and private PaaS in your own datacenter is likely a more suitable solution. Several PaaS providers, such as Heroku (Now Salesforce.com) and EngineYard, leverage large public clouds such as Amazon Web Services to provide high availability of application infrastructure, and and are mostly tied to one IaaS cloud. Such PaaS offerings rely heavily on third-party IaaS clouds to provide redundancy and fail-over, therefore, they have the same limitations of Google App Engine and Microsoft Azure, and do not allow end users to choose their own IaaS cloud provider. Enterprises may have specific requirements, such as better scalability, service level commitments, datacenter locations (for regulated industries), or overall cost for using multiple cloud vendors or multiple clouds at the same time. Choosing a PaaS or CAP vendor which provides a robust, scalable and highly available platform that also offers the flexibility to provision applications on multiple clouds, including private, public clouds or hybrid clouds, will eliminate any concerns at a later stage of cloud usage. Compliance and Security Requirements If compliance and security are main concerns (for example, in regulated industries such as Health Care and Financial Services), using private clouds and private PaaS in your own datacenter is likely a more suitable solution. In addition, if you wish to leverage existing investments in hardware and datacenters, people, tools, processes, etc., you may want to consider migrating infrastructure resources to a CAP environment which supports private, public and hybrid cloud
10 8 In order to migrate existing applications, you ll need to evaluate CAP options which support the deployment of existing applications, enabling smooth migration as well as the deployment of next generation, modern cloud applications. deployments, and provide the flexibility to use multiple clouds with the same level of ease of use, security and reliability. Application Migration If you have large investments in applications and application infrastructure, you may want to consider migrating existing applications to CAP to streamline and lower the cost of management. Once you decide to migrate the applications, you ll need to identify and prioritize such applications to migrate to a CAP on private or public clouds. A number of CAP offerings are black-box solutions which do not offer infrastructure component choice. This means that the migration of existing applications will likely require major code changes or re-writes of applications. In order to migrate existing applications, you ll need to evaluate CAP options which support the deployment of existing applications, enabling smooth migration as well as the deployment of next generation, modern cloud applications. Investment Protection CAP is an evolution of the IT infrastructure to support rapidly changing business conditions and requirements. Enterprises should consider using a flexible CAP platform which can leverage existing investments in people, technologies, and processes, including software licenses, development and testing tools, developers and IT personnel s skills, and business processes. Next generation CAPs are built to decouple hardware from virtualization, allowing enterprises to pick the virtualization technology of choice, plus a VM orchestration solution which decouples infrastructure services and applications entirely from the underlying orchestration layer. Architecture Flexibility Some first generation application management sometimes referred as workload management solutions, were designed to provision virtual machines of applications and infrastructure services on virtualized environments such as VMware vsphere. Such solutions are inflexible and require a large service catalog to provision applications. These first generation solutions are also tightly integrated, and do not provide choice of virtualization layer and orchestration technology, and require rebuilding of virtual appliances when applications are upgraded or infrastructure is patched. In addition, first generation solutions present huge management and high costs for IT Ops. Next generation CAPs such as CumuLogic Cloud Application Platform, are built to decouple hardware from virtualization, allowing enterprises to pick the virtualization technology of choice, plus a VM orchestration solution which decouples infrastructure services and applications entirely from the underlying orchestration layer. This type of CAP architecture allows enterprises to choose the appropriate layer of IaaS, hypervisor and PaaS to control the cost of the overall cloud solution.
11 9 Functionality and Customization CAP is for enterprises looking to evolve their IT infrastructure to build agility and leverage the economies of scale of clouds. As infrastructure continues to evolve and enterprises develop new application architectures, the cloud platform must evolve and be able to provide additional functionality to support changing development and deployment needs. A CAP solution must be customizable to meet specific enterprise needs and requirements, and to extend to accommodate user s changing requirements. The flexible CAP architecture will enable enterprises to customize and extend the platform functionality with less dependency on the CAP provider. Implementation of CAP within Enterprises Adoption and implementation of CAP will vary by the use cases and whether a particular business unit or centralized IP would implement a CAP for enterprise usage. Below are some suggestions on implementation phases to consider. Phase 1: Identify the Use Cases and Implement POC Based on your strategy for cloud adoption, you may identify simpler use cases to evaluate and implement CAP. Whether your strategy is to migrate existing applications to clouds or develop new applications for cloud deployments, CAP is most critical to successful adoption and implementation of cloud computing models. CAP can provide pre-integrated application infrastructure to group of developers working can improve their productivity by as much as 30%. Developing New Applications Individual business units, R&D labs or engineering groups can deploy a CAP for development environments. CAP can provide pre-integrated application infrastructure to group of developers working can improve their productivity by as much as 30%. Enterprise IT can deploy a centralized CAP for several business units and engineering teams to share a common development environment. This eliminates the need for several development teams to build their own environments in labs and improve IT resource utilization by as much as 35% while lowering the cost of management. Evaluating impact of CAP in development environments is less of disruption in business processes and can be implemented without major changes of existing infrastructure, application code or development and collaboration processes. Enterprises can then consider customizing environments and extending CAP to QA/Testing and staging environments and finally using CAP for production deployments.
12 10 CAP enables easier migration of existing applications to the clouds with little or no change to application code. Migrating Existing Applications to Clouds Enterprises can benefit tremendously from using cloud application aka SaaS applications such as CRM, ERP, HR Management, etc, but there may be several reasons why adoption of cloud applications may not be possible for certain enterprises. In that case, it may still be beneficial to migrate existing applications to clouds, whether public or private. CAP enables easier migration of existing applications to the clouds with little or no change to application code. Use of CAP also provides an opportunity to decouple and eliminate dependencies of applications on underlying infrastructure stack or hardware resources. CAP provides ways to consolidate applications on a single platform, lowering the cost of management and improving developer productivity. To lower the risk of disruptions to business applications, enterprises may identify tier 2 and tier 3 applications to migrate to CAP and progressively migrate critical applications. Performance impact on any applications may be considered and appropriate autoscaling policies of modifying deployment architecture should balance the impact of virtualization. Evaluate Impact on Business Processes CAP can simplify processes between development teams and operations and other groups and individuals such as security groups, OS teams, virtualization teams, etc. involved in testing and managing applications. Enterprises should evaluate and change the processes to enable collaboration of teams around CAP. CAP may eliminate several manual processes involved during development and deployment of applications and may free up engineering and other resources to deliver higher value to organizations. Evaluate Development, Testing Tools, DevOps Collaboration PaaS may have some impact on the development environments, tools including testing and QA tools. Enterprises may consider strategy to leverage their existing development tools to cause least disruptions in development processes. Enterprises can choose PaaS which provides additional plugins to existing development tools such as Eclipse IDE to simplify deployment to the PaaS from within the development tools. Retire and Eliminate Old-Generation Technology Once appropriate PaaS platform is selected, use cases have been identified and impact on business processes, developer skill set and development tools has been understood, enterprises can slowly transition to new PaaS environment once all kinks have been sorted out and developers and IT Ops personnel are
13 11 satisfied by new platform, it's time to phase out the older-generation technologies and tools to reduce the cost of Ops. Enterprises may transition to new platforms and identify more applications and use cases to transition. Next Steps Cloud Application Platforms are provide flexible architectures, application portability and enterprise-ready management capabilities, addressing three fundamental elements of the application lifecycle, including development, application migration, and runtime management. CumuLogic's unique and feature-rich cloud application platform is designed to easily develop new cloudbased applications or migrate existing applications to the cloud, and manage applications throughout the application lifecycle, on multiple clouds while providing detailed application metering information. To request CumuLogic CAP software for evaluation, or to get help with developing your cloud strategy, please contact us at About CumuLogic CumuLogic is a Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) software provider that enables enterprises, cloud providers and ISVs to develop and deploy Java applications in public, private and hybrid cloud environments. CumuLogic is redefining PaaS to include a complete platform for developing, migrating, running, managing, monitoring, and metering applications in the cloud. CumuLogic was founded by ex-sun Microsystems employees passionate about cloud computing. James Gosling, the creator of Java, Bill Vass, former CIO of Sun Microsystems and President of Sun Federal, and Bud Albers, former CTO of The Walt Disney Company lead CumuLogic's Technical Advisory Board. For more information, please contact us at CumuLogic, Inc. Palo Alto, CA US 2010 CumuLogic, Inc. All rights reserved. CumuLogic, CumuLogic logo, and PaaS are trademarks or registered trademarks of CumuLogic, Inc. in the United States and other countries.
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