How to choose a PaaS provider ?

Platform as a Service (PaaS) allows developers to create and deploy software with ease, without worrying about managing hardware requirements and associate software stacks. Its a revolutionary way to develop software and instrumental in reducing development and deployment cost significantly.

Today we have so many PaaS providers to choose from – Pivotal Cloud Foundry, IBM BlueMix, Microsoft Azure, Salesforce Heroku, Google App Engine, AWS Beanstalk and others. How do you choose the right one based on your requirements ? What could be some criterias for selection in addition to the ‘cost ?

With differences between various providers increasingly narrowing down, its definitely not an easy task. However, according to me, answer to some of the following questions is a good first step.

  1. Does it support the programming languages you need?
  2. Does it support your required Application Frameworks – like Ruby on Rails, Sinatra etc. ?
  3. Does it support the services that your application depends on  – like MySQL, Redis, RabbitMQ, PostgreSQL etc  ?
  4. How does it handle application scalability ? Does it support horizontal or vertical scaling ?
  5. Is the offering suitable for both test/dev and production setups ?
  6. What kind of business continuity services are provided ? Does it provide backup, restore and disaster recovery services ?
  7. What is the PaaS deployment model you are looking at – Public, Hosted, Private or Hybrid PaaS. ?
  8. What is the cost of the offering?

One of the very good resource to compare various PaaS offerings ishttp://www.paasify.it/vendors

The vendor profiles and the code is in github – https://github.com/stefan-kolb/paas-profiles , allowing anyone to use it to create tools for quick comparisons the way they want.  Excellent work by its developers and very helpful.

Pradipta Kumar Banerjee

I'm a Cloud and Linux/ OpenSource enthusiast, with 16 years of industry experience at IBM. You can find more details about me here - Linkedin

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