Speed is the currency of relevance, and businesses must seek every opportunity to develop and deploy their applications as quickly as possible. But for any business that develops applications for either internal use or as a customerfacing product, it’s practically impossible to maintain enough technological resources in a cost effective way.
In such a fast-paced environment, many business concerns are amplified—data security, traffic handling, and innovative features and functionality are chief among them. Employing a low cost, iterative development plan can be an advantage. Unfortunately, this style of development can also require a large investment in infrastructure. Test environments and security features must be deployed quickly—and usually, quick is expensive.
Two Types of Cloud Technologies: IaaS and PaaS
It makes business sense, therefore, to look to other service providers for specific key parts of the development chain, leaving your business team to focus on developing the best application without limits. When considering this type of hybrid cloud solution, there are 2 different types of services available:
- Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS)
- Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS)
In either case, using one of these technologies offers a way to get business applications to the cloud where innovation is faster, and the technological hurdles are easier to overcome. Both can offer significant value to any business, in that infrastructure costs can be greatly reduced, and the expenses of security and traffic management are borne by third party service providers and paid for on an as-needed basis.
Using IaaS, systems that were designed for on-premise hosting are moved to the cloud as-is and the infrastructure and traffic handling layers are provided as a service. For example, a company could spin up an application server in the cloud that otherwise would reside on the company’s internal network. You would have no need to be concerned with the type of server hardware or the type of network it’s running on. As far as you’re concerned, it’s an instance running the same application, and more capacity can be easily added by requesting more instances. It all happens virtually.
The IaaS environment offers a ready solution for businesses with existing applications that need to be moved to the cloud. It enables cost savings and allows for maintenance and future development of those business applications.
Platform as a Service
Using a Platform-as-a-Service environment, applications can be built from the ground up using specific cloud based features and functionality modules that would otherwise have to be developed and maintained onsite.
This allows for fast iteration where specific features of the PaaS environment can be enabled as needed with very little development time. An example of this would be adding a mobile shopping cart module to an application. Another example would be the ability to add extreme traffic handling capability in an on-demand basis. In both cases, using onpremises development and infrastructure would be costly and time-consuming.
The PaaS paradigm is about distilling development processes into discrete components, and then mixing-andmatching the PaaS capabilities to enable those components to build, run and manage powerful cloud-based applications.
Hybrid Cloud Strategy Benefits
Regardless of which environment you choose, the benefits are real. A hybrid cloud strategy reduces IT infrastructure expenses and enables financial predictability. The combination of accelerated development time and reduced cost frees up resources—both human and financial—to open up new business opportunities.
The agility afforded in a hybrid methodology also makes it easier to generate new revenue streams by launching new or improved applications quickly, cost-effectively, and with minimal risk. When properly architected, some of the code base in a PaaS application is modular and reusable, and the infrastructure is scalable as demand is generated in real-time.
One of the other key benefits of adopting a hybrid strategy is the fact that it’s becoming ubiquitous. That ubiquity brings innovation, as cloud technology providers continue to offer more features and abilities that can be leveraged by anyone. The on-demand nature of cloud services means that you can move as quickly as you want—or need to—and that benefits everyone.
Ultimately, a hybrid cloud strategy is about delivering business value in all areas through the deployment of services and delivering experiences that delight your employees, customers, and stakeholders.