CIO’s carry the tremendous responsibility of organizing their enterprise IT strategy to be cost effective, efficient and high quality. One of the most
critically important components of enterprise IT has been applications. Worldwide, enterprise IT departments deploy and deliver third party
applications to their end users and lines of business, and in many cases, build new custom applications from scratch that satisfy the business needs
of end users that are otherwise unsatisfied by third party packages. Applications are the lingua franca of IT. In fact, a number of practices
have evolved around the importance of the application, how they are built and how they are delivered. One of the most important is the practice of
enterprise architecture. As the sea-change that is cloud computing washes over the industry, certain aspects of cloud that make their way into the
enterprise as private cloud will move enterprise architecture from fairy-tale to reality. The most important of the cloud form factors for enterprise IT
will be Platform as a Service (PaaS), deployed internally as a private PaaS.
PaaS is a software layer that typically stitches together networked resources including OS instances, database server instances, web server
instances, and even load balancers into a single, shared logical hosting layer. Essentially, PaaS is best summarized as a data center OS. Application
developers, rather than writing an application and tediously configuring that application to be deployed on some specific infrastructure, simply upload
the application to the PaaS and seconds to minutes later, have it up and running. A far cry from the 60-90 days it might take to get the infrastructure
to deploy an application in the enterprise IT setting. The PaaS takes on the responsibility of matching the various application components to the
infrastructure, deploying those components, dynamically configuring them, and even providing tools for scaling and updating the application over
time — all the mundane tasks no one wants to do. More advanced PaaS offerings even offer advanced architecture patterns, frameworks, and platform
services such as caching via APIs that guest applications can use.
For the past few years, two seemingly orthogonal trends, private cloud and enterprise architecture, have been on a collision course that would
lead to the next era of enterprise IT. Enterprises have been looking to cloud architecture patterns for “what’s next”, while the cloud has provided
new meaning to operating efficiency. Rather than evolving down independent paths, private cloud and enterprise architecture have converged to
As described, PaaS offers tremendous value but for reasons related to security, performance, bandwidth and latency, developers within the
enterprise are typically barred from using it for all but the simplest and least sensitive development projects. Enter private PaaS. Private PaaS is the
deployment of a PaaS software layer on an enterprise’s internal infrastructure with the goal of exposing the PaaS service to the developers within an
enterprise’s various lines of business.
What are the benefits of private PaaS over public PaaS? Well I’m glad you asked. Benefits include:
• Faster Time to Market – Self service utility model allows users to upload compiled code and in a button click, “publish” it, never
needing to configure an application or server again. Deploy apps in minutes versus weeks or months.
• Increased Agility – Simplifies application deployment, management and scaling, while improving developer productivity through
• Reduced Costs – Greatly improved infrastructure utilization, removes human configuration tasks where appropriate, and provides
• Reduced Complexity – Simplifies ongoing application management by abstracting applications away from infrastructure and
enforcing a common, inheritable architecture.
• Streamlined Application Management – Enables users to manage all applications from a central place and never needing to worry
about being outside the bounds of IT governance.
Essentially, the hundreds or thousands of developers and architects get access to an internally (and centrally) offered PaaS, hurdling over the
public roadblocks and getting full access to PaaS’ primary value proposition. While this in its own right is powerful, PaaS truly establishes an
enforceable shared architecture and set of services for all applications deployed to it. Applications all conform to an internal gold-standard, and can
tap into the PaaS’ various services such as authentication, caching, or whatever else the PaaS has to offer. As a result, no application is an exception
to the rule, but rather all applications inherit from the same foundation. The by-product is that the enterprise becomes extremely nimble. Utilization
due to shared infrastructure skyrockets, time to market for both deployment and management is drastically shortened, and developer productivity
increases. Essentially, PaaS embodies the vision of the enterprise architect and provides an enforceable common layer that is an immensely appealing
(and thereby adoptable) value proposition for the developers within the enterprise. As the intersection for private cloud and enterprise architecture,
PaaS will change the private enterprise IT landscape for years to come.
Before co-founding Apprenda, Sinclair Schuller held positions at Morgan Stanley,
Eden Communications, and the State University of New York (SUNY). Sinclair holds a dual Bachelor of Science in Computer Science & Mathematics
from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, where he graduated Summa Cum Laude. Sinclair excels in understanding the economics of SaaS platforms and
ecosystems, and is a frequent speaker and panelist at industry events.