With Platform as a Service (PaaS) emerging and impacting the way in which enterprise applications are developed and used, Tod Nielsen, co-president, Application Platform at VMware, shares his thoughts with us on PaaS and what it means for enterprise IT.
Cloud is driving fundamental change in IT architecture – what changes are happening at the application layer?
It’s important to realize that today’s applications are extremely different from software developed just five years ago. Modern applications are undergoing drastic transformations based on the demands now being placed on them. They are typically mobile, social and Software as a Service-based, developed in Spring or Ruby on Rails and other lightweight application frameworks, and enable users to do a few specific things. Applications are now built to “scale out” to cope with growing demand, and often need to handle enormous volumes of real-time data.
What’s VMware’s role in this?
Virtualization has propelled a major shift in infrastructure. Today, more than half of all workloads run on virtual infrastructure, and traditional application platforms are not designed for this environment. Our customers are looking for a new approach to application infrastructure that is optimized for the cloud and able to support the needs of modern applications. We have a set of offerings that enable developers to build applications that are optimized for the Cloud Era.
What is Platform as a Service, and what implications does it have for businesses?
PaaS is a simplified approach to application infrastructure, allowing the infrastructure to be delivered as a service. For developers, PaaS abstracts the complexity of middleware and infrastructure, enabling developers to write code faster using the frameworks and services they need, instead of working about configuring and provisioning the underlying infrastructure. For IT operators, PaaS reduces the operational expense normally associated with managing and scaling application architecture. With PaaS, building apps allows developers to be up and running on a project within minutes and complete it in days instead of weeks or months. It also allows companies to develop new apps much more quickly and efficiently than previously, which can drive competitive advantage, open new markets and enhance customer service. The business benefits are astounding.
Can you tell me how Cloud Foundry fits in to all of this?
Cloud Foundry is the industry’s open PaaS, launched by VMware in April 2011. An open source project, it is also available through a variety of private and public cloud instances, including CloudFoundry.com. Using the Cloud Foundry platform means it is easier and faster to build, test, deploy and scale applications while giving developers a choice of frameworks, application services and clouds for deployment. Developers are clamoring for the simplicity that PaaS delivers and the multi-cloud environment that Cloud Foundry enables.
If you’re interested in hearing more from our team in person, on a range of issues including PaaS, many of them will be speaking at the VMware Forums taking place in the next couple of months. You can register to attend on the VMware Forum microsite, and keep checking the blog for updates on the agenda and the speakers due to be announced.