Cloud app dev goes private

The new focus on private PaaS suffers from the normal cloud computing hype -- but there could be something there

At Cloud Expo last week, many vendors focused on "private PaaS" as a form of cloud computing. They follow the logic that if you can have a private (IaaS) cloud, then you certainly can have a private PaaS cloud -- but should you?

The idea is the same: Let's leverage the efficiencies of public cloud computing -- in this case, public PaaS cloud computing -- in the enterprise using servers that we can hug. The business case would be when you have the requirement for a much higher level of security and don't yet trust public PaaS providers such as Google or Microsoft. Or you can't stand the thought of any of the pretty blinking lights in the data center going away. 

[ In the data center today, the action is in the private cloud. InfoWorld's experts take you through what you need to know to do it right in our "Private Cloud Deep Dive" PDF special report. | Also check out our "Cloud Security Deep Dive," our "Cloud Storage Deep Dive," and our "Cloud Services Deep Dive." ]

I've done a bit of research on private PaaS, and here are my current thoughts:

The core advantage of using a private PaaS is the fact that you don't have to deal with infrastructure, as you would when using traditional development environments. The ability to scale is provided by the platform. Thus, private PaaS removes you from the details of the infrastructure and renders it irrelevant. 

Of course, this is not the first time we've heard vendors promise to abstract us away from the metal. However, the cloud computing tricks associated with hardware utilization, as applicable to private PaaS, could make this application more compelling and cost effective. 

There is a claim of better portability because private PaaS runs on infrastructure that can be found in other places, including public IaaS providers. The theory is that because private PaaS can abstract infrastructure on premise, it can do so off premise as well. I'm not sure it's that easy, but I'll keep an open mind until I see this space bake a bit and case studies emerge.

For now, I'm in wait-and-see mode. Who's first? 

This article, "Cloud app dev goes private," originally appeared at InfoWorld.com. Read more of David Linthicum's Cloud Computing blog and track the latest developments in cloud computing at InfoWorld.com. For the latest business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.

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