All the leading enterprise software vendors, as well as large cloud specialists, will introduce new platform-as-a-service (PaaS) offerings this year, making 2011 the year of PaaS, according to Gartner.
“By the end of 2011, the battle for leadership in PaaS and the key PaaS segments will engulf the software industry,” said Yefim Natis, vice president at Gartner. “Early consolidation of specialized PaaS offerings into PaaS suites will also be evident. New vendors will enter the market through acquisitions or in-house development. Users can expect a wave of innovation and hype. It will be harder to find a consistent message, standards or clear winning vendors.”
PaaS is a common reference to the layer of cloud technology architecture that contains all application infrastructure services, which are also known as “middleware” in other contexts.
PaaS is the middle layer of the software stack “in the cloud.” It is the technology that intermediates between the underlying system infrastructure (operating systems, networks, virtualization, storage, etc.) and overlaying application software. The technology services that are part of a full-scope PaaS include functionality of application containers, application development tools, database management systems, integration brokers, portals, business process management and many others — all offered as a service.
Today’s PaaS offerings come in a over a dozen of specialized types; however, during the next three years, the variety of PaaS specialist-subset offerings will consolidate to a few major application infrastructure service suites, and, over a longer time, comprehensive, full-scale PaaS offerings will emerge as well.
Gartner believes that during the next five years, the adoption of PaaS in most midsize and large organizations will not lead to a wholesale transition to cloud computing. Instead, it will be an extension of the use patterns of on-premises application infrastructures to hybrid computing models where on-premises application infrastructures and PaaS will coexist, interoperate and integrate.
Gartner predicts that by 2015, most enterprises will have part of their run-the-business software functionally executing in the cloud, using PaaS services or technologies directly or indirectly. Most such enterprises, will have a hybrid environment in which internal and external services are combined.