Deploying PaaS? Here are 6 Things to Bear in Mind

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Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Keep these six questions in mind when evaluating PaaS suppliers to ensure your deployment stands the best chance of success.

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Deploying PaaS? Here are 6 Things to Bear in Mind

Cloud computing tools have been a central part of many businesses' IT strategies for several years. But despite this, there are still a large number of firms that have yet to fully embrace this technology.

While the benefits of these systems in terms of flexibility, cost-effectiveness and ease of use are clear, making a migration is still a complex procedure. From determining which types of cloud solutions will be most beneficial for you to ensuring the deployment phase goes without a hitch, there's a lot for your IT team to think about.

Why firms should consider PaaS

One increasingly common cloud solution is Platform-as-a-Service, or PaaS. This is can have a range of benefits for enterprises as it gives IT pros such as developers everything they need to build applications, including operating systems, software updates, storage and infrastructure.

The fact users won't have to build up these resources from scratch can greatly reduce development time and complexity, while the scalability they provide is invaluable. This allows IT pros to focus more of their efforts on the creative side of their work without having to worry about more administrative tasks.

But with a wide range of PaaS solutions competing for attention from businesses, how should you go about selecting the right one?

6 PaaS deployment questions to consider

There's no single best solution that will be useful for every firm's needs. Any PaaS deployment should consider the technical features and limitations of the tools to ensure they can provide all the correct functionality to make life easy for developers.

However, there are also a wide range of other questions that businesses must answer before committing to an agreement with a PaaS supplier. Here are a few key things to bear in mind before making a decision.       

1. How scalable is it?

Scalability should be a key factor for any PaaS solution, but it's important you understand exactly how this is achieved. For example, is the provider able to automatically scale up (add more resources) or scale out (add more systems) as demand rises, or will this need to be initiated by the customer? Also, ask what effect, if any, this will have on performance, especially if there’s an unexpected increase in demand.

2. What reliability guarantees are there?

Reliability should be another key factor when reviewing service level agreements (SLAs) for PaaS solutions. Make sure your supplier sets out exactly what level of uptime you can expect, as well as what remedies there are should their minimum guarantee not be met, such as how you can claim compensation.

Even short periods of downtime can be highly costly for businesses, so ensuring high availability is a must. This extends to planned maintenance as well as unplanned outages, so make sure you're aware of how often and for how long you can expect systems to be unavailable.

3. What backup systems are in place?

Related to reliability, you also need assurances about the tools PaaS suppliers use to protect and backup your data. Within this, it's important to gain clarity on how often backups are made and what you can expect the recovery time to be should there be an issue. As well as protecting against data corruption or deletion, this is increasingly important from a security standpoint if you're affected by issues like ransomware, in which case you'll need to get up and running with backup files as quickly as possible, minimizing the amount of data you lose.

4. Where does the solution reside?

Data governance is always a top issue when dealing with any form of cloud computing, and this includes where information physically resides. Depending on where you're based or who your customers are, you may have to follow specific requirements for data storage, so you'll need to be sure your chosen provider fulfils these demands.

This also extends to backups. If these are located too close to the primary systems, they may run the risk of also being affected by an outage, but if they’re in different jurisdictions, this may create its own problems.

5. What security protections are there?

The security of your data is also vital, whether this is to meet data protection requirements, prevent loss or theft or guard against emerging threats like ransomware. While much of the responsibility for this lies with the customer, who will need to follow best practices, it's also important to know what built-in protections are available from the supplier, and what their policies are for issues such as data access.

6. What's your exit strategy?

While it may not be top of mind when starting a new relationship, you do have to think about what happens if and when the time comes to move on. If you're not careful, you could find yourself locked in to a specific vendor if it proves difficult to effectively extract your data from their systems at the end of a contract. You also need to get guarantees on data destruction and have a plan for what will happen if you have to move data unexpectedly, such as if the provider goes out of business.

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28/03/2022 David Kessler
One other topic that may be part of your exit strategy is, incorporating the PaaS into your archival process. As you provide project solutions to your clients, how is the project data archived and possibly passed on to your clients. If there are any legal proceedings how is data retrieved for the discovery process.