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PaaS: It’s All About Applications

shutterstock_86924866When the subject is Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), everyone from industry experts to enterprise customers has their own take – what PaaS is, what it should be. In spite of the terms and definitions bestowed, it all boils down to what PaaS does and does well – applications.

Enabling applications is at the heart and soul of PaaS, it’s also what enterprises value most from the technology. For enterprises, PaaS is the key to accelerating application development, bringing related products and services to market faster.

A Better Way to Enable Applications

For those in search of a better way to develop applications, PaaS offers an avenue of opportunity. However, PaaS is but a fundamental part of a larger process designed to make companies more agile and better prepared to tackle challenges. The “third platform,” as it is called, combines the cloud, mobile, social, and “Big Data” to help companies achieve technical innovation and flexibility.

Third platform initiatives are likely to be the major focus of the next wave of IT innovation. A growing number of start-ups are now relying on the third platform to disrupt established players and gain an edge in the market. Adopting key aspects of PaaS in terms of application development can help enterprises remain ahead of changing needs and preferences in the market.

It’s not just a matter of being flexible when it comes to application development. Being open is another crucial element of the process. Open Application Program Interfaces (APIs) for easier third-party integration should also be a key goal.

Constant Innovation is the Key

A company that stands still may as well be dead in the water as far as customers and the competition are concerned. Constant technical innovation is the key to staying profitable and relevant, enabling an organizational environment that allows for quick thinking and even quicker action is critical. The application development process itself should be innovative and adaptable to a wide variety of ever-changing trends and situations as well.

It’s crucial that developers have access to the tools they need to quickly build, experiment with, and deploy applications without delay. For instance, automated provisioning allows developers to deploy applications without waiting for IT assistance, saving valuable time and freeing up essential resources.

It’s also crucial that companies have the ability to roll back changes made during rapid prototyping without negatively impacting the user experience. The ability to quickly rectify mistakes and make improvements ensures developers can maintain a high standard of application development.

Any Infrastructure, Anywhere

Being locked into a particular technology infrastructure can be a tremendous drawback, especially in business conditions that necessitate a high level of mobility. The ability to migrate applications from private to public cloud as workloads dictate is a valuable asset to have. The most valuable infrastructure is one that is open, and available for critical projects.

The amount of time and effort figuring out what the term PaaS really means is better spent understanding PaaS’ benefits. Swift application development through improved agility, broadened technical resources, and a language-agnostic platform that allows developers to deploy to a broad array of environments with minimal effort.

Waves of Change Coming for WAN Networking – Are You Prepared?

shutterstock_148264289These days, the arena of Wide Area Networking (WAN) seems to be ground zero for a variety of exciting changes. Vendors, both great and small, are lining up for an opportunity to remake WAN into a more strategic and more efficient element in the enterprise arsenal.

Many of these tumultuous changes come courtesy of new WAN services and products. These new products are aimed at bolstering WAN strengths, while addressing its weaknesses. Combined with improved management tools, the latest changes in WAN services are pushing the technology into new territories.

A Closer Look at SDN

For many IT vendors, Software Defined Networking (SDN) offers a sensible way of managing data, voice, and video traffic based on a simplified prioritization process. Today’s SDN solutions are aimed towards helping enterprises solve many of the current problems plaguing companies reliant on WAN for their needs.

Historically, the complexity surrounding WAN has been a problem area for many enterprises, especially as customers demand more from their infrastructure. SDN helps reduce scale limitations with carriers, reducing downtime periods.

Bringing Hybrid WANs to the Forefront

Along with increasing interest in SDN, hybrid WANs are also getting a second look. Hybrid WANs put a wide variety of multiple access technologies to good use to enable enterprises with data and information access.

Many companies are flocking to hybrid WANs thanks to its relative simplicity in terms of managing and monitoring WAN traffic, and WAN’s potential for lower costs down the road. However, traffic prioritization isn’t hybrid WAN’s only appealing benefit.

According to market research company Gartner, companies are also being drawn to hybrid WAN’s various value propositions, including improved overall security and traffic monitoring, streamlined WAN traffic and device management, and the ability to use low-cost broadband to complement or even supplant Multiprotocol Label Switching.

Exploring and Resolving WAN Weaknesses

Security management, network performance and application performance have all been traditional weak points, with WAN administrator response often slow or nonexistent. For instance, current methods of data transport (namely through tunnels created between encryption devices at the network edge) deprive WAN administrators of detailed user information that could help them track down and pinpoint deficiencies in the infrastructure.

WAN’s capabilities are a staple of networking. Thanks to WAN’s widespread use, and new technologies and strategies for mitigating WAN weaknesses that are in development, the usefulness of WAN technology will continue long into the foreseeable future.