Why is there more public PaaS than private PaaS?

I asked on Twitter: “For IaaS there’s a fair mix of public and private. But PaaS seems very titled towards public right now. Any idea why?”

Here are the responses I collected:

@wrecks47 challenged the proposition:

  • I see the opposite. I observe much more activity in private PaaS rather than public PaaS.

Others seemed to agree and offered these explanations:

@reillyusa and @mfratto think it’s because it’s too hard to build a private PaaS:

  • Complex and not too many understandable reference architectures – personified by why Azure appliance is taking so long to appear.
  • much harder to build a PaaS in house?

@ryanprociuk and @garnaat think PaaS are very specific (though it’s not clear to me how that explains its lacks of private deployment):

  • PaaS may not be as generic as IaaS, specific to a technical solution. IMO
  • I think a private PaaS might be very domain-specific. Current PaaS target a narrow range of scale which can be generic.

@somic thinks that in a private setting (presumably without specialized app services) there isn’t much to gain by offering PaaS versus letting people run a container on top of IaaS (though this begs the question why don’t private PaaS provide these services like public PaaS do):

  • imho today’s paas, in a private deployment, is just a webapp container – not revolutionary enough to justify a move

@robcheng thinks it’s mostly politics:

  • the same agendas that cause companies to embrace private cloud make them suspicious of PaaS (whose jobs/teams become obsolete?)

@cloud_borat‘s interpretation is just that middleware marketers aren’t as savvy as their infrastructure counterparts.

  • our expert analyst Igor say that because app server marketing people suck more and not label appserver as private PaaS

Thanks all!

[UPDATED 2011/7/5: This was originally a Google+ post, but it really belongs as a blog post here so I am glad this is where you are reading it. The next post explains why.]

2 Comments

Filed under Cloud Computing, Everything, IaaS, Middleware, PaaS

2 Responses to Why is there more public PaaS than private PaaS?

  1. Sometimes 140 characters is just too challenging.

    My point is basically that if someone went to the trouble of building a private, internal PaaS it would probably be very specific to their application and requirements. However, to be successful in the market, a public PaaS must be horizontal and not domain-specific. To accomplish that, most that are out there now focus on generic apps within a narrow range of scalability. But there is a limit to how far you can scale an app on current PaaS platforms and that is because they are not domain-specific.

  2. For IaaS, there are enough vendors providing solutions, reference architectures and best practices on how to build private clouds. Plus, this is something that IT can deal with comfortable. But PaaS is a different beast. PaaS is much more than putting together hardware and some off-the-shelf software. I believe, following are some reasons today:

    – There are no vendors today that offer off-the-shelf PaaS stack that anyone can build in their private clouds

    – With so many development stacks out there, it is probably tough to pick one. A given enterprise may be using multiple stacks

    – Enterprise IT cannot do this today. It needs lot more expertise and experience

    – Last but not least, PaaS is in very early stages and just gaining traction. Today, I don’t think there are that many enterprise developers ready to develop on top of PaaS.