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  The Top 20 Platform as a Service (PaaS) Vendors


If not for the platform, there would be no apps, and no need for cloud infrastructure. There are many cloud platforms to choose from, all of which in one way or another help developers build and deploy their applications to the cloud. The cloud platform is the "shake" to the cloud infrastructure's "bake." The goal is to be able to quickly and efficiently design and deploy applications, and have them function reliably. Think of the platform as the enabler of cloud applications. Each of these 20 cloud platform vendors does that in one way, shape or form. And each has carved its own niche to be among the coolest players in the cloud computing platform game.

Amazon Web Services Not a platform in the traditional sense, Amazon's AWS Elastic Beanstalk changes how developers push their apps into Amazon's cloud. Developers upload the app and Elastic Beanstalk handles the deployment details, capacity provisioning, load balancing, auto-scaling and app health monitoring.
Appristy Appistry's CloudIQ platform helps developers deliver scalable, reliable and easy-to-manage apps on private, public and hybrid clouds. Appistry hangs its hat on reducing app delivery time by 60 percent, increasing management efficiency by 20 times and cutting costs by 80 percent.
AppScale AppScale offers an open-source cloud computing platform for Google App Engine applications. The platform gives developers the power to deploy and monitor their App Engine apps in an open-source environment while providing mechanisms to debug and profile applications as needed.
CA The fruit of CA's acquisition of 3Tera, CA AppLogic is a turnkey application-centric cloud platform targeted at MSPs that lets users turn an application and the infrastructure supporting it into a single manageable object called a virtual business service.
Engine Yard Engine Yard has raised $37.5 million in funding, which has helped it build Engine Yard AppCloud, a Rails Application Cloud for cloud developers. Engine Yard's platform offers simple, automated Rails deployment and management that makes for easy app migration.
Flexiscale Flexiant's public cloud platform, FlexiScale, has made the company one of Europe's premier cloud players and an up-and-comer in the U.S. The platform is aimed at SMEs and startups looking to offer streaming video, social networking, IPTV, VoIP or SaaS.
Salesforce.com Force.com, Salesforce. com's Platform-as-a-Service arm, has set the standard for developing multitenant cloud applications. Through Force.com, Salesforce opened up its infrastructure so everyone can use it for custom app development and build business apps that run on Salesforce's servers.
gcloud3 The gCloud3 gPlatform gives SMBs private cloud and a swift ROI by enabling them to deploy virtual desktops and servers at a fraction of the cost of their physical counterparts. gCloud3 promises "zero to production with high availability" in hours.
Gigaspaces GigaSpaces grew from its application server and scalability roots to a PaaS player with its cloud-enablement platform, which enables end-to-end scaling for distributed, mission-critical app environments. PaaS enablement, coupled with SaaS enablement, gives GigaSpaces an edge enabling clouds.
Visual WebGui Gizmox's Visual WebGui has become a go-to platform for developers looking to build cloud and mobile applications. Visual WebGui is .Net open-source Ajax-powered and lets developers build, migrate, run and manage apps for the cloud or for mobile devices.
Google Google has made a name for itself with its Google Apps suite of business and consumer cloud applications and its Google App Engine, the developer platform that lets users build and host Web apps in the cloud in an effortless fashion.
Gridgain GridGain's open-source cloud application platform helps developers build scalable applications that can work natively on managed infrastructure, from a Google Android device to large grids and clouds. The software supports major OSes and provides native support for Java and Scala.
Longjump LongJump makes software that powers PaaS and gives enterprises and ISVs the ability to design, develop, deploy and distribute SaaS and Web-based apps. A catalog of ready-to-use, customizable business apps helps companies quickly and efficiently develop and deliver data-driven apps.
Windows Azure Microsoft's cloud platform, Windows Azure, is a little more than a year old and is still gathering momentum. Azure has blossomed into more than just a development play—it's a full-fledged cloud services operating system that also offers service hosting and service management.
Openstack OpenStack, an open-source cloud platform launched by Rackspace and NASA, has revolutionized the cloud computing game. Users and providers can leverage the platform to launch their own cloud services using code culled from a community of contributors.
OrangeScape Want fast and easy app development? Look to OrangeScape. Its PaaS play enables developers to build out solutions quickly and easily using a model-driven visual development environment for business applications that can be deployed as SaaS or on-premise.
OS33 OS33 doesn't restrict itself to the cloud. Instead, it offers an all-out cloud IT delivery automation platform. The company targets MSPs and gives them a single interface to provision servers, publish applications and select from a catalog of preintegrated software.
Outsystems OutSystems’ Agile Platform seeks to cut the time for developers to create and change custom enterprise Web apps. The company claims Web apps can be developed nearly 11 times faster and be changed in days with one-click deploy and roll-back.
Rightscale With its automated Cloud Management Platform, RightScale looks to deliver scalable, affordable and powerful on-demand capabilities of the cloud that also gives IT shops control and transparency in their cloud environments. The platform comes in a host of flavors.
Thinkgrid ThinkGrid tackles pretty much every facet of the cloud, but it's its service oriented cloud platform that takes the cake. The platform gives partners and customers the keys to design, build and launch business services that solve specific problems while executing tasks like billing and managing in the same interface.
 
Quote

Platform-as-a-Service will see a massive upswing in 2011 as leading software vendors and cloud players launch new PaaS offerings, prompting research firm Gartner to christen this "the year of Platform-as-a-Service."

 

 

An Evolving Moniker
  • Both the terminology and the technology have evolved from the early description of 'ASP' (Application Service Provider) to 'on-demand' to 'hosted applications' to 'Software as a Service' (SaaS) to the current category moniker of 'the cloud'. Despite evolving descriptions, the business concept of consuming computing resources as a service and delivered over the Web based using a utility or subscription pricing model continues to achieve double digit market growth and be the top agenda item for CIO's and executive teams alike.

 

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