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Technology / Cloud

10 of the best PaaS providers

Finding the right PaaS provider can prove to be a difficult choice, many appear to offer the same or very similar services. So CBR has compiled a list to help you find which PaaS provider is best for you.

1. Amazon Web Services – Elastic Beanstalk

Elastic Beanstalk is for deploying and scaling web applications which are developed on Java, .NET, PHP, PHP, Node.js, Python, Ruby, Go, and Docker. These will run on Apache servers as well as Nginx, Passenger and IIS.

One of the big benefits is that AWS is constantly adding new tools, so you are always likely to have the latest tools to hand.

A handy feature for IaaS users is that they can also use PaaS to build apps, this is part of an ongoing trend to blur the line between the two.

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2. Salesforce

The PaaS options from Salesforce allows developers to build multi-tenant applications. With the development is performed using nonstandard, purpose-built tools and a development language called Apex.

Heroku has been around for a while, originally supporting Ruby programming language, it has gone on to develop support for Java, Node.js, Scala, Clojure, Python and PHP.

One of the downsides is that the number of add-ons vary and so do the load requirements, this can lead to cost fluctuations which can make it difficult to plan ahead.


3. Software AG – LongJump

Another of the early PaaS members, it has slowly added a number of tools and features for a developer-centric approach.

LongJump, which was bought by Software AG in 2013, in an aim to push for small and medium sized enterprises to develop applications without the need for more IT.

LongJump is based upon open-source components like the MySQL database and Tomcat, it also offers customers a hosted version through Rackspace servers.


4. Microsoft – Azure

As with Amazon, one of the key benefits is that Microsoft Azure supports any operating system, language, tool and framework. This clearly makes life a lot easier for developers.

Some of the languages and options that are available are, .NET, Node.js, PHP, Python, Java, and Ruby.

Another of the benefits of using Azure is that developers can use a Visual Studio for creating and deploying applications.

The Visual Studio support local debugging of application code and also a trace facility and storage account diagnostics, as well as other troubleshooting features.


5. IBM – Bluemix

IBM has an open source PaaS which is based on Cloud Foundry. The idea behind it is that the user will have greater security and control.

Users’ can choose from third-party and community services to extend the functionality of apps. A useful benefit is that any existing infrastructure that you have can be migrated to Bluemix.

The languages that are available include PHP, Python, Ruby Sinatra, Ruby on Rails and it can also be extended to support other languages through buildpacks.


6. RedHat – OpenShift

RedHat offers a few different options for developers which consist of either hosted, private or open source PaaS projects.

The benefit of this is that at whatever level you are, RedHat has an option for you.

For OpenShift Origin, the languages that are supported are Java EE6, Ruby, PHP, Python, Perl, MongoDB, MySQL, and PostgreSQL. OpenShift Online and OpenShift Enterprise also offer the same languages.

One of the key benefits is the automated workflows which helps developers to scale automatically in order to handle peak workloads.


7. VMware – Pivotal CF

This service benefits from the use of Cloud Foundry technology and will run on Hybrid solutions as well as private and public cloud solutions.

Languages that are supported include Java, Ruby and Node.js, additionally it not support Go, Python and PHP.

The service is powered by VMware vCloud Air and vSphere and it is attractive to developers who want an open platform which is more flexible on the language that they want to use.


8. Google – App Engine

Google, as ever, is a powerful contender for one of the top spots as a PaaS provider. The company claims to already support hundreds of thousands of developers and has an impressive record on uptime.

The App Engine supports many different languages and allows for integration to other technologies such as Hadoop, MongoDB and others.

Google is another company which is blurring the lines between PaaS and IaaS so you get the best of both worlds.

Google will take care of the administration of your database and will also give you the option for what type of storage you prefer. MySQL, NoSQL or object storage using Cloud Storage is available.


9. AppFog

AppFog is a PaaS which claims to be a simpler option that offers support for Java, Python, Node, PHP, Ruby, MySQL, MongoDB and PostgreSQL.

AppFog, like others, runs in numerous different regions so that data centres and infrastructures are dotted around. The user can access and pay for only what is needed and used.

Again, like its competitors it offers multiple cloud solutions, it also supports different code management systems such as Git, SVN and Mercurial.

One of the benefits is that AppFog allows for the delegation of management privileges, so you can pass on the work to someone else.


10. Engine Yard

Engine Yard has a long client list and that typically means that it is a trusted name with a proven PaaS record.

One of the reasons why Engine Yard is being successful is because the company tailors its solution to the user. This makes the solution far more tailored than some of the other options.

The company states that: "We curate, optimize and maintain pre-integrated, pre-tested technology stacks for PHP, Ruby and Node.js applications, web and application servers, hosted and local databases, built-in monitoring and process management, an Engine Yard optimized Linux distribution, in-memory caches and more."

Engine Yard particularly support AWS and Azure for distribution, which covers a large portion of the market.

One of the benefits is that Engine Yard runs self contained environments, so your resources will not be impacted by another application.
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