What Service Providers are Learning from the Cloud?
Part 3 – Service Provider Platform as a Service
The first blog in this series explained how service providers are exploring use of cloud software engineering techniques to achieve service agility and operations automation. The second blog covered two essential techniques, microservices and containers. This blog covers the third piece, the platform-as-a-service or PaaS. Together they enable DevOps benefits of being able to develop, test, release, update, and maintain software rapidly and reliably, to provide a competitive advantage in delivering applications to end-users.
Service Provider Platform as a Service
Think of PaaS as the operating system for applications wherever they are located in the SP cloud, within a SP data center, or within the network itself. This can even extend to the network edge to support multi-access edge computing applications (MEC). The PaaS hides the complexities of the underlying middleware and infrastructure dependencies, letting applications developers focus on their software and the value it brings. PaaS is critically important to deploy software smoothly in the cloud. It provides an abstraction layer for the compute-storage-networking infrastructure allowing it to innovate and evolve at its own pace. It supports the DevOps objective by automatically provisioning and scaling infrastructure resources for developers and operations based on application needs. It can also provide tools to assist in monitoring, failure recovery, and life-cycle management of applications. When a PaaS is used by service providers to support real-time SDN- and NFV-based networking applications – which are located in the SP cloud, but provide control over a geographically distributed wide area network – then it is called an SP PaaS. This must support specific capabilities to make it “carrier-grade”, such as:
- Applications health monitoring to provide early alerts and take proactive measures such as load balancing in advance of applications failing
- Advanced log management to facilitate analysis of failures when they do occur
- Authorization and authentication to protect applications and their data from unauthorized and potentially malicious access
- License management and enforcement gating applications access only to contracted middleware and infrastructure resources
- Analytics engines to gather and pre-process network utilization data
- Virtual infrastructure management to facilitate use of virtualized network resources
- Third-party interfaces opening up the PaaS to SP-developed applications and innovation
Benefits of Using Cloud Software Engineering Techniques
Summarizing all three blogs, the use of cloud software engineering techniques is a win-win both for application developer organizations and for service providers who use the applications.
|Cloud Software Technique||For Application Development Organization||For Service Provider|