March 27, 2013

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Beyond PaaS

Platform as a Service has been in the news for quite some time, and as with most new terms, it is associated with quite a lot of FUD (Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt). While public PaaS has been making rapid strides in adoption, the enterprise barrier to PaaS has been ridiculously hard to break. However, the PaaS story over the past couple of years is slowly shifting from public to private. This strong shift toward taking the advantages and best practices of public PaaS and creating an “acceptable” enterprise PaaS seems to be the next big thing for enterprises.

At present, there is a lot of focus on enabling PaaS via automating the provisioning and availability of the infrastructure and basic software building blocks like app servers, databases and message queues, and in doing so, there are different strategies being used by different vendors. Most of the current PaaS vendors have focused largely on automating the way applications are deployed and have standardized on language runtimes like Java/.NET, while others have adopted a more open approach to add more than one language runtime support.

At HCL, we are taking this to the next level. We have developed a platform which will enable enterprises to launch standardized services with localized flexibility (in a single instance or a distributed deployment model) targeted toward multiple entities (multiple countries, multiple brands, multiple customers, multiple partners). The platform is hierarchical by design.

An example of a typical hierarchy (in a 3-level scenario)

Level 1: Root provider − Ex: a global service provider

Level 2: A set of sub-providers belonging to the root provider − Ex: countries, brands

Level 3: Entities belonging to sub-providers –  Ex: customer, partners, branch

Our platform provides end-to-end capabilities around acceleration of development, configuration/rollout and runtime services, and provides significant acceleration to any customer who wants to build a system which aims to bring about global standardization and localized customization.