Progress CTO: PaaS Is the New Middleware

Mike Vizard
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Ten Factors to Consider When Moving to the Cloud

Going into 2014, one of the things that a lot of IT organizations will have to start getting used to is that platform-as-a-service (PaaS) is the new middleware.

What started out initially as a set of packaged middleware that was deployed in the cloud as the next level up from infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) offerings has emerged as an integrated set of middleware that IT organizations now have the option of deploying anywhere inside or out of their data centers.

Case in point is the Progress Pacific PaaS platform developed by Progress Software. According to Progress Software CTO Karen Tegan Padir, rather than stitching together multiple pieces of middleware, IT organizations in 2014 are increasingly going to find it a lot more efficient to deploy PaaS technology both on internal and external clouds.

In effect, Padir says many organizations will jumpstart their hybrid cloud computing strategies in 2014 by embracing PaaS as a way to reduce the complexity of deploying software across multiple cloud computing instances.

The challenge that most organizations don’t appreciate will be the need to move data between different applications running on different instances of cloud computing. For that reason, Progress Software is tightly coupling its Pacific platform with real-time data integration tools. Using rapid application development (RAD) tools, Padir says Progress Software is betting that a shortage of skilled PaaS talent is going to force a lot more organizations to look for ways to build cloud applications at a much higher level of abstraction than the typical Web application is built today.

Of course, a whole raft of people who are managing different aspects of a middleware stack are likely to find their roles inside their organization dramatically changing as PaaS starts to catch on in the enterprise in 2014. It’s not like someone doesn’t need to manage the PaaS environment; it’s just that every little component of the middleware stack will no longer require a dedicated administrator to optimize the management of that component in the hopes that once everything has been tuned for hours, applications will run at peak efficiency until something inside the middleware stack needs to be tweaked and reconfigured again in a few days.

With the rise of PaaS in the enterprise, it should become apparent that all those folks could be adding a lot of business value at the application layer, rather than constantly having to adjust the software plumbing that enables those applications to run.

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