A Cause for PaaS Pause

Michael Vizard

One of the biggest technical hurdles that IT organizations are likely to face as they move to build and deploy applications in the cloud is scaling the database platforms these applications rely on.

According to Razi Sharir, CEO of Xeround, a provider of a MySQL-compatible database service in the cloud, traditional relational databases don't scale well in the cloud and are not particularly elastic from a management perspective.

To overcome that issue, Xeround built a cloud database service based on NoSQL technology that is deployed in the cloud. Recognizing that most of the applications that enterprise customers would need to deploy needed to be SQL-compatible, Xeround opted to deploy a layer of software that was MySQL-compatible on top of its NoSQL database architecture. Xeround runs this service in the cloud, but if customers are inclined, Xeround will let them run their database on premise.

Why all this matters more now, Sharir says, is because as more applications get deployed on top of platform-as-a-service (PaaS) platforms, IT organizations are going to discover that attaining and maintaining service levels is going to be difficult unless they have access to an approach for creating a database tier that actually scales. To address that specific issue, Xeround has established partnerships with PaaS providers such as Heroku, a unit of Salesforce.com, and Engine Yard.

IT organizations are likely to encounter all kinds of technical hurdles as they move to PaaS. The bad news is there's not a lot of information about what to look out for when it comes to PaaS, which means that most of the PaaS experience that enterprise IT organizations are about to gain is going to be hard won.

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