Know How To PaaS
The future of enterprise IT is cloud, and the future of cloud is PaaS. Infrastructure is metal, plastic, and silicon. It has kinetic potential, but sits and waits to be animated. Software is ethereal – dynamic, wildly alive, and transformative.
Without PaaS, the twain shall never meet. No animation, no dynamism, no computing.
With cloud computing, you can buy the use of infrastructure and you can buy software. You don't necessarily need to know much about running the infrastructure, and you don't need to know how the software was written. But you need to learn in great detail how to use the PaaS. You must know how to PaaS.
PaaS sits squarely in the middle, in the way the ball sits in the middle of many games. Not just an add-on to IaaS, or bland middleware that can be disintermediated some day PaaS is the technology that makes cloud computing possible.
Oh No, Another Sports Analogy
Imagine the rules of a game – say basketball – as the software. The gym is the basic infrastructure, and the players are the computing resources, waiting to be animated. The ball is the PaaS.
The trick is to get the players to make best use of the ball, and there are evolving, never-ending discussions of how to do this. In what sequence do the players handle it? What are the exceptions? How do you stop nefarious (ie, the other team's) uses of it? What are the metrics? And how do you know if and when you've won?
You could run a basketball simulation without a ball, but not the real thing. No one would care to play it, watch it, or talk about it.
To switch sports for a second, we're reminded of Philospher's Football by Monty Python. It's Greece vs. Germany, and the ball is sitting in the middle of the field, waiting to animate the game.
After much deliberation, Archimedes gets an idea. He decides to kick it, maneuver it, and employ his teammate Socrates to score with it. Despite Germany's Karl Marx correctly noting that the Greeks were offside, the goal stood. Archimedes knew how to pass! So must we all.
By Roger Strukhoff