Kubernetes is currently the biggest name in the game when it comes to cloud computing. Most Kubernetes-based services in the market primarily focus on cluster orchestration and management. Software developers tend to have a hard time writing code when they are bogged down by the complexities of Kubernetes infrastructure. Developers and their productivity needs to be prioritized and organizations need to adopt developer-friendly platforms that drive productivity.
With high demand for a developer abstraction layer that removes operational headaches and improves developer productivity rife in the market, a Kubernetes-based platform-as-a-service (PaaS) solution seems like a desirable solution.
This article provides a basic understanding of PaaS and an insight into its history. It further highlights some PaaS solutions based on Kubernetes that currently exist in the market.
A brief introduction to PaaS
Platform as a service (PaaS) is a type of cloud computing model that enables developers to build applications rapidly without having to worry about the setup or maintenance of the underlying infrastructure. Developers don’t have to fret over repetitive and tedious tasks. PaaS acts as a complete development & deployment environment with resources provided to you by a cloud service vendor’s hosted virtual infrastructure. It supports all the processes – building, testing, deploying, managing, and updating – involved in a web application lifecycle.
PaaS decreases the time it takes to build new applications as it offers pre-coded application components built directly into the platform. It can be deployed on a private cloud, public cloud as well as hybrid cloud. PaaS helps organizations accelerate software development in a cost-effective manner with a pay-as-you-go model. It has the ability to scale dynamically by scaling up or down as needed. PaaS trades complexity and flexibility for speed of delivery and convenience. In a nutshell, a developer manages the application they develop and the cloud vendor manages everything else.
The tale of Heroku
Heroku was founded in 2007, by three Ruby developers, for the solitary mission to make computing more accessible. It set a brand new standard for developer experience where all one needed to do to deploy an application was to push code to git. Making deployment easy and quick by taking away all the complexities was the core idea of Heroku that made it seem ahead of its time.
Heroku was truly one of the first real cloud-native development environments that provided hosting for applications, resizing of services, add-ons for monitoring, and a one-click button to add a database. It essentially invented the widespread model of container-based computing that is prevalent today. Heroku was the gold standard PaaS for any developer to easily build and run their applications while bypassing operational headaches.
15 years on, Heroku has had a tough year. Its appeal centered around developers not having to manage infrastructure. But along the path from monolith to microservices, developers have had to rethink application architecture all over again and this has not really worked in favor of Heroku. To add to this, the rise of Docker containers orchestrated by Kubernetes has ushered in a completely new way of building and shipping apps according to the cloud-native way. There is now a growing list of PaaS solutions that are Kubernetes-native, and are worth looking into if you long for the simplicity of the yesteryears.
PaaS solutions based on Kubernetes
Qovery makes for a perfect blend of the Heroku-style PaaS and Kubernetes. It is an open-source platform that allows developers to have complete control over their infrastructure. Qovery works with any cloud provider and can easily integrate with GitHub. The powerful cloud platform runs on an AWS account and has the ability to upscale or downscale depending on usage thus providing cloud cost optimization.
OpenShift is a cloud-based Kubernetes container platform offered by Red Hat. It is both a platform as a service (PaaS) as well as a containerization software that works across on-prem, private, and public cloud infrastructure. OpenShift provides centralized policy management, security, and built-in monitoring and is able to integrate with a range of tools. OpenShift’s open-source version, OKD, enables developers to build, test, manage and deploy applications on the cloud with ease and without any vendor lock-in.
3. AWS Fargate
AWS Fargate is a serverless compute engine that enables developers to focus on building applications without having to manage servers. The PaaS-like layer is compatible with both Amazon Elastic Container Service (ECS) and Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS). Fargate can be used to run and scale containerized data processing workloads easily. It helps improve security significantly as it is designed for workload isolation. Fargate has a pay-as-you-go model which helps in cost optimization.
amazee.io is an open-source fully managed application delivery PaaS that allows seamless application deployment. The developer-centric platform enables developers to create applications without paying much heed to the underlying infrastructure. Amazee.io provides complete transparency, and code visibility without the fear of vendor lock-in.
As Kubernetes gains constant popularity, more workloads migrate to containers. This means orchestration and managing containerized workloads becomes significantly difficult. Against this backdrop, a platform as a service (PaaS) is the obvious answer. The revival of PaaS is centered around its ability to evolve in order to fit an industry that is rapidly shifting towards containerized applications orchestrated by Kubernetes.
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