This week I will be helping run a Bird of a Feather session at CloudConnect looking at, among other things, vendor lock in through PaaS. It’s an issue that is perhaps the biggest concern around the use of PaaS, the fear that customers will be locked into one vendor. I personally believe that lock-in is the biggest barrier to SaaS completely dominating the Cloud marketplace going forwards. In light of this it is interesting to hear that GigaSpaces is today announcing the release of its latest platform, aimed at providing silo-free architecture. The new release is aimed specifically at enterprise PaaS and ISV SaaS enablement.
So, what does the latest release include? According o the release;
- Silo-free architecture that is a converged end-to-end application and data environment enabling cross-stack elasticity, multi-tenancy, unified SLA-driven performance, central management and simplifying development and operational processes.
- Cross-stack fine-grained multi-tenancy from the web tier down to the customer and data object levels that is user, data and application policy-driven. This provides easy management and monitoring through a comprehensive management console enabling full control, security, and crystal clear visibility over all of the multi-tenancy aspects of the application.
- Built-in DevOps to uniformly manage and automate the lifecycle of the entire application middleware and its resources, dramatically reducing operational and development complexity.
- Out-of-the-box third-party middleware management (e.g. Tomcat, Cassandra, JMS) that automates and manages all application middleware services during deployment and in production.
- Openness, providing effortless portability, multi-language and multi-middleware support, along with easy integration with existing processes and systems for private, public, and hybrid clouds.
There is a battle royal looming that will be waged on several fronts;
- PaaS solutions that are an adjunct to existing SaaS platforms (think force.com)
- PaaS solutions that are a way for vendors to move up he stack yet leverage their own IaaS (think Azure)
- Independent PaaS solutions that are entirely neutral (GigaSpaces and SaaSGrid)
I’d like to think that the neutral vendors will have the ability to get to scale in time to head off the charge from the likes of force.com, but I’m not 100% certain that they will. With this new release, GigaSpaces is hoping to prove me wrong.