Buyer's Handbook:

IaaS vs. PaaS: The best choice for a DevOps environment

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PaaS or IaaS? That is the question

Along with many other advantages of microservices-based applications, small code base, scalability, simple deployment and more, come additional options in technology stacks. That gives DevOps teams the option to choose more flexible cloud platforms for development and deployment that fit business needs as well as DevOps environment, team size and skill levels. But selecting the right cloud services platform -- usually between IaaS and PaaS -- on which to deploy a microservices architecture and develop microservices is not so easy.

In this buyer's handbook, veteran IT journalist Darryl Taft explores the rationale for choosing infrastructure as a service and platform as a service. Essentially, it's a know-thyself exercise, Taft explains, because either choice comes with its own requirements for in-house expertise, customization and lifecycle management.

With IaaS, the organization gets the big package of infrastructure services, including hosted network, server, storage and development tools. The pros and cons of IaaS for microservices development and deployment are the same: The organization has to use IaaS and sometimes third-party tools to build its own DevOps platform. The big questions here are: Does the DevOps team have the skills and, more important, the time to build? And would the broader customization options of build your own be valuable?

That's not to say customization isn't possible with most PaaS offerings, but the key value of PaaS is its packaged and integrated one-stop toolkit. The need for speed is a top driver for choosing PaaS, which comes with automated development, deployment, provisioning, security and other application lifecycle management tools. While a build-your-own IaaS development platform requires maintenance by the in-house DevOps team, the PaaS user gets updates and maintenance services from the provider.

When deciding between IaaS and PaaS, we offer expert advice on which option best suits your DevOps environment.

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