Platform as a service (PaaS) is a complete development and deployment environment in the cloud, with resources that enable you to deliver everything from simple cloud-based apps to sophisticated, cloud-enabled enterprise applications. You purchase the resources you need from a cloud service provider on a pay-as-you-go basis and access them over a secure Internet connection.
PaaS includes infrastructure—servers, storage, and networking—but also middleware, development tools, business intelligence (BI) services, database management systems, and more. PaaS is designed to support the complete web application lifecycle: building, testing, deploying, managing, and updating.
PaaS allows you to avoid the expense and complexity of buying and managing software licenses, the underlying application infrastructure and middleware or the development tools and other resources. You manage the applications and services you develop, and the cloud service provider typically manages everything else.
- Azure is closely integrated with other Microsoft tools: For organizations that are reliant on Microsoft tools like SharePoint, Office 365 and Outlook, investing in a cloud platform that seamlessly integrates with Microsoft products makes sense. Organizations can also use the same virtual machines in Azure that they use on-premises, such as Windows and Linux, which further simplifies operations. Many industry experts expect Azure to slowly but surely gain adoption due to this ability to offer users a completely seamless and integrated service package.
- Azure a Microsoft product: We know, that is a given, but it should never be understated that Microsoft just about the most credible and reliable brand in history. The company’s technology powers some of the world’s most recognizable and widely used tools such as Skype, Bing and Xbox. For many organizations, especially those smaller in size, this brings a certain security to deploying Azure.
- IaaS and PaaS: Azure combines of IaaS (managed) and PaaS (unmanaged) services. IaaS enables companies to outsource their cloud computing infrastructure and pay for only for what they use. PaaS allows companies to create their own Web apps and/or software without having to buy and maintain the underlying infrastructure. This enables organizations to customize their cloud software—like Office 365, for example—to meet their exact specifications and requirements. Because Azure is an industry leader in both of these categories, companies can more quickly and easily build, deploy and manage applications.
- Azure is reliable: Azure is backed by Microsoft’s growing number of global managed data centers. Microsoft has data centers across 19 regions, has 99.95 percent availability and 24/7 tech support and health monitoring.
- Azure provides strong BI and analytics support: Azure provides managed SQL and NoSQL data services and built-in support for digging deeper into data and uncovering key insights for improving business processes and decision making. Specifically, organizations can leverage their SQL Server in the cloud and can use HD Insight, Microsoft Azure’s Apache Hadoop-based cloud service, to build Hadoop clusters to more deeply analyze data.