For DevOps, PaaS is not the “NoOps” panacea

Tom Mornini makes a strong case for PaaS in his article “DevOps is DoA” (http://www.zdnet.com/news/devops-is-doa/6308483)

However, while PaaS solves some DevOps issues, it is definitely not the “NoOps” panacea for most R&D organizations out there.
• Some enterprises look at their apps as their crown jewel IP and will never go to an externally hosted PaaS solution (try getting a financial services or any other moderately IP sensitive or regulated company to move to Google App Engine, EngineYard or Amazon EC2)
• PaaS requires learning a new way of working – which is new learning for many development teams. PaaS also requires the development (and operations) team to learn new technologies (how to scale, how to monitor, how to operate etc). These skillsets are not perfunctory in the PaaS model – it’s about managing a new set of problems on a new platform.
• Lastly, however open PaaS solutions are, this model forces vendor lock-in – which may not be good for many enterprises.

Finally, let me emphasize that development processes of today are inherently complex – in just about any mid to large size enterprise there are geographically distributed teams that need to manage and synchronize complex dependencies and processes throughout the lifecycle of developing, testing and deploying/releasing – at an increasing pace. And that is what DevOps is intending to solve, using a combination of the right tools, culture and collaboration. To claim that PaaS makes this development complexity magically disappear is wishful thinking at best. I’d claim that making your teams and processes work well together is much harder than chucking your infrastructure and going to the next PaaS vendor. But once accomplished, a well run DevOps organization can revolutionize any product/software development organization and provide great dividends at any scale for years to come, something we have seen and keep seeing every day when working tightly together with our customers and users from all around the world.

David Rosen

David Rosen is a Solutions Engineer turned Product Manager turned Ecosystem Solutions Manager at Electric Cloud, currently focused on technical and strategic ISV partnerships in the Developer Productivity Tools, Continuous Delivery and DevOps space. With 12+ years of experience from the Enterprise Developer Tools space, David brings a wealth of hands-on technical experience and knowledge how software is developed and delivered at scale, across various industries, technical domains and geographical regions. David has held managing and engineering positions at UIQ Technology, Nokia and Telelogic. David holds a MS degree in Information Technology from Uppsala University, Sweden.

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