Let the PaaS wars begin

Let the PaaS wars begin

Summary: With last night's announcement of Google App Engine, the PaaS sector, which I categorized into five layers last month, has all stepped up a notch. The big guns have arrived.


A month ago, I wrote about the plethora of PaaS options available from the cloud, setting out a five-layer model to categorize them. With last night's announcement of Google App Engine, it's all stepped up a notch. People are already talking about when Microsoft will bring out its own PaaS offering, while most of the blog chatter is about Google App Engine going head-to-head with Amazon Web Services.

With so much noise it's going to be more difficult for the smaller start-ups also playing in the space to get heard, such as Coghead and Bungee Labs [disclosure: for whom I just recorded a podcast] but it also validates what they're doing. Certainly it's going to be a while before Google's platform gets traction — the current release is restricted to Python, a language few developers use, and all the first wave of accounts have already gone.

As to where it fits, it's closer to a cloud IDE than Amazon's raw computing components. But it doesn't have as much support for developers as more mature offerings such as Force.com and Bungee Labs. It has some aspects of a cloud application builder, especially with features like access to email services. So it's a relatively primitive offering, but of huge import because of who has brought it to market. And because it's Google, a lot of developers will want to use it — so we can expect to see a lot of creativity and probably some interesting success stories. The big guns are here. Let the PaaS wars begin.

Topics: Google, Software Development

Phil Wainewright

About Phil Wainewright

Since 1998, Phil Wainewright has been a thought leader in cloud computing as a blogger, analyst and consultant.

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  • I expect that acquisitions in this will be fast and furious before too long

    Bungee Labs wo;; be scooped before long.
  • PaaS = P??? As A Service?

    I missed this acronym.

    Let me guess:

    Porn As A Service?
    Programming As A Service?
    Potatos As A Salad?

    Give us a hint!
    • PaaS = Platform as a Service

      PaaS = Platform as a Service
  • RE: Let the PaaS wars begin

    AppEngine is fine for web businesses, but it lacks any value for the enterprise (except perhaps for external facin web app development). I'm still recommending that enterprises convert their own data centers into utilities while they wait for this market to mature.
  • RE: Let the PaaS wars begin

    As BrooklynPennyPincher I would like to know what is the signification of the PaaS acronym ?

    ??milie - www.horasphere.com/blogue/
  • RE: Let the PaaS wars begin

    Excellent posting, I am a big fan.

    I think PaaS is to traditional build/package/sell software what open source was to closed source.

    Give it time and traditional software companies will be competing for end-users against techy-savvy users rather than for licenses against other vendors and SaaS providers.
  • RE: Let the PaaS wars begin

    reminds me of <a href= http://www.webos.com> WebOS </a> around 2000 which has since evolved into <a href= http://www.hyperoffice.com> hyperoffice </a> (from paas to saas?)

    my question is - is paas in competition with saas? saas primarily targets small companies whose needs are - short implementation cycles, an aversion to grappling with the messy underbelly of setting up a software. isnt that what paas entails?
  • RE: Let the PaaS wars begin

    For Platform as a Service (PaaS) to truly be a "real" tool for developers and companies to want to invest their time and money into it, it needs to be open, letting the developers and designers use whatever languages, tools, servers, etc. they want. This "Open Platform as a Service", (e.g., ModBox www.sullivansoftwaresystems.com/modbox will be the next big thing in the PaaS and SaaS world.