In this article, we will try to see the concepts of Cloud, IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service), and PaaS (Platform as a Service). Cloud computing has been part of the internet service delivery landscape for over a decade or even earlier. It is now very evident that the individuals who don’t do much of the coding or relate to the IT industry understand “the Cloud” thus mentioning the extent it has expanded. Along with it, there is a craze that has been started to understand DevOps and also to bring in the good stuff within an Organization and further within the industry.
Though the choice of choosing a Cloud environment is pretty straight-forward but choosing between an IaaS and a PaaS service is quite difficult as each has its own requirements for in-house expertise and also in customization and life-cycle management. With IaaS, the decision to bring in a big package of infrastructure services which includes network, server, storage, and development tools has to be made. With such a situation, the question arises – does the team have the skills, and does the team have the time to build this. Building your own IaaS development platform doesn’t just end up at the creation stage but also requires regular maintenance timeframes from the DevOps teams.
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This doesn’t have to be for sure that PaaS (Platform as a Service) is not customizable. The key here is that it is a packaged and integrated one-stop toolkit. The need for the speed demands PaaS to be chosen over IaaS as PaaS comes with automated development, deployment, provisioning, security, and other application lifecycle management tools. The case with the PaaS user would be that the tool itself gets updates from its provider, hence relieving the teams of any further maintenance timeframes spent on them in totality. When deciding between IaaS and PaaS, you along with your organization need to take a calculated decision, or else you might end up with a tool that doesn’t cater to all of your requirements.
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Having discussed the various concepts of Cloud, Infrastructure as a Service, and Platform as a Service – we now will take a look at various tools that fit into the DevOps chain of tools. Let us now take a look at each of these tools and also the advantages that these bring to the table when introduced into your Organization’s DevOps toolchain.
Top 10 Cloud Tools
1. Digital Ocean:
DigitalOcean is a Private Virtual Cloud space provider, based out of New York City. It is designed to simplify the web infrastructure for developers and each of these plans is affordable and feature-rich. DigitalOcean thrives to be a simple cloud hosting service provider where the configurations are pretty straightforward. As mentioned, it doesn’t come up with the high-end offering like Load Balancing, Hosted databases, Hadoop Clusters as provided by many other service providers in the same business. Having said that, the low-priced products and at the same time, the high-performance virtual machines still make this a good choice for your business growth.
Following are some of the advantages of using Digital Ocean, let us now take a look at each and every one of them:
- Digital Ocean is an SSD only cloud and as a reason of this, speed benefits of the SSD’s used are reaped by the websites and applications that are hosted on them.
- Pretty easy to use Command Center, which makes configuring cloud servers and development frameworks simpler.
- Transparent and simple pricing model.
- Provides a backing community that is very active.
- Comes with various flavours of Linux distributions which can be automatically pre-installed upon deployment of a server.
2. Microsoft Azure:
Microsoft Azure is an offering from Microsoft, which is a cloud computing platform and infrastructure that is created for the purpose of building, deploying and also managing applications and services. It is also an integrated suite of tools and templates that are intended to put to use to improve the productivity of any IT professional. It provides a massive set of features and functionalities that can be leveraged by the professional to build/manage an enterprise, mobile, web and internet of things (IoT) applications. It is an ideal application that suites businesses which have standardized Windows and Linux users. The compatibility that it provides with the Linux accentuates virtual infrastructure guest operating systems as well as Linux based container architecture (Docker).
While the Microsoft Azure application itself is designed and deployed on top of Hyper-V framework, you can run different Linux distributions (such as CentOS, OpenSUSE, SUSE, Ubuntu) and along with it the Windows Server 2008 and 2012. There are massive investments going on into Microsoft Azure’s public cloud offerings and the efforts to those are definitely paying off with the Infrastructure as a Service field of DevOps. It is now competing for head-on with Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud Platform. One of the best advantages that makes it a fit for the current situation is that the compatibility that it shows with Windows, Linux and containerization as well.
Following are some of the advantages of using Microsoft Azure, let us now take a look at each and every one of them:
- One of the biggest advantages that are provided by Microsoft Azure is the cross-platform compatibility for applications.
- Provides them a handy platform to create, deploy cross-platform web and mobile applications and to top it all, also provides them with the public cloud to take necessary backup for recovery procedures.
- Azure enables users to create intuitive products leveraging the Internet of Things services.
- You can start your application for free and based on the need and demand, you can go pro with premium features from Azure on additional costs.
- Azure provides the environments, to cross migrate applications without changing existing code.
- There is a provision to create highly available and scalable applications or services using the rich Platform as a Service environment which supports automated deployment and multi-tier scenarios.
- Provides a provision of a fully compatible enterprise-ready Hadoop service and integrates pretty well with System Center and Active Directory.
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3. Virtustream xStream:
Virtustream's xStream product is created to be the only option for a SaaS Cloud management platform. It’s sole purpose for creation was the aim to deliver economic and business benefits for your entire portfolio of applications, be it mission-critical environments (for the likes of SAP, Oracle, Microsoft and etc.) or others. Irrespective of the stream of business that you belong, xStream lets you move your thing to Cloud, automate it, optimize it and outperform than your traditional operations.
xStream provides network and storage I/O in the same ways and means as like the Cloud service providers – ensuring that your processes are never I/O starved irrespective of the transaction load or storage read/write volume. Enterprise IT can now run their existing applications (including the Production like environments of SAP, Oracle, Microsoft and several others) on the cloud with fixed SLAs without even having to bother about just the simple infrastructure availability.
Following are some of the advantages of using Virtusteam xStream, let us now take a look at each and every one of them:
- Customers can easily integrate their applications with Virtustream Storage Cloud and not just that, they will be able to move them across to Cloud using the SAN and NAS interfaces.
- xStream enables users to eliminate risks and hidden costs of tape-based long-term retention of backups by replacing them with cheaper public cloud space.
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4. IBM Cloud:
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IBM provides its Platform as a Service is a fool-proof, secure, collaborative cloud-based environment which supports a complete lifecycle of accelerated application development and delivery. IBM uses a PaaS service rather than Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) model as like Amazon’s AWS. The biggest difference here with the other IaaS providers is that you would be ending up configuring the infrastructure with the virtual counterparts (such as hardware specifications, processor type, memory, hard drive, network connects and etc.) whereas PaaS environments have you set up the platform on which you intend to run your software program, such as the programming environments, databases, clustering so on and so forth – which means that you are ready to develop or operate your software out of the box.
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Following are some of the advantages of using IBM Cloud, let us now take a look at each and every one of them:
- Provides the most accurate data and web APIs that are provided are pretty straightforward to use.
- IBM Bluemix provides an innovative environment which extends its support to many programming languages such as PHP, Python and Java.
- Provides support to both email or built-in messaging platform to reach the Support team
- Since that it is Cloud-based, you can expect all the advantages of Cloud available with IBM Cloud as well.
- There is so much available with IBM Cloud that there is something or the other for everyone to look for.
- We can develop applications using Web IDE and Eclipse – while storing our code directly on Bluemix.
5. EPAM Orchestrator:
EPAM Cloud Orchestrator is an offering from the existing EPAM ecosystem which enables project teams to manage their virtual infrastructure using a self-service solution. Few key characteristics that highlight EPAM Orchestration service are its multitenancy which allows users to work on projects independently without interfering with any other’s work. Multitenancy in layman terms can be explained as organizations being referred to as tenants and each tenant is represented by a project in EPAM Cloud. The limitations imposed are reduced to such an extent that Cloud management is made an easy for projects – creating their own infrastructure, customizing it according to the customer’s needs and requirements.
Having said that, EPAM Orchestrator also allows scheduling of the instance manipulation just so that its state is changed automatically – further providing options to optimize the infrastructure and thereby the costs as well. The schedules are set up with cron expressions so that they are specified according to rules. EPAM Orchestrator provides users with a set of monitoring tools allowing them to get information on various aspects of service performances as like:
- Default CHEF based monitoring.
- Zabbix Monitoring service.
- Telemetry as a Service based on Gnocchi/Collected.
Following are some of the advantages of using EPAM Orchestrator, let us now take a look at each and every one of them:
- The biggest advantage that we can see with EPAM Orchestrator is the long time-saving.
- It forces best practices like the pre-built deployment templates, baked in security and structure IP addressing while in use rather than the other tools.
- EPAM Orchestrator bundles all of the standard automation of various systems into a larger and optimized workflow instead of handling each of them as a single task.
- Provides a full-blown unified automation platform.
- EPAM Orchestrator reduces the man-hours that would rather be required in managing the Cloud instances and helps in automatically monitoring, alerting individuals in cases of emergencies.
- EPAM Orchestrator provides the much-needed agility to move towards the newer technologies, which in turn keeps businesses in the ever-growing competition.
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6. Pivotal Cloud Foundry:
Pivotal Cloud Foundry is the industry’s open source Platform as a Service (PaaS) service which enables Organizations to deploy and scale applications within seconds. All of this can be achieved without locking yourself to a single cloud provider. It is an open-source cloud computing platform that was developed in-house at VMWare which is now owned by a conglomerate (EMC, VMWare, GE). Cloud Foundry lightens the burden over a developer as it manages so much on the application’s resource management – it greatly reduces the overhead burden on your operations team as well.
Cloud Foundry is optimized to deliver in a lot of aspects of Cloud environments for development teams, which are listed down as below:
- Provides faster application development, deployment.
- Provides highly scalable and available application architecture.
- Provides DevOps friendly workflows.
- Reduced chances of human errors.
- Provides efficiency as it, in turn, has multi-tenant computational abilities.
Following are some of the advantages of using Pivotal Cloud Foundry, let us now take a look at each and every one of them:
- One of the biggest advantages of using Cloud Foundry is its simplicity.
- The other being its flexibility, as it allows to fit well into any agile software development process with frequent releases.
- Provides a very mature support technology on which the product itself is built upon.
- Ease in instantiating applications as long as a proper buildpack is available for re-use.
- Application deployment can be consistently performed on both public, private infrastructures.
- Source-code is available on GitHub and has an extensive community of developers.
- Provides an ease in writing your own Service Brokers.
- Command line utilities provided as part of the package makes it very easy for the developers to push applications, real quick.
7. Alibaba Cloud:
Alibaba Cloud is a subsidiary of Alibaba Group and also is a global cloud computing company headquartered in Hangzhou. Alibaba Cloud is a provider of a varied suite of cloud computing services that covers aspects like elastic computing, object storage, relational database, big data analysis, and artificial intelligence. Alibaba Cloud began as a private cloud provider to serve the internal demands of Alibaba's e-commerce businesses and then spread its wing to cater to other needs. Alibaba Cloud is the biggest and the largest cloud computing company in China with data centers across mainland China. Alibaba Cloud also operates in eight geographical regions around the globe, with two new data center locations expected to launch.
Following are some of the advantages of using Alibaba Cloud, let us now take a look at each and every one of them:
- One of the biggest advantages of choosing Alibaba Cloud is the cloud security measures that it provides (provides data protection from DDoS attacks) all for free.
- It is reliable and trusted as it is the very first Cloud Security Provider to earn the ISO27001 (Information Security Management System Certification which addresses issues around Cloud Security) in China.
- It is no surprise that is the leading Cloud Computing provider in China – it has a whopping 22% share in China’s IaaS market whereas Amazon Web Service has a 28% share in the global IaaS market.
- Alibaba Cloud is pretty well known for its hybrid capabilities, higher scalability. Alibaba Cloud is now rising as another top global player in the cloud computing industry, providing robust services to people.
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8. Cisco CloudCenter:
Cisco’s CloudCenter is an application-centric hybrid cloud management platform which securely provisions infrastructure resources and has the ability to deploy applications across various data centers, private cloud and public cloud environments without any issues. It comes with a promise that it improves the IT speed and agility, ensures work optimization for users – thus enabling them to quickly model, deploy and also manage applications on any given environment. Having said that, it also ensures and delivers IT control to the administrators, as they would gain visibility and governance across boundaries of applications, environments, and users.
Cisco CloudCenter is the single platform solution with the hybrid cloud technology which ensures to abstract the application from the underlying cloud environment. A hybrid IT strategy is always successful with a flexible mix of IT service options across data center, private and public cloud environments. A need of the hour in the IT industry is to reduce the existing complexity and strategically able to manage financial, operational and security risks which popup from managing multiple applications scattered around various environments and are accessed by various sets of users.
Following are some of the advantages of using Cisco CloudCenter, let us now take a look at each and every one of them:
- Cisco’s CloudCenter simplifies the integration with AWS by allowing us to deploy virtual machines on demand.
- Enables us to manage and migrate images spread across multiple regions with ease.
- Allows us to deploy any application stack on demand.
- It also helps us automate the Continuous development process along with the Cloud provision as well.
- Provides a provision to auto-scale across all the availability zones.
- It allows us to benchmark on the price, performance and also lets us stay in control of the same.
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9. Google Firebase:
Google’s Firebase provides us the best possible platform to build portable and customizable business applications and there is no other option that fits this requirement any better than Firebase itself. To be very precise, it is a must-have for the business application development and also at the same time for the real-time database integration as well. Doing so, any user update on the database is propagated to the other users as notifications automatically. Backed by Google’s innovative features, Firebase ensures application configuration be automated completely. Having said that, every business venture tries its best to expand their follower base and also want to increase their profits levels – which is best done by Google’s Firebase!
Following are some of the advantages of using Google Firebase, let us now take a look at each and every one of them:
- Firebase’s free analytics dashboard is more than that one can ask for, with over a 500 event types to choose from for a report.
- Based on the data that is provided which is crystal clear, you can make your optimize your application further for better performances.
- Firebase does provide enough number of opportunities to create or develop superior quality applications and thus makes the application development a unique affair.
- Applications built over Firebase has the advantage of using Firebase’s feature to send invites from this itself.
- The built-in features of Firebase ensures application growth and also ensures to scale the application with time.
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Jelastic has the ability to provide an entire enterprise stack that can be installed on any server that has nothing pre-installed on it or any existing IaaS solution in hours. Most of these cloud IT resources can further be managed by administrators using a single management console. Jelastic is definitely one of the most favorite PaaS tool that helps developers to totally forget about the server or cloud configuration and to focus only on development tasks itself. Based on the usage and also if you want to scale your application horizontally or vertically, your payment varies as per your usage only.
Following are some of the advantages of using Jelastic, let us now take a look at each and every one of them:
- One of the biggest advantages of using Jelastic is its simplicity.
- Creation of a newer environment is done just in minutes and scrapping down something that is no longer required will be done just in a snap.
- Horizontally scaling your business application can be done via simpler configurations.
- The documentation that is provided along with the product is pretty good, self-explanatory to choose amongst the service providers and stuff like that.
- Provides wonderful support for a various number of technologies and service integrations.
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In this article, we have introduced to the concepts of Cloud, Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), and Platform as a Service (PaaS), how these concepts fit in the DevOps world. We have also gone through tools and also their advantages when put to use in the DevOps chain of tools. Hope you get all the information that you seek here and also at the same time, kindly provide your feedback so that we can work towards the betterment of future articles.