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Platform as a service moves into the data center

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Public clouds are hardly the only form that cloud computing has taken. Public clouds are hardly the only form that cloud computing has taken.

PaaS got its start as purely hosted offerings. But we're starting to see a lot more discussion about transplanting the approach into the enterprise data center.

Early discussion of cloud computing focused on the public option. In fact, the economic concept of computing delivered as a sort of utility by mega service providers such as Amazon, Google, and Microsoft was at the core of the original cloud-computing concept.

As it turns out though, these public clouds are hardly the only form that cloud computing has taken. Computing is more complicated than a true utility like electricity. For this and other reasons, private and hybrid clouds -- which use computers and other IT resources controlled by a single organization -- have evolved to become an important part of the landscape.

However, to date, private and hybrid takes on cloud have mostly been confined to infrastructure as a service (IaaS). With IaaS, users make self-service requests for IT resources like compute, storage, and networking. These resources are often presented to users in the form of services, rather than raw resources, but they still largely mimic the physical server world. You, as a developer, must still start with a base operating system and install whatever tooling and middleware hasn't been preloaded into the standard service before you can begin developing applications. This isn't much different from the system administration duties required for a physical server.

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