Monday, June 27, 2011

Possible Use Cases For Platform as a Service?

I am wondering if the following use cases qualify for being a first foray into Application Infrastructure Virtualization or more loosely Platform as a Service (PaaS)?

For instance, would I be able to deploy a shared global service that has a wide variety of consumers with different usage peaks?  These peaks could coincide with global marketing events where  by the compute cycles available for the service that is hosted in the different regions could be varied by just changing the provisioning policies.

In addition, I am looking for the platform to be able to insure that the commerce site has the ability to honor the QoS needs of its' key subscribers/ top rated customers even during times of unpredictable bursts.  So the question is does anyone know of PaaS or Application Infrastructure Virtualization platforms that are able to provide such an elasticity in the platform to scale up or to throttle the compute resources specifically based on consumer calls.  Is there a possibility for management of these resource pools  with specific routing rules that protect high value transactions during peaks without causing overall service disruption?

In addition, I could see how a PaaS could be useful in creating a "shared" prod-like stress/ load environment where by the usage of this environment is governed based on policies that determine who and what gets access to the shared stress environment compute resources.  This would enable the business services to also be tested to insure that they are able to optimally use dynamic clusters without "wasting" too many resources in "hydrating" and "persisting" in-process state.  Also, key would be to leverage capabilities of the platform to test how the service is able to honor calls from different consumers with different SLAs and service priority levels.  

Finally, the platform's ability to dial down resource allocation to the business service would come in handy to test behavior of the business service to analyze how it handles lower priority tasks that may be need to operate under resource starvation conditions.  This use case also could be used to bring down the overall cost of offering a business service at base levels of utilzation to keep cost of offering this "seasonal" service low. 

The idea in all cases would be to insulate the business service from having to "hard wire" the decisions of work load and resource management with deployment platform providing the ability to do so just based policies and QoS based resource provisioning.

I am curious to find out what if any experience you have had with the commercial PaaS solutions.  Your feedback is invaluable!!

surekha -