What’s annoying is that we don’t have new terms for these things, so they’re hard to express and talk about. Analysts are sort of coming up with the categories, some have great diagrams. But, because the chattering class (thought leaders) that determine words early on in technology cycles usually can’t get analyst reports, analysts have very little input into the discussion.
Basically, the words and concepts are now defined by Tweets. That’s probably…good?
Why is “PaaS” a forbidden word? I think there are three reasons, more or less in priority:
Sure, it’s great that kubernetes (seems to) have become the de facto
infrastructure design and runtime lifecycle definition. That is, it’s a standard way to package, configure, and run applications. This is a huge deal that we’ve sort of forgotten already - in that respect, kubernetes has finally become boring
! Historically, kubernetes came at a time when the idea PaaS was just figuring out the product/market fit for enterprises. Kubernetes became huge distraction from that: the vocal minority got very interested and that shifted “everyone”‘s interest to standardizing infrastructure instead of standardizing the appdev layer. Again: kubernetes is good! Just bad timing for PaaS developing as an idea and product in the market. This shift in interest spooked all the PaaS vendors who now had to focus on customer requests to do kubernetes stuff, most too late to ride the kubernetes wave of interest. Which lead to:
(3) PaaS vendors didn’t “win.”
There have been several rounds of PaaS vendors, including Pivotal where I worked (now part of VMware, where I still work) and several other vendors built on Cloud Foundry. There were and are many successful users of Cloud Foundry PaaSes
. But for all sorts of reasons, these PaaSes never achieved wide enough use to “win.” Tyler Jewewll’s annual developer landscape
puts the PaaS marketize at $5.26bn, which seems large, but is actually not when compared to the estimate of $49bn for developer all stuff
in the landscape. And, you know, AWS made $62.2bn last year
. Since I work here, it’s best that I don’t speculate too much. (But, you can see some in the Tweets Matt Asay includes in a recent column
, as well as other people’s.) Brian Gracey always has good commentary, listen to his explanation
. Despite this notion, there are many large organizations that are running Cloud Foundry with happy developers. Brian also did some good analysis of the PaaS space back in 2015
. The burger he came up with is still basically the same for the “we don’t talk about PaaS” stack, except there is only kubernetes at the bottom and it’s not labeled PaaS: