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How Developers Evaluate Cloud Services

February 2, 2015

Although there are many new “as a service” implementations enabled by the Cloud, the three most visible are Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Software as a Service (SaaS). For software developers these present very different configurations with differing benefits and drawbacks. Thus it’s no surprise that once a service has been instituted and adopted the criteria for evaluating that service varies considerably.

In our recently released Cloud Development Survey, a report of results of surveying over 500 software developers active in developing and/or deploying to the cloud, we asked about the evaluation criteria for each.  For more info see here –  http://www.evansdata.com/reports/viewRelease.php?reportID=27

When it comes to the bare metal IaaS, the top consideration for software developers is cost savings, followed by time savings. The ability to use hardware without purchasing it individually leads to much more efficient usage and thus cost savings. Developers can develop, test and deploy their apps on “shared” hardware and so can do things like scale up and down that would ordinarily be cost prohibitive. This was the primary virtue of Amazon Web Services cloud product when it pioneered this Cloud category and has been a main selling virtue for IaaS ever since.

With PaaS things get a little bit more complicated. Besides supplying the infrastructure, a PaaS provides a development environment, an operating system, and often tools and libraries to help developers code, test and deploy their apps. When considering this type of service, support becomes the number one criterion in evaluating the service, followed by time savings and overhead savings.

If an application is being delivered via SaaS, developers are most likely to be concerned with the application security first, and then think about overhead savings and support. Does this show suspicion about applications they don’t control? Maybe, but maybe it also reflects on the fact that developers may also be deploying their own applications to the Cloud and so echoes one of their primary concerns in development.

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