- Microsoft encourages app deployment via Azure, but dev/test remains prominent use case
- PaaS vendors’ eventual move to common code base will ease move from dev/test to production
Microsoft is telling channel partners and enterprises that in the next two years, half of the Fortune 500 companies will be on the Windows Azure cloud model. In fact, I just read Microsoft has partnered with NBC to LiveStream the Sochi Olympics through Windows Azure Media Services. But I keep wondering when Azure will move beyond its compute and network use scenarios and more deeply into platform-as-a-service (PaaS) scenarios. Because what I’m hearing from SIs is that enterprise developers’ use of Azure remains largely limited to development and testing (dev/test) of applications, and less around application deployment/production and integration.
Even Microsoft recognizes the low hanging fruit of dev/test. It has focused much of its marketing campaigns around its dev/test services, including offering attractive MSDN subscription discounts in recent months. Microsoft encourages developers to use the cloud for dev/test for its self-service benefits in being able to spin up/down resources without waiting for resources from IT, then deploy those apps through customers’ existing on-premises servers, while leveraging the cloud as a preproduction environment.
In all fairness, this slow move to deploy apps into the cloud as production environments is common among leading PaaS offerings, including Red Hat OpenShift, Pivotal Cloud Foundry, and IBM SmartCloud Application Services. This is why these vendors are (or will be) moving towards using a common code base for both public and private clouds, so that enterprises can conduct dev/test in the cloud, and then chose whichever cloud environment is most appropriate for their app deployment. Once developers have the ability to move from development to production “with the push of a button,’’ as some vendors now claim, PaaS adoption will take off.