“PaaS, is fraught with pitfalls and dangers that could cause your application to stop running at any point. Moreover, should this occur, the ability to identify and correct the problem may be so far out of your hands that only by spending an inordinate amount of time with your PaaS provider’s support personnel could the problem be corrected.” - JP Morgenthal, Cloud Business Director, EMC
There are many reasons why IT organizations are looking at outsourced managed services and in the cloud Platform as a Service (PaaS) including cost control & reduction, increased efficiency & scalability, a re-focusing on core business, etc. But there are pitfalls and risks with this, some of which can only be truly mitigated with even greater observability and (automated) control over applications and services than has ever been needed or achieved within the private domain.
Today companies need to be increasingly agile in perceiving, reacting and adapting to changes in the environment. This causes a company and its systems to be doused in a continuous flow of change. But change is the enemy of control when systems themselves are not reactive and adaptive, especially cost control, which is why managed services vendors can at times appear to put procedures and practices in place that deliberately restrict this important flow (the life of the company in some cases). The problem here is that both parties involved are oblivious to what the other is doing and more importantly the underlying behavioral, state and quality aspects of the application or service being managed. The infrastructure appears as a black box to the customer – not necessarily a problem until there is a problem. The application appears as a black box to the managed services vendor – this is always a problem unless the vendor has sufficient application visibility, expertise, insight and change control which generally resides with the customer especially for custom(ized) applications and services.
“Let me put your black box into this other bigger black box. Trust me, I know what I’m doing.”