CloudBees generates a buzz around PaaS with help of AWS

Developers use platform-as-a-service solutions to create applications in the cloud

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is helping CloudBees to generate a buzz around its platform-as-a-service (PaaS) offering, which is being used by an increasing number of start-ups and enterprises.

Belgium-headquartered CloudBees claims that its AWS-based PaaS enables Java developers to build and test mobile and web applications more quickly than they would if they did it in house as it means they don't have to worry about the underlying infrastructure they're working on.

The company, which now has 500 paying businesses on its books, announced yesterday that the number of new customers signing up to its cloud service doubled in the first half of 2013 compared to the same period last year, suggesting that enterprises and start-ups are increasingly looking to PaaS to build apps. Indeed, enterprises including eBay, HP and Cisco have all used the CloudBees platform, as have start-ups such as story-sharing app Movellas and weight-loss app Lose It.

CloudBees CEO Sacha Labourey told Techworld that choosing AWS was an easy decision.

"Currently, AWS is considered to be the "de facto" public cloud provider in the world and consequently this is what most of our customers want to be running on," he said. "We have several hundred servers running on AWS at all times, some shared among multiple customers (our default practice), others dedicated."

CloudBees spends close to a million pounds a year on Amazon's services, including EC2, EBS and S3, in addition to RDS, Route53 and CDN.

However, Labourey revealed that the firm is also in discussions with other IaaS providers.

"We are still in close discussions with numerous large size hosting providers or telco operators interested in providing CloudBees on top of their IaaS offering," he said. "Those providers can offer proximity and a trust relationship with enterprises that AWS can't necessarily achieve today.

Labourey added that it's not just start-ups with few IT resources that are looking to the cloud these days, claiming large enterprises that have traditionally avoided developing apps in the cloud due to security concerns are becoming increasingly confident.

The founder admitted that the PaaS market is still fairly small at the moment but believes that it's doubling every year. He said there are roughly a dozen vendors delivering PaaS, including IBM, Oracle, Google and even AWS.

The growing market has helped CloudBees expand its footprint with new offices in Brussels and Redmond to complement existing bases in San Francisco and Boston.

Labourey said that CloudBees is hoping to open a London office in the next 12 months and add another 20 members to his 80-strong team.

Market Monitor, a service of 451 Research, recently forecast that PaaS would be the fastest growing area of cloud computing, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 41 precent through 2016, while cloud overall would have a CAGR of 36 percent.

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