Cloud Service Solutions
Most cloud computing services fall into three broad categories: infrastructure as a service (IaaS), platform as a service (PaaS), and software as a service (Saas). These are sometimes called the cloud computing stack, because they build on top of one another. Knowing what they are and how they’re different makes it easier to accomplish your business goals.
Software as a service (SaaS)
Software as a service (SaaS) is a software licensing and delivery model in which software is licensed on a subscription basis and is centrally hosted. It is sometimes referred to as “on-demand software”, and was formerly referred to as “software plus services” by Microsoft. SaaS is typically accessed by users using a thin client via a web browser.
SaaS has become a common delivery model for many business applications, including office software, messaging software, payroll processing software, DBMS software, management software, CAD software, development software, gamification, virtualization, accounting, collaboration, customer relationship management (CRM), Management Information Systems (MIS), enterprise resource planning (ERP), invoicing, human resource management (HRM), talent acquisition, learning management systems, content management (CM), and service desk management. SaaS has been incorporated into the strategy of nearly all leading enterprise software companies.
According to a Gartner Group estimate, SaaS sales in 2010 reached $10 billion.
SaaS applications are also known as Web-based software, on-demand software and hosted software.
The term “Software as a Service” (SaaS) is considered to be part of the nomenclature of cloud computing, along with Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), Desktop as a Service (DaaS), managed software as a service (MSaaS), mobile backend as a service (MBaaS), and information technology management as a service (ITMaaS).
Platform as a service (PaaS)
Platform as a Service (PaaS) or Application Platform as a Service (aPaaS) or platform-based service is a category of cloud computing services that provide a platform allowing customers to develop, run, and manage applications without the complexity of building and maintaining the infrastructure typically associated with developing and launching an app.
PaaS can be delivered in three ways:
- as a public cloud service from a provider, where the consumer controls software deployment with minimal configuration options, and the provider provides the networks, servers, storage, operating system (OS), middleware (e.g. Java runtime, .NET runtime, integration, etc.), database and other services to host the consumer’s application.
- as a private service (software or appliance) behind a firewall.
- as software deployed on a public infrastructure as a service.
Infrastructure as a service (IaaS) is a form of cloud computing that provides virtualized computing resources over the internet. IaaS is one of the three main categories of cloud computing services, alongside software as a service (SaaS) and platform as a service (PaaS).
IaaS architecture and how it works:
In an IaaS model, a cloud provider hosts the infrastructure components traditionally present in an on-premises data center, including servers, storage, and networking hardware, as well as the virtualization or hypervisor layer.
The IaaS provider also supplies a range of services to accompany those infrastructure components. These can include detailed billing, monitoring, log access, security, load balancing, and clustering, as well as storage resiliency, such as backup, replication, and recovery. These services are increasingly policy-driven, enabling IaaS users to implement greater levels of automation and orchestration for important infrastructure tasks. For example, a user can implement policies to drive load balancing to maintain application availability and performance.
IaaS customers access resources and services through a wide area network (WAN), such as the internet, and can use the cloud provider’s services to install the remaining elements of an application stack. For example, the user can log in to the IaaS platform to create virtual machines (VMs); install operating systems in each VM; deploy middleware, such as databases; create storage buckets for workloads and backups, and install the enterprise workload into that VM. Customers can then use the provider’s services to track costs, monitor performance, balance network traffic, troubleshoot application issues, manage disaster recovery and more.