Where to start this discussion?
Are you looking at an expensive hardware refresh? Over paying for licesnes? Need a sandbox to test your ideas? Need to scale quickly? Teams need better collaboration? Can't afford to add IT staff?
There are many great reasons for having your operating systems, applications or hardware based in the Cloud. Most likely, if you're here you already know. If not, that's ok too. Our expert connections can talk the talk at any level. Ideas and insight are always free here. Set a meeting with us because moving to the cloud is always an exciting conversation.
There are three main categories of cloud computing service.
Infrastructure as a service (IaaS)
Software as a service (SaaS)
Platform as a service (PaaS)
Infrastructure as a service (IaaS) is a service model that delivers computer infrastructure on an outsourced basis to support enterprise operations. Typically, IaaS provides hardware, storage, servers and data center space or network components; it may also include software.
Infrastructure as a service (IaaS) is also known as hardware as a service (HaaS).
An IaaS provider provides policy-based services and is responsible for housing, operating and maintaining the equipment it provides for a client. Clients usually pay on a per-use or utility computing basis.
Characteristics of IaaS include:
• Automated administrative tasks
• Dynamic scaling
• Platform virtualization
• Internet connectivity
Software as a service (SaaS) is a model for the distribution of software where customers access software over the Internet. In SaaS, a service provider hosts the application at its data center and a customer accesses it via a standard web browser.
There are a few major characteristics that apply to most SaaS vendors:
• Updates are applied automatically without customer intervention
• The service is purchased on a subscription basis
• No hardware is required to be installed by the customer
SaaS is also known as hosted software or on-demand software.
SaaS is a natural evolution of software. The old model of getting physical DVDs and installing on local servers was the only realistic solution for many years. In fact, the client-server model is still required for many scenarios. That said, in recent years a number of developments have allowed SaaS to become mainstream. One factor is bandwidth; the internet is simply faster than it was a decade ago. Other major factors include the evolution of both virtualization and tools in big data. All these advances have made it much easier for providers to scale and manage their own infrastructure and thus provide SaaS solutions.
SaaS is used in a number of common business areas, including customer relationship management (CRM), document management, accounting, human resource (HR) management, service desk management, content management and collaboration. There are literally thousands of SaaS vendors, but Salesforce.com is perhaps the best known example, as it is one of the first vendors to significantly disrupt a traditional software vertical.
SaaS is closely related to platform as a service (PaaS) and infrastructure as a service (IaaS). It falls under the umbrella of the larger category of cloud computing, although many people view the terms as synonymous.
Platform as a service (PaaS) is a concept that describes a computing platform that is rented or delivered as an integrated solution, solution stack or service through an Internet connection.
The solution stack may be a set of components or software subsystems used to develop a fully functional product or service, such as a web application that uses an OS, web server, database and programming language. More generically, the solution stack may deliver an OS, middleware, database or application.
PaaS evolved from software as a service (SaaS), which uses the Internet to host software applications. PaaS is the center of the five layers of cloud computing. The two layers above PaaS are the client (hardware and software) and application (including SaaS) layers. Below the PaaS are the infrastructure – including infrastructure as a service (IaaS) - and server (hardware and software) layers.
The PaaS service delivery model allows a customer to rent virtualized servers and associated services used to run existing applications, or to design, develop, test, deploy and host applications.
PaaS offerings include a variety of services and service combinations spanning the application development lifecycle. Typical service features include source code control and tracking, versioning, testing and build process management tools.
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