The advent of cloud computing brought with it more than just a place to store data, the cloud could be used for running, as well as building, applications and other software.
Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) is the most commonly used of the cloud services model. This is where a third party distributes software over the internet, making them available to everyone. This could be email, customer relationship management, and healthcare-related applications.
- SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) – A software distribution model where a third-party hosts the application and delivers it to customers via the internet. SaaS is one of three main components of cloud computing. The other two are Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS).
There are several important characteristics tied to the SaaS model. These are how they differ from the traditional software model and what make it ideal for some businesses versus the traditional way of doing things.
- It’s a uniform platform for delivery. There is no need to pay extra operational overhead for software users to go through different distribution channels. It’s all done in one platform with a single avenue of distribution.
- It has centralized hosting and delivery. No more different software packages for different operating systems or platforms. With SaaS, it functions on a single platform (the internet) with a uniform interface.
- It allows for open collaboration and sharing. With SaaS, platform tools like automated user provisioning and self-service account management provides users with the necessary tools to control how and when they share things like tasks, data and information with other users either inside or outside their company.
It’s easy for companies to streamline their support with SaaS because vendors perform all the maintenance and upkeep: updates, runtime, servers, storage, data, etc. SaaS is one of three main components to cloud computing, along with Platform as a Service (SaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS).
- HaaS (Hardware-as-a-Service) – A procurement (the series of activities and procedures necessary to acquire IT products and services) model similar to leasing or licensing. The hardware belongs to the managed service provider and is installed at a customer’s site, then a service level agreement is signed that fills out what both parties are responsible for.
The Hardware-as-a-service (HaaS) model can be a cost-effective way for a small or mid-sized business to provide employees with state-of-the-art hardware in a cost-effective manner. HaaS can be contrasted to infrastructure-as-a-service where the hardware is housed at co-location site.
Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) is for running applications and providing cloud components to software. Basically, the customer is using the provided platform, such as Microsoft Azure, to use libraries, languages, services and other tools supported by the platform provider.
The same way that you would make macros in Microsoft Excel, PaaS allows you to create applications using software built into the PaaS. Applications that use PaaS will inherit cloud capabilities such as scalability, high-availability, SaaS enablement and more. It reduces the amount of coding needed, it automates business policy and it helps migrate apps to a hybrid model.
Some vendors of PaaS use open source platforms while others use more of a proprietary version. Open source might have the advantage of being portable, but a vendor specific version will probably have a better support model. Your business should take into account these versions before picking their PaaS. Portability is very important for organizations that seek flexibility to move between cloud platforms as their strategy evolves.
- What are the benefits of PaaS?
One benefit is cost reduction; the other is that you can deliver web apps quickly without installing any tools or software.
- What costs are associated with PaaS?
PaaS is usually billed using the same model as your utility bill, you pay for only what you use. It eliminates the need to install hardware or software that you don’t need.
- What type of businesses can benefit from PaaS?
Development teams who want to speed their application’s time to market can benefit from PaaS; businesses looking to put their applications on a common architecture; and organizations who need critical support would also benefit from using PaaS. It reduces IT costs, complexity of operating systems and increases scalability.
Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) is a cloud infrastructure service that is a self-service model for accessing, monitoring and managing remote data centers such as compute, storage, networking and networking services such as firewalls. So instead of buying hardware outright, you pay for what you need as you go. It’s consumption based, much like your electricity is now.
Unlike PaaS and SaaS, IaaS users are responsible for managing data, runtime, apps and operating systems on it. The provider still manages core networking, hardware virtualization and storage architectures. Many providers now offer databases and other services. But the user is responsible for updating if there any updates.
Want to learn more about which cloud strategy is right for you? Contact our team at Imagis via our contact us page.