Cloud TriangleNow that the cloud buzz is everywhere, there have been some acronyms coming out to classify the types of services offered.  From the people I’ve talked to, internal and external to my organization, the most popular term has been software as a service (SaaS).  I hadn’t heard of additional prefixes used with AAS (as a service) until last week.  I am convinced that cloud services will play a large part in the future of information technology service delivery and I feel it’s important to understand service type variations.  Cloud oriented acronyms appear to be spoken often but do we all know what they mean?  What is their relationship to one another, how do they fit in the cloud?  How can each type deliver value to the enterprise?

1. Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) – Represents a foundation consisting of hardware such as servers, networking, and storage in a virtual, scalable, on-demand model over the internet.  With capabilities like this you can quickly build environments in minutes instead of days. Who’s offering this type of service?  Check out GoGrid and Terremark Hosting.

2. Platform as a Service (PaaS) – Allows for development for the cloud where packages can utilize a shared platform as well as controller capabilities.  Developers write their own code and the platform provider transmits and presents it to the web.   Who’s offering this type of service?  Check out Force.com by Salesforce.  Develop your own app on their platform and you may increase your time to market exponentially.

3. Software as a Service (SaaS) – Specific software or applications delivered over the internet.  You can think of it as renting software while you need it.  Many organizations are jumping to software as a service to get on board with standardization, industry best practices, and quicker ROI.  A small business can utilize enterprise class software without enterprise infrastructure in house.  Who’s offering software as a service?  Everyone.  Check out CA Technologies.

New to PaaS? Here’s a video demonstration from Salesforce.

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