Matching technology to your business needs is always complicated. When it comes to cloud, understanding the different “as a service” models is important to make sure you receive the benefits you’re hoping to get by using this technology.
Software as a Service
Software as a Service (SaaS) is perhaps the simplest cloud model. In SaaS, you are a subscriber to an application. The application vendor hosts the application on their own site and stores all the data at their site as well. You have no responsibility for supporting the hardware or for making sure there’s sufficient storage for your data. You are also not responsible for applying any patches or updating the application. However, you are responsible for ensuring that user privileges are granted only to authorized employees.
Infrastructure as a Service
With Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), the cloud provider gives you a virtual machine and storage, both sized according to your requirements. You’ll also get the basic networking services. The cloud provider handles the hardware support. You are responsible for all application support, usually including the operating system. The cloud provider will ensure the physical facility is secure, but you’ll need to handle the security of your virtual machines and your applications.
Platform as a Service
Platform as a Service (PaaS) provides you a virtual machine and frameworks needed to deploy and run applications. The goal is for these services to allow your internal developers to write, test, and deploy code faster, often using a “DevOps” methodology. In some ways, PaaS is like SaaS, where your developers are the subscribers to the development software.
All three of these models offer agility and scalability. You can add users and resources on demand, as you need them. There can be large cost savings, as you don’t need to have spare capacity purchased and provisioned in advance.
Software as a Service is ideal when there’s a vendor product that provides the exact functionality you need or the application isn’t a core business function. Platform as a Service is the right choice when you need to build custom applications but don’t want or need to handle the lower-level infrastructure that supports them. Infrastructure as a Service gives you the most control and the most flexibility to tailor your cloud environment to your exact specifications.
Everything as a Service
In addition to the three “standard” cloud models, you’ll find many other products offered “as a Service.” This includes Database as a Service (DBaaS), Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS), Desktop as a Service (DaaS), Identity as a Service (IDaaS), Security as a Service (SECaaS), and more. These offerings provide access to specialized functions and may be appropriate choices to meet specific technology needs.
Adopting and Adapting to Cloud
Whichever cloud model you choose, it will take time to adapt to it. You’ll need to migrate your existing technology to the new cloud platform and train your team to monitor and manage it. It’s often helpful to get support from a managed services provider with expertise in cloud to make sure your new environment operates properly and you get the benefits you expected.
CCS Technology Group provides cloud services that help you turn the flexibility of cloud into a competitive advantage. Contact us to learn more about choosing and using the right “as a Service” model for your business.