Our long-running blog series, “How to Speak Like a Data Center Geek,” has worked to demystify the complexities of the data center. In the same spirit, we are kicking off a complementary cloud series called, “How to Converse in Cloud.” In this inaugural blog, we talk about established and emerging cloud services that are contributing to the dramatic 19.4% compound annual growth rate in public cloud services spending, from $70 billion in 2015 to $141 billion by 2019.
Many enterprises are juggling three primary “as-a-service” categories to best scale their business and IT service delivery via the cloud: Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS). These services enable organizations to build, deploy and buy virtualized computing resources using more cost-effective, pay-as-you-use pricing models that have changed the way companies everywhere are consuming IT. Here’s a look at all three and some of their data-driven, cloud storage offshoots.
Imagine an IT service delivery infrastructure that you don’t have to purchase, house, manage or update. IaaS makes all of your physical and virtual computing resources (compute, storage, operating systems and to some extent networking, etc.) accessible as you need them. The main benefit is you can still design and control the IT infrastructure you want without investing heavily in CAPEX and OPEX.
PaaS falls somewhere in between SaaS and IaaS. What makes it distinct is that it enables you to develop and deploy applications using the programming languages, libraries, services, and tools supported by the PaaS provider to bring products and services to market faster. So application developers don’t have to worry about available computing resources because they can leverage the PaaS provider’s IaaS environment, as well as its SaaS-like application development tools and hosting services.
Don’t want the expense or hassle of deploying and revving applications? Then SaaS is the way to go. Companies don’t need to own or maintain software applications, and updates can be delivered in real time versus waiting for them to be pushed out by IT. Just run a thin-client or Web browser on your device of choice to access a wealth of applications over the Internet as needed (Yes, there’s an app for that!).
Much of the confusion around these services is rooted in the fact that many cloud providers now offer all three. That makes it almost impossible to differentiate each type of service by provider. The real work for your business will be to decide which services and providers best match the workloads you are trying to support.
Cloud Storage Offshoots
Cloud storage services could possibly mash-up into one of the fastest growing niche cloud service markets based on their growing prevalence along-side SaaS, IaaS and PaaS offerings. Here are some notable cloud storage services:
STaaS (Storage-as-a-Service) – You’re using SaaS if you are storing photos from your smartphone or sharing documents with other users. As the amount of data increases and storage costs rise exponentially, parking portions of your personal and business storage in the cloud is inevitable.
DBaaS (Database-as-a-Service) – The complexity of database management often requires a team of database administrators to select and maintain single or multiple database platforms, and continuously optimize them. DBaaS eliminates the need for costly management resources and storage infrastructure by placing the burden on the DBaaS provider.
DRaaS (Disaster-Recovery-as-a-Service) – DRaaS eliminates the muss, fuss and cost of physically creating and maintaining a geographically separate data center for disaster recovery. It replicates your data center resources in the cloud and makes them available when you most need them. If you don’t need to completely replicate your IT infrastructure, but want to still protect your data, then consider BaaS (Backup-as-a-Service).
In this new “there’s a service for that,” world, choosing the best cloud services will depend on your workloads, and connecting to that service will depend on your cloud interconnection strategy. Stay tuned for upcoming “How to Converse in Cloud” articles to learn more.