As the cost-efficient and productivity-inducing IT solution called cloud computing live up to its well-touted advantages, and as the potential end-users are becoming even more familiar what it is and why it is beneficial in an enterprise, a look at its three service models seems to make the understanding of cloud computing reach a whole new level.
In staying abreast of what cloud computing actually is, what’s in it for you, and which service model will best suit your organization’s needs, preference, and level of control, here’s a closer look at its three types: IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS.
In this cloud service model, the control ranges from managing applications, data, operating system, middleware (or plumbing), and runtime. In other words, you take care of the cloud’s infrastructure as well, giving you the discretion to customize as many features as you want and need.
The IaaS service model is useful for those who prefer to design and develop most of the features and capabilities that they want their own cloud to have. The cloud provider is then left with the responsibility of taking care of the virtualization, servers, and networking.
What’s good about this service model is that though there are a number of things which resides within your control, your expenses on hardware, human capital and risk in return-on-investment is much lesser.
Professionals who are developing a new software product may most benefit from an IaaS cloud service model. Hosting and testing their software product through a cloud will enable them to follow their budget while they are still in the crucial hit and miss stage of the software they are developing.
The IaaS service model is also advisable for enterprises whose core competency is developing or managing their own applications, data, and operating system. Examples of IaaS providers are IBM Softlayer, Hewlett Packard Converged Infrastructure, Google Compute Engine and Cisco.
Unlike the IaaS service model, the things you manage in PaaS are much lesser. In this model, you only need to think about using the platform provided by the cloud provider of your choice and build the project or product your enterprise aims to work on. Everything else—such as the operating system, data storage, hardware, middleware—rests upon the shoulder of the cloud vendor.
What’s good about the PaaS model is that there is a streamlined version deployment with minimal expenses, plus you are granted the capability to upgrade.
This is advisable for developers of software, applications, and websites who would like to spend less or nothing at all when it comes to the hardware and data storage they need to use in developing their product.
One example of a PaaS provider is Salesforce, Google App engine, and Amazon Web Services or AWS.
The SaaS model probably grants you the least control and management in your adopted cloud product. In this model, your only job is to simply use cloud computing and get to work; all the dirty work on management and maintenance in order to run, operate, and upgrade the software is already being handled by the cloud vendor.
This service model allows users to have better collaboration especially in the workplace setting as their applications and output, that are running, produced, and coursed through in the same cloud, are assured to be compatible to each other.
SaaS products are widely used in various industries as it offers functional applications such as customer relations management or CRM, product lifecycle management or PLM, and business intelligence or BI.
One of the latest SaaS innovations may also be beneficial in human capital management such as Oracle’s modern HR in the cloud.
So, which cloud service model should you and your team actually use? In Techradar’s interview with the VP and Principal Architect for Cloud Technology Partners, Mark Kavis, he points out that the best service model one should use depends greatly on what is right for the application.
Considerations in deciding what cloud service model to adopt is examining what you would prefer and need. Would you prefer coding and designing your own cloud? Would you like to code and design using your own company’s data storage and hardware? Or would you want something that is already deployed and ready to use?
As a whole, the common advantage which all these service models share is the fact that you only pay for what you need, and you can access these needs anytime, anywhere, and in whatever device you may own.
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