IT decisions and technology purchases can be daunting for a high-growth emerging business. You have a brilliant idea and a solid team. Now you need the technology to bring it to life. All you need to do is buy servers, storage, networking components, O/S platforms, applications and a whole bunch of other necessities. Oh you’ll also need to find room to store all of the equipment as well…
Or do you?
Enter the beautiful world of Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Software as a Service (SaaS). You can essentially outsource your entire IT department and access all the technology you need just by connecting to the web. We know this can get confusing so here is a graphic to help simplify everything.
IaaS – Infrastructure as a Service
This is the base layer of the three. The IaaS provider will be responsible for providing and managing all of the physical infrastructure, such as virtualization, servers, storage, and networking components. All you worry about providing and managing are the applications and the platform to run it on. Furthermore, you have the flexibility to scale quickly just by asking your provider to increase capacity should you need it. This is great for companies who want to leverage physical infrastructure, but still have full control over the platform and applications being used.
Notable IaaS Vendors: DreamHost, AWS, Microsoft Azure
PaaS – Platform as a Service
This is a layer above IaaS. Generally, PaaS offers all that IaaS offers as well as operating systems, database management, and middleware. All you have to do is worry about the applications and data. This is great for developers who want to focus on application development because it makes developing, testing, and deploying applications quicker, simpler, and more cost effective.
Notable PaaS Vendors: GAE (Google’s App Engine), Pivotal Cloud Foundry, AWS, Azure
SaaS – Software as a Service
This is the upper most layer, the icing on the cake. SaaS is the most common cloud computing service and many people probably don’t even know they are using it (i.e. Gmail). SaaS offers fully serviced software running on fully serviced infrastructure. The vendors manage everything from applications to platforms and infrastructure. This is great for those who want to just pay to use the application without any need to develop.
Notable SaaS Vendors: This is a bit trickier because there are so many different applications you can use and they are all categorized under software as a product (think of all the different applications you use on your computer!). Bottom line, there are a lot and we’d be happy to set up a free business consultation to learn more about your particular business needs and to advise you on how SaaS products can streamline your operations. Sign up here!
You can start to see how leveraging the as-a-Service industry can really help streamline your operations and save you money while doing so. Depending on which as-a-Service you go with you can:
- Outsource updates, maintenance, security, and storage of IT equipment and software.
- Access the service anywhere just by plugging into the web.
- Share resources across multiple devices.
- Have the flexibility to scale quickly by increasing capacity whenever demand increases.
- Pay only for what you use.
Hopefully this breakdown helps you so you can start making smarter IT purchasing decisions.
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