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Defining the 'aaS' Environment

10 Jun 2015 by Jessica Hall

You’re likely very familiar with Software as a Service (SaaS), but how much do you know about the other “aaS” products?

Sometimes called “on-demand software,” SaaS users are granted access to applications and databases under a subscription fee or pay-per-use cost structure, reducing operational expenses and required resources. Streamlining upkeep, the user isn’t responsible for managing the platform and infrastructure — the cloud provider handles this.

Common Characteristics

SaaS is akin to Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), as they share many of the same characteristics. These three cloud service models are similar in the following ways:

  • All three are on-demand, self-service solutions, allowing your organization to autonomously and automatically provide computing capabilities as needed.
  • You’re granted broad network access with standardizations in place.
  • The provider’s computing resources are pooled to serve multiple clients with different virtual and physical resources leveraged, all according to demand.
  • Offering rapid elasticity, organizations who leverage these systems can purchase capabilities in what appear to be unlimited quantities at any time.
  • Cloud systems instantaneously manage and enhance resource usage.

Defining PaaS and IaaS

Sharing many of the same characteristics of SaaS, PaaS and IaaS products can benefit many IT departments. To give you a better understanding of these solutions, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) defines those two lesser-known service models as outlined below:

  • Platform-as-a-Service allows your organization to deploy applications onto the cloud infrastructure, given the programming languages and tools align with those supported by the provider. While your organization won’t manage the infrastructure, you will have control over the installed applications, and you may even be able to manage the hosting environment configurations for each application.
  • Infrastructure-as-a-Service will allow your company to provision resources — including those related to storage, networks, computing and processing — as well as deploy, and run operating systems and applications. You’ll be able to control those components, but you won’t be able to manage the underlying physical infrastructure.

Having fostered close partner relationships with virtualized infrastructure leaders —  VMware, Microsoft, HP, Cisco and Veeam — we offer you the fastest route to a seamless hybrid cloud. Our other partners in the “aaS” environment include Trend Micro, Citrix, Dell, Lenovo and Micron.

Other “aaS” Models

There are two other service models in the “aaS” environment: IT Management as a Service (ITMaaS) and IT as a Service (ITaaS).

Providing service desk management, change and configuration management, incident management and problem management for its users, ITMaaS is a cloud-based IT service management tool. While it’s not a cloud service model, ITaaS is an operational model at its core. ITaaS is defined as the instance when an IT department of an enterprise is run like business, operating and managing itself as an individual business entity, creating its own products and services to serve the needs of the other line of departments within the enterprise. 

To learn more about these services, explore Insight’s cloud solutions.