Confusion Continues With Cloud Computing And SaaS Definitions
Coincidence or just brilliance must be in the air as three esteemed industry colleagues, Phil Wainewright, Michael Cote, and James Governor, have both decided to clarify definitions on SaaS and Cloud within a few days of each other. In fact, this couldn’t be more timely as SaaS and Cloud enter into mainstream discussion with next gen CIO’s evaluating their apps strategies. A few common misconceptions often include:
- “That hosting thing is like SaaS”
- “Cloud, SaaS, all the same, we don’t own anything”
- “OnDemand is Cloud Computing”
- “ASP, Hosting, SaaS seems all the same”
- “It all costs the same so what does it matter to me?”
- “Why should I care if its multi-tenant or not?
- “What’s this private cloud versus public cloud?”
Cloud Computing Represents The New Delivery Model For Internet Based IT services
Traditional and Cloud based delivery models share 4 key parts (see Figure 1):
- Consumption – how users consume the apps and business processes
- Creation – what’s required to build apps and business processes
- Orchestration – how parts are integrated or pulled from an app server
- Infrastructure – where the core guts such as servers, storage, and networks reside
As the über category, Cloud Computing comprises of
- Business Services and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) – The traditional apps layer in the cloud includes software as a service apps, business services, and business processes on the server side.
- Development-as-a-Service (DaaS) – Development tools take shape in the cloud as shared community tools, web based dev tools, and mashup based services.
- Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) – Middleware manifests in the cloud with app platforms, database, integration, and process orchestration.
- Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) – The physical world goes virtual with servers, networks, storage, and systems management in the cloud.
Figure 1. Traditional Delivery Compared To Cloud Based Delivery
The Apps Layer In The Cloud Represents Many Flavors From Hosted To True SaaS
SaaS purists often challenge vendors on delivery models in the cloud at the apps layer (see Figure 2). Often classified as OnDemand, there are 3 common approaches:
- Single Instance – (a.k.a. “On Demand”). Think traditional apps deployed one cusotmer per app or per server. Many vendors provide hosting capabilities. Customers don’t worry about the IT infrastructure and retain the flexibility to modify, customize, and in most cases choose when they want to change the code. All customers can use different versions of the software
- Multi Instance – (a.k.a. “Server Virtualized”). Think “VMware” like. Apps deployed into a shared-web hosting environment. A single instance copy of the app is configured and deployed into a web directory for each customer. Vendor benefit from easier to manage multi-instance environments. Customers don’t worry about the IT infrastructure and retain the flexibility to modify, customize, and in most cases choose when they want to change the code. All customers can use different versions of the software.
- Multi-tenant – (a.k.a. “True SaaS”). Apps in a multi-tenant deployments provide a single operating environment shared by multiple customers. Config files are created and deployed each time a customer request services. Customers don’t worry about the IT infrastructure and retain the flexibility to modify, configure but NOT customize the code. Customers usually receive upgrades at the same time. Everyone shares the same code.
(See the full post @ R “Ray” Wang’s A Software Insider’s Point Of View)
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