IaaS, SaaS, and PaaS – A Whole Lotta…

By: Alicia Hernandez, Think Technical Writer

WhaaaaaaaT? That’s a lot of aaS to squeeze into a single article! So this month, we’re going to focus on IaaS, and please keep a lookout for SaaS in February and PaaS in March. Who knows, by April, there may be more aaS offerings that Think can help you with.

No, we’re not talking about squats or lypo – we’re not helping you with THAT! IaaS is short for Infrastructure as a Service, and is an option for companies to outsource equipment such as storage, hardware, servers, and networking components. Hosted services such as IaaS, SaaS, and PaaS are proving their worth, as small and large companies alike are seeing the return on investment of these services.

IaaS, also known as HaaS (Hardware as a Service), can certainly be costly, so beware of the shock value. But before you go updating your datacenter and replacing the old hardware in your office or datacenter, evaluate the total cost of ownership (including employing System Administrators) and you too might come out ahead of the game with IaaS.

Where to begin? If you’re feeling overwhelmed, do not feel bad! There is actually a PHD offered for Cloud Economics, so this is not for the faint of heart. There are a lot of players in the hosted services game, and the differences go far beyond just price. You should consider things such as hardware VPN, software VPN, security, encryption, SLAs, downtime, uptime, ease of use, and additional platform services. Dan Sullivan of Tom’s IT PRO wrote the following bits and pieces to help you in your decision for the right provider:

  • Distinguishing features of top providers:
    • Amazon EC2 Cloud (Amazon AWS): “ offers specialized services aimed at well-established needs (Slide 2)”
      • Most supplementary services!
      • Compute & Storage + multiple database options, message queue services, a MapReduce platform, data workflow system, and dedicated hardware security modules (HSM)
    • Microsoft Windows Azure – does not just offer Microsoft operating systems!
      • “…done its part to ensure even users who are not seasoned system administrators can get started in the cloud (Slide 2)” with their self-service management console
      • Mobile applications, media processing, and distribution
      • Support two-factor authentication
    • Google Compute Engine – more of a simple approach
      • The ability to run and analyze terabytes of data will make it an appealing option for big data analysis, especially for those who prefer to work with SQL rather than MapReduce
    • Rackspace
      • Supporter of OpenStack, the open source cloud platform
    • IBM SmartCloud and HP Cloud
      • Customers who want both public and private clouds
    • RightScale and Cloudyn
      • Also offers management services and resource optimization services

If you’re interested in reading Dan’s full article to learn more about the complexity of choosing your managed service vendor, it can be found here. Or, take all the frustration and headache out of choosing between these companies and check out Think’s offerings! You may just find the right solution for you and your company lies within hiring someone else to do the hard work for you.

 

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