Everybody speaks about the cloud-computing era, but only few understand what “cloud” really is.
You have noticed terms ending with “as a service” more often lately. When you came across “something as a service”, well… that is cloud service.
Cloud service is about using other resources in order to get an output on your machine.
Let us say that you want to play a game. In classic view “as a product”: 1. Check for system requirements, 2. Buy the game, 3. Install the game, 4. Register your game, 5. Play the game.
In cloud view “as a service”: 1. Buy online subscription, 2. Play the game.
As you can see: you will use less disk space, there will be no need for premium gaming rigs and of course, “the product” (in our example – the game on DVD or BR disk) will no longer exist in physical form.
This example can be applied to almost all IT products. We have 4 progressive “as a service” structures:
- Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS): we use other hardware resources. Example: a remote ftp server or a file sharing service.
- Platform as a Service (PaaS): the provider delivers both hardware resources and administration facilities. Example: a webhosting service where you have HDD space, active web servers, cPanel admin software and other web development tools.
- Software as a Service (SaaS): the SaaS provider offers you the ability to run applications that are hosted by the provider. Example: Microsoft Office 365 where you work on their servers and save your work there or on your local machine.
- Business Process as a Service (BPaas/BaaS): it takes all the steps you have to do in order to complete a business process. There is a great diversity of examples here but one of the basic BaaS is the order-to-cash online selling process.
The main reason of cloud service blooming is the need for externalization, speed, insurance and cost cutting. You don’t have to buy a hardware/software product for its entire lifecycle; now you can buy subscription for using it only for a limited period of time.