SaaS – Software as a Service
PaaS – Platform as a Service
IaaS – Infrastructure as a Service
On-Prem – Traditional On Premises
The difference between these services was explained at Avaya Partner U, which Twin Networks attended in Boston. Speaker Steve Forcum, Account Manager at Avaya brought up an infographic that explains these services as if they were Pizza, instead of technology:
On-Premises / Make all your pizzas at home:
At the traditional end of the spectrum there is On Premises computing. Your servers are at your place of business, or very close, and you own them and maintain them with your internal IT team and the help of software and hardware manufacturers.
SaaS / Enjoy pizza at a restaurant:
At the other end of the technology provider’s spectrum is Software as a Service, which is only made possible by cloud computing. Some of the biggest software players in the industry are SaaS based, such as Salesforce, Dropbox, and Google applications, which is great for businesses. It’s an amazing opportunity for IT players as well, but it completely changes the usual game. It forces us to keep everything integrated and updated. The service portion of that means constant iteration and updating, which means the tech side is always busy.
PaaS / Pizza Delivery
Platform as a Service was also spoken about at Cloud Expo by David Shacochis, VP of Cloud Platform CenturyLink. He explained what should be expected from your platform in these slides:
Your platform should:
Be well documented
Allow for innovation and building
IaaS / Pizza Take & Bake
Phil Jackson, Lead Technology Evangelist at SoftLayer (an IBM company) gave a talk called “Infrastructure as a Toolbox.” His company and mindset comes from the IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) industry. This outlook on technology has really changed the way many tech businesses are structured. However, Jackson’s point was that IaaS is largely a new skin to an old system.
In the technology world things move so fast that something that was once groundbreaking and astonishing becomes mundane and obsolete in a matter of years. In the beginning, only a few people understand the new technology and their expertise are highly sought after. That goes away in a few years as the knowledge spreads and newer technologies emerge. Cloud is in the middle of this system – magical to arcane.
Your infrastructure – cloud or otherwise, is what holds everything together. You need to make the right decision when creating your infrastructure, because the networking and the work will live on top. These layers are much more flexible, but they will not work for you if your infrastructure is not correctly in place. “Your network is the infrastructure that holds the infrastructure together.” – Jackson