Whether we’re talking about Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Software as a Service (SaaS), or Platform as a Service (PaaS), the cloud is really just another place to run your applications.
Microsoft’s vision of Software plus Services takes the basic offering of SaaS and augments it with on-premise productivity software such as Office.
In this TechNet video Brian Prince talks about cloud computing terminology, the role of the IT professional in cloud computing and Microsoft’s approach to the topic.
Brian also discusses the spectrum from on-premise, through hosted, cloud services and SaaS hosted applications.
- In an on-premise scenario, I would be in charge of managing, feeding and watering my servers, with all the IT people that required.
- In a hosted scenario, I would out-source some of that basal responsibility to my hosting provider, but I would probably be tasked with looking after the operating system and above.
- In a cloud scenario, such as Azure, I delegate all the running and maintaining, patching and potentially even scaling of my solution to Microsoft or other third parties. If you’re interested in automatically scaling your Azure applications have a look at the Windows Azure Dynamic Scaling sample application (http://code.msdn.microsoft.com/azurescale) and also at one service provider that’s offering this funcitonality as a service for Azure (AzureWatch from http://www.paraleap.com).
- Traditional SaaS solutions are geared towards one-size-fits-all approaches, such as shared CRM, email or productivity solutions (for instance Office 365 and SharePoint Online).