Introduction to Cloud Service Providers
The coming of the cloud has transformed how people store, access, engage, manage and deploy information, hardware and services.
As a user of hosted email or an app, you might be wondering what else is hosted out there? Well, here's a list to get you started.
AaaS - Application As A Service
BaaS - Backend As A Service
BaaS providers take aim at the fact that even developers want an easy way to access and manage data stored in the cloud. BaaS providers offer developers easy access to multiple clouds enabling them to focus on deliveirng the best user experience and functionality and creating rich internet applications. These services are extremely niche and cater to and are collectively referred to as Developer Platforms.
Examples: Parse, Kinvey, StackMob
HaaS - Hardware as a Service
IaaS - Infrastructure as a Service
In the IaaS model an organization outsources all of its hardware including storage, servers and networking components. The provider owns and manages the equipment and is responsible for housing, running and maintaining it. Pricing is based on a utility pricing model i.e. you pay for what you use. Turn on the lights and you pay. Leave them off and start saving. It's also sometimes referred to as Hardware as a Service (HaaS) Network as a Service (NaaS).
Examples: Sungard, Cisco, Rackspace, Amazon
MaaS - Music as a Service
You've got thousands of songs that you want to listen to. Some more, some less frequently. But, don't want to pay $18 for a CD or an album featuring only 2 of your favorite songs. Of course you don't. Everyone gets that. So, now you can create your custom album on iTunes or sign up for a subscription and play all the music you want (and more) from (almost) any device.
Examples: Rhapsody, Spotify
NaaS - Network as a Service
PaaS - Platform as a Service
PaaS is a category of cloud computing services that provide a computing platform and a solution stack as a service. Along with SaaS and IaaS, it is a service model of cloud computing. Companies creates the software using tools and/or libraries from the provider. They also control software deployment and configuration settings. The provider is responsible for offering and manaing the networks, servers, storage and other (optional) services.
The PaaS model facilitates the deployment of applications without the cost and complexity of buying and managing the underlying hardware and software and provisioning hosting capabilities. The provider's job is to deliver reliability, scalability and speed for deploying applications in the cloud. Again, this service category is catered to developers.
Examples: Xtium, Engine Yard, AppFog, Heroku
SaaS - Software as a Service
This is the most common service model and a one that people are most familiar with and connected to. This model has widespread applications. There's no specific niche. It is replacing traditional applications that came on CD/DVD, required installation and upgrades or security patches every so often. They are all moving to the cloud.
Most feature a free, freemium or a premium pricing model. Some require commitment, others don't. Either which way, they are for the masses. From document processing to complex applications, everything is literally available under the cloud!
Most companies are now building software platforms that can be accessed, maintained, secured and managed easily using a single point of interface with their users via an authenticated login. Salesforce.com was a pioneer in this SaaS delivery model.
Examples: Salesforce.com, Google Apps, Microsoft Office 365, Adobe Creative Cloud
VaaS - Voice as a Service
This category of providers focuses on enabling voice-based services for your existing website or applications. Live chat or "talk-back" apps are an example of apps in this category. They enable easy integration of voice-enabled services within your platform and are paid for as a subscription. It's quite popular amongst retail sites that sell products that are usually more complicated but we've seen them being used on B2B service sites as well. They are often used to provide live support instead of a phone call.
Examples: BoldChat, LivePerson, Volusion