I am constantly participating in events on Cloud Computing and one of the coolest things about these events are the conversations on a cup of coffee, those intervals where good ideas can be exchanged. A recurring theme that arises in the discussions now and then is SaaS (Software-as-a-Service), and just listing some interesting questions worth sharing here.
Summarize, informally, expectations that heard in conversations and have listed. First were cost issues, such as reducing the cost of capital (capex) and operating costs (opex), convert fixed costs into variable and simplify the management of applications. Then, nearly tied with expectations of cost reduction, appear to speed implementation, speed time-to-market and improvements in business processes.
Analyzing these data, it became clear that the expectations of CIOs and business executives with whom I spoke was that SaaS should not only reduce capex avoiding the costly purchase of licenses, but also opex, making the operation of the applications become cheaper than keep it in the on-premise version.
This is very much in line with the concerns of businesses today. A recent survey of 500 CEOs in showed that it takes away the sleep of these executives, such as the country’s economic situation facing the global crisis, competition increasingly fierce, the consistency of the internal market and the lack of skilled labor. How this is reflected in IT and CIOs? Reducing costs, but at the same demanding more agility and efficiency. In short, the maxim “do more with less” is more current than ever.
Thus, SaaS solutions have to clearly show these advantages for users to implement. In parallel talked to many executives of software companies and it is clear to me that although they know that they should enter the SaaS world, many do not have a clear idea of how and when to make this transformation. Moreover, fear of cannibalizing its current business model compared to a model that is not adequately understood.
But gradually we see that the suspicions and questions begin to be broken. Successful examples appear here and there. The global software industry as a whole, is already moving in this direction and maybe in a few years, by the late (?). Most software is already being marketed by the SaaS model.
Also noticed a latent concern in CIOs I talked. As SaaS attracts more users, there is the threat of what we call “shadow IT” ie those applications that are at a click (and a credit card) away, allowing users to implement a SaaS application without knowledge of the IT area. An interesting question was raised by a CIO. His company is planning to develop and make available to its customers a suite of mobile applications that will run on a public cloud hosting solution. And he is unsure about how to integrate these applications with enterprise systems and maintain data security, and support solutions that provide customers get when possible (but likely) problems arise in the use of these applications. Well, there are some technological solutions integration between mobile applications and internal systems. But it is clear that it will not be solved just by this. Change in processes and even the skills of IT professionals will also be required.
The “Shadow IT” is a challenge. If users begin purchasing apps without IT knowledge (and it’s hard to argue against an allegation of an area of business that the SaaS application that will make more money) a time bomb is armed. Sooner or later many of these applications will require integration with other, if they are in other clouds, or are on-premise legacy systems. “Shadow IT” is not a nightmare to wake dissipates. It is something very likely to happen if the IT department is not agile enough to set the game rules regarding the use of SaaS software.
Talking to some CIOs, raised together some points that they should include in the rules of the game for their companies to adopt SaaS and acquisition model on their own. How about calling it BYOA (Buy Your Own Application)?. We also found that users must be aware of the risks of business continuity if the SaaS application is not offered by a provider that meets minimum requirements of resilience in your data center.
Anyway, the result was that in practice it will balance the risk to the business with the value that the application will bring to the company. And the areas that users who opt for a “Shadow IT” solution are fully aware of the pros and cons. Thus, IT will act as an ally of the process and will not be a barrier in the way. After all, barriers are bypassed sooner or later.
After the big companies discover the power of social networking as a way to strengthen the relationship with consumers, it is the turn of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) exploit these channels to enhance their image and gain space in their segments. We have tried to list the top nine trends for 2013 universe 2.0.
SMEs will invest more in social networks
A survey released by Deloitte in 2012, and aired in the journal Review, pointed out that 51% of SMEs investing in CRM solutions and social media to increase sales volume. Small and medium enterprises should be a great force for online business in coming years.
Metrics and KPIs give way to social networking rise in the scale of priorities of companies
As social networking evolves and directors of large companies realize that this tool is not only to monitor the performance of campaigns, new demands are of strategic planning to use the information collected. The idea is to find data that reflect the spending habits of consumers and to understand how they can be strategic for business. In 2012, several brands relaunched products, packaging or changed invested in services from insights gained in social networks. With the accession of the presidents agenda, the issue should be further explored in 2013 and impacts further elaborated on the strategic planning and marketing organizations.
Every software engineer knows well about the disciplines of “mining” of data and creation of datawarehouses, held since the 90 degree courses in computing. Thanks to the explosion of information on the Internet, particularly social media, the term Big Data will also be required at meetings of digital marketing. The challenge of how to deal with an exponential volume of internal and external data will be real in 2013. Platforms like Twitter can easily exceed one million monthly postings mentioning only a great brand in India. According to The Economist, the world will produce 34.6 zettabytes (1 trillion gigabytes) in 2020, jumping from negligible 0:13 that produced in 2005. Another dedicated web server infrastructure, bandwidth, databases and algorithms are required. This is the “big problem” created by large data.
Second Screen and Social Curation
Two recent studies show that the habit of using social networks and TV simultaneously is common practice in the daily lives of viewers around the world. The survey shows that at least 46% of the terms in the period analyzed had something to do with television content (sports are included in this percentage, which are televised for the most part). In quantitative annual research “usage habits and behavior of Indian Internet users on social media in 2012″, the netizen was asked about the simultaneous use of Internet and other means. As a result, 50.6% of respondents said they use the Internet and TV simultaneously, confirming the data observed in TTs. Some brands have started to invest in the use of hashtags in their advertisements on TV as a way to increase consumer engagement in social networks on the televised campaign. In a study, engagement increases from 12% to 15% over campaigns that do not use hashtag. In 2013, more social campaigns are expected using hashtag or other forms of integration to social networks in the first half. One of these ways is the use of social networks or Social TV platforms to the TV content curation as televised events (eg cricket matches).
Rise of mobile
We are 1.22 billion Indians, and we already have more than 893.84 million phones. According to survey, an average of 14% of the population have a smartphone. The participation of this unit tends to grow in coming years. At least 12% of them have access to the 3G network. Mobile devices like smartphones and tablets respond by increasing access to networks such as Facebook and Twitter in India. These data leave no doubt that mobility (mainly represented by these two devices) has a great future as one of the screens of the “life” of consumers. However, one must understand that new interfaces and mechanical communication must be defined for mobile devices. Even the use of smartphone differs greatly from the use of the tablet. A recent survey found that while smartphones are constant companions, the tablets come with more consumer on the couch or in bed. Despite the differences, content and apps to these devices as trends continue in 2013.
Social CRM: greater participation in customer service and new formats
According to surveys, between 1% and 3% of the complaints are received by large companies on social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and channels like Complain Here. This number may reach upto 5% in 2013. The service, however, on social networks must become more sophisticated with the use of service applications such as ATM (where the consumer accesses a database of frequently asked questions and answers) and Unsourcing (where consumers respond to most common questions and companies may need to access a database).
“Everyone in the cloud computing right now!” is the battle cry heard around the world in 2013. If in 2012 the hosting service providers were improving and promoting its services to cloud-based computing, in 2013 they will be prepared to reap tens of thousands of customers worldwide. CEO, CFO and CTO conclude, while the sofware to migrate to cloud is much cheaper. According to Gartner, 77% of Indian companies will increase investment in this area. But get ready to take a step back (or more) before jumping forward: in India, there are still many software solutions calling, are robust and are prepared for the Big Data.
Retail and connected socially
Retailers will be gradually integrating social networks. In 2013, retailers will find that check-ins at the point of sale and loyalty programs based on social networks, that will contribute greatly not only to attract consumers to the point of sale, but also – and mainly – to promote the networks shares more “tanned” or stores visited. The use of smartphones equipped with GPS, and “mining” of the likes of Facebook will allow development of applications for shopping at physical point of sale, as already exists in e-commerce.
Google Glasses was just the tip of the iceberg to a new reality. While augmented reality goggles of Google does not “take” in fact, the consumer should expect mapped projections and augmented reality increasingly present at the point of sale and in places of high traffic. The trade marketing will start in 2013 to incorporate these new technologies to attract consumers to establish and maintain it for a longer time in this space. Smartphones will help to give more power to the consumer, and shopping malls will be the main stage of this transformation. Packaging applications that recognize and bring more information about a product can differentiate it at point of sale or even increase their perceived value.
For some time, I found myself thinking that the world of web hosting needs to change something profoundly: The web is changing and so is changing the delivery of services online, whether they be web hosting services or whether services that can be outsourced, as are today SaaS, from CRM to manage e-mail to millions of other things.
In this article I want to talk about what is my personal vision of the market and the evolution of the web hosting providers because of, a profession that I know very well and which I feel I can provide some insight and advice, I divide this article into three blocks: SaaS, Cloud Computing and finally the Mobile, defined as the delivery of services accessible from smartphones and always on the move.
Why three tools? Everyone is having an explosive spread and are changing the way in which they “consume” services and information online, which means you must destroy a model or more previous models and at the same time give a boost to those who want to innovate, to improve their services. This article is intended as a sort of tutorial, indication I’ve seen in the last six months and where it’s going. This world is just as useful for those who do the job of a provider who merely provides hosting, email and more and for those who are a professional, and looking for a new job or want to provide a better service to its customers.
For any criticism or comments, please write an in depth article, in the comments, because it can give rise to a very clear and effective discussion on these issues.
SaaS is revolutionizing the whole field of applications, those that once were offline and those who have already been born to be within a browser. Do not we know this? But today, even in the company, most of the time is spent in a browser, including email (Gmail Webmail), CRM applications (SalesForce or other), and tools to operate totally disconnected from a desktop application.
I will not argue on the goodness of this revolution, all in the cloud? Yes, the advantages and disadvantages are known. Instead, I want to provide some vision about the SaaS delivery model which reaches perfection, because it removes charges to the end user who should not have their own infrastructure, making it easy for the service provider to provide the service, making it profitable immediately after accounts activation, and finally simplify the use of that tool because the data can be accessed from anywhere in the world.
Most applications today are born on the web are provided through this model. Not only that, I know dozens of entrepreneurs who use on-farm, purchase services of any kind for the business, connecting them with each other whenever possible. Google Apps for example, due to its fame, is used by almost all the great services, SaaS as a key tool to import contacts, access email and documents.
And on its growth: The SaaS second Forrester has reached a value of 21 billion dollars worldwide in 2011 and is projected at 137 billion dollars (6 times of the current value) by 2020. There are a number of factors, those already said, and one that I want to explain as the last point, the Mobile.
Now, for those who use online SaaS services, such as private or business, it becomes apparent the advantage, but for those who sell online services such as web hosting and dedicated servers, e-mail solutions and other small tools? We see it together now.
SaaS: From the web hosting provider, no opportunity should be missed
The SaaS goes beyond the concept to simply provide the platform: it becomes a commodity in every way, because none of us care what kind of hardware or server which has the features that Salesforce provides the service or to MailChimp. We just believe that it should work and do exactly what we expect if we want more resources for the application, and we pay for an account with more potential.
In web hosting, today things are different: we are still tied to the concept of Shared Hosting, VPS Hosting, Reseller Account and etc. In short: the web hosting is still at level 1 you start with when you want to do something online, but there is a risk of losing importance if a train does not evolve towards SaaS. Let me explain.
The creation of a new website has always occurred through these steps:
1: Buying domain and web space
2: If I configure my web space
3: I write code, or install a CMS, configure it, and start working
4: I take care to see that the site is working properly and if too much traffic is there, I upgrade my web hosting plan
These steps are so easy for us to understand, we are always trying to provide the best information from a couple of last years(otherwise you would not be reading our blog and would be reading something else). We have seen that often, the web hosting and domains were poorly understood, with problems for their activation and use. Its a daily routine for those who offer these kinds of services: people do not know how to turn a database, mailbox, how to redirect DNS and etc.
On the other hand in recent years, the services that allow you to create your own website online have arisen. They started to be known as we all know: “Create your own website online in 5 minutes“. And most of the times it was not very effective online tools, which allowed to create a showcase site. Today it is not so: The CMS online, allowing you to create real websites are many, allow you to register a new domain or transfer, are simple to use, and above all have a level of extreme customization, often identical to that which can be reached with one of the many that we know CMS like WordPress or Drupal.
The result is that, they steal market share from hosting providers. Quite simply, they do it in a very simple way, focusing on the details: these services offer simplicity as the main component, whether it is to create a website or an online campaign structure of web marketing or to deliver e-learning content.
Affect everyone? NO!
This is the important point, it hits the smallest of the web hosting provider, those who are struggling to emerge in the mass and mostly have no tools to add technology (do not value, but technology) at their service. They use Plesk, or other panels, and continue to deliver products that are becoming commodities. Unfortunately.
For large providers, this does not happen for one simple reason: They are the basis for SaaS and for the thousands of new applications created. They are full-bodied investments in data center connectivity and have the visibility needed to ensure that they are still at level 1, for those companies that need to disburse SaaS services.
What should the hosting provider have?
Two things should be on priority: To try to integrate these services into their software, where possible, and more to shake direct partnerships with those who offer them, how to get wholesale stores which create sales and make sure that their customers are already active for their web hosting services, do not have to look elsewhere for other types of service. In short, it is unthinkable that the web hosting provider is not the center of the supply of all major services for SMEs and elsewhere escape from the customer.
Like the small companies that offer web hosting services must begin to invest heavily in the development of custom software on their business, for offering new services or improve existing ones: in the context of cloud computing, which today is expressed at a shocking speed, it is unthinkable competition in infrastructure, is instead on the front of the software, the provider has to win and give them a second “youth” as online service providers. It is unthinkable that the shared hosting can remain a product that will be popular forever, just as there has to move away somewhat from those vendors such as Parallels Plesk, they are doing very little innovation and have relegated an entire sector to be “stopped” in many respects.
That’s right, forget about those who say that it is marketing or technology does not exist. It is not a ignorable matter, the fact is that more and more companies choose cloud computing platforms, both private and public. This however means that, cloud computing was born as an ecosystem of services and systems that did not exist before: from consulting to sales of hardware change in the delivery model of the software, we are talking about a new era in IT which has a real potential of improving the use of resources by changing how they are consumed.
Cloud computing obviously requires big investment and has very low margins when it comes to IaaS: Infrastructure as a Service. The reason is simple, it takes large investments in data centers, staff and the development of networks and software. Amazon, which currently has the largest cloud computing service in the world can take advantage of economies of scale which are unlikely to be applicable to other companies in the world engaged in the same type of service. This on the one hand makes the adoption of cloud computing accelerating because Amazon and other major groups such as Microsoft and ESDS have the strength to ferry companies on new technological models, on the other had, requires a reflection on the hosting provider.
Cloud computing IaaS format requires investments that are not conceivable for small providers and even if this is put in place as a strategy is not sustainable in the long term: basically you end up delivering a type of service that has a high cost to the final customer and brings higher prices and not instead a reduction in costs as expected from the adoption of cloud computing.
What is the solution for small hosting provider? You can still make cloud computing services on a small scale, with solution providers like OnApp or VMware, or OpenStack, but we try to specialize the service and justify the higher cost, for each hour of computation compared to other operators. If this is not possible, it is surely better to go for advice in relation to the cloud, a business that is equally important, supporting the customer on a very complex infrastructure such as Amazon, but managing totally, in its place, the deployment of applications and data thus having an income from this activity.
Small providers have a point in their favor: They are physically very close to reality and can help you implement cloud in the company, making a saving seriously, but not necessarily trying to provide the same level of service they can offer or providers specializing in this context.
Not only that, Cloud computing for those who provide web hosting services on a small scale, should be primarily a way to improve the way they deliver services, starting with the possibility of outsourcing the service at the data center, and delete a physical presence, or improve ‘service delivery using, “below”, an approach Cloud. Only secondarily, do you expect to launch cloud computing services, but without underestimating the impact of marketing that this approach would have on your existing services?
One last option is to have whitelabel services sold by large providers who have created ad hoc partnership programs. This is certainly a more subtle but equally viable business not to lose the opportunity to have cloud computing as a service between its own products.
When a few months ago, I saw that the visits coming from smartphones on our portals has been increasing , I wondered what I could do to take advantage of that traffic and at the same time I had to revise our strategies on editorial and other products that we launched. I could not ignore the fact that 20 out of 100 people would read this article with a smartphone, while they are at work, in the car, train or anywhere else in the world.
Today we carry out a job that has also evaluated this approach to mobile and has studied how to use it to enhance the experience of readers.
What will change with the furniture? Think about it..
This is enough to show that the same online service providers are the first who must make their websites navigable and usable on a smartphone. Purchase of a single domain gives you the ability to manage your web hosting account is now clear that it is necessary to provide a solution that is also used by smartphone or tablet, without placing constraints to the customer.
In addition, considering the fact that many people who use a smartphone have never used these services, you need to find and study new ways to propose on these devices.
Just like you need to make sure that its customers in creating websites and products online, they can access tools to make them immediately available for the mobile is a business that no hosting provider is considering at the moment and that could have a very high impact if carried out with a good idea, a software, a framework or any other structure that allows customers to easily derive the benefits from the cabinet. But back to point 1, remember: SaaS and the need to develop software.
Do you agree?
Expenditures of enterprises with public cloud services should almost double in the next four years, says a forecast presented by the research firm Gartner.
More specifically, it expects spending to increase from 109 billion in 2012 to 207 billion dollars till 2016. The companies paid about 91 billion dollars in public cloud services in 2011, according to Gartner.
“Although the overall growth of the economy faces challenges – the crisis in the euro area, a weak U.S. recovery and the slowdown of the Chinese economy – we expect more stability,” said Richard Gordon, a vice president of research at Gartner, in notes that released on July 9 tracking data and statistics collected.
Most expenses related to cloud are what Gartner calls “business process as a service“, followed by platform as a service (PaaS), Software as a Service (SaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS).
More generally, Gartner predicts that total spending on information technology should rise from $ 3.5 trillion in 2012 and 3.7 trillion in 2013.
Companies are not the only ones to get seriously in the cloud computing solutions: Gartner recently predicted that consumers will hold more than one third of their digital content in the cloud in 2016. This represents a significant increase compared to 2012 when it was estimated that seven percent of the content consumers stored in the cloud. Altogether, the research firm predicts that the average of data stored per household may increase from 464GB to 3.3TB in 2012 in 2016.
But companies are facing more challenges when it comes to adopting cloud computing than the consumer. At first, the cloud raises a number of problems related to issues ranging from regulatory requirements to other forms of encryption and data protection. Staff used to run applications internally should be instructed on how to use the cloud, while administrators and other enterprise IT professionals need to learn to handle and process all new panels so they can properly manage services online.
Although if the predictions from Gartner are proved accurate, the companies will clearly see the benefits of the cloud as something that outweigh potential costs and disadvantages. In fact, if companies remain cautious with spending, the cloud may prove a boon for growth in IT sectors and seeking revenue growth.
I’ve been following cloud computing for some time and every day I see that it is accelerating the ripening process and trying to understand its concept and technologies. Today it is clear that, in its various forms, cloud computing has the potential to significantly change the way IT operates, and manages and allocates its budget, and pays for its use by users. Of course it is a change that does not happen abruptly, but gradually.
Public clouds, for example, while still generating fears of security and privacy, which are in my opinion, largely unfounded, no doubt put pressure on the structure of IT. Why keep a set of dedicated servers often idle, and a staff dedicated to operations that do not add value to upgrades of operating system releases if I can transfer this activity to a trusted provider?
Moreover, when analyzing the portfolio of applications in a company, we found that most of them are not strategic or critical to profile data that is not sensitive in terms of security. And we also observed that most of these applications could operate in an environment of less than 95% availability. However, these applications can be moved to public clouds without any major scares. In fact, a public cloud can offer a level of security and availability much higher than that offered in many of today’s data centers to small and medium enterprises.
The topic cloud also begins to permeate discussions of strategic companies. In a meeting with business executives and the CIO of a large company it became clear that they were already considering that a significant portion of its future computing power would be served by public clouds, with a consequent impact on the IT budget, which will shift the costs of “Capital Expenditure” to “operational Expenditure”.
On the other hand, the concern of disintermediation by IT users in many areas also appeared at the meeting, as they begin to look for other solutions, cloud, SaaS, without even interacting with the CIO. This is a challenge that IT has to face because uncontrolled spread of a cloud for the organization can create problems of integration, lack of adherence to security policies and increase the risk of audit to identify issues of governance.
The CIO has to play a proactive role in the process of adoption of cloud. Indeed, the question is not whether or not to adopt cloud, but what is the pace of adoption. The first step is to identify which applications exist, which may at first go to public cloud and / or private and create a catalog of services and applications that will be available in the clouds.
For example, the CIO can begin reviewing applications available today under two points of view, a level of criticality and the other how they are strategic to the business. Most applications will be below of the critical level and can be transferred to public clouds.
The pressure for cost reduction is constant and note that it is increasing every year. At the same time the complexity of the business environment demands faster responses and increasingly complex IT solutions. Seems an equation without answers, but if we analyze the potential of cloud, we can immediately identify:
1) Move non-critical (and not strategic) applications and not strategic to public clouds,
2) Implement private clouds for certain controlled environments such as development and testing, increasing the cycle
3) Create service catalogs that allow the user to operate in self-service, with minimal interference from IT.
These actions help to better understand what is cloud and its potential while allowing the organization to adjust and refine their governance processes, already contemplating cloud computing. It also helps to more accurately implement charge back processes that are indispensable when it comes to cloud computing.
Services to create a catalog that includes internal and external applications (SaaS), similar to an Apple AppStore is an innovative and highly efficient way of providing services to users. The IT department can and should define the rules of the game: Which applications can enter the catalog? The IT department should establish an approval process that can evaluate cloud providers and SaaS applications available. Thus, IT does not become a bottleneck and at the same time clearly shows that it is actively driving the process of “cloudification” in company.
The important thing is that, IT understands that its role does not disappear with the cloud computing model. It remains responsible for providing the best services in the lowest possible cost.
Cloud changes the context: IT is no longer the only provider of the service and should leave this monopoly role and assume a new role. So sometimes the best solution is built, developed and operated by IT and other best alternative is to operate in a public cloud. IT should be at the center of these decisions and for that, the mindset must be changed.
With regard to services, at the present time, the concept of cloud computing involves the provision of the following types of services to its users:
Everything as a Service : This type of service is provided to all users of the software and hardware to control the business processes, including the interaction between users, the user only needs to have access to the Internet.
In my opinion, this kind of service is a general concept with respect to the services. Below mentioned are some of the more special cases.
Infrastructure as a Service : The computing infrastructure is given to the user, typically virtual platforms (PCs) connected to the network. It adjusts itself to suit your purpose.
Platform as a Service : The computing platform is given to the user, with the operating system and required software.
Software as a Service : This type of service is usually positioned as “software on demand“, this software is deployed on remote servers and the user can access it via the Internet, and all updates and licenses for this software is governed by the service provider. Payment in this case is made for actual use of the software.
Hardware as a Service : In this case, the user of the service leases the hardware for his own purposes. This option allows you to save on maintenance of the equipment, but in essence little different from “Infrastructure as a Service” except that you have the bare hardware on which you can deploy your own infrastructure using the most appropriate software.
Workplace as a Service : In this case, the company is using cloud computing for the organization of employment of its employees by setting up and installing the necessary software required to operate personnel.
Data as a Service : The main idea of this type of service lies in the fact that the user is provided with storage space, which may be used to store large amounts of information.
Security as a Service : This type of service enables users to quickly deploy, allowing products to ensure the safe use of Web technologies security of electronic communications, as well as the safety of the local system, which allows users of the service to save on deploying and maintaining their own security system.
The topic cloud computing, still demands a lot of debate and conflicting opinions, it is already becoming reality. Every day we see the ecosystem built around cloud computing and to consolidate, more and more success stories are published.
I will not quote statistics and forecasts that always come from industry analysts, who provide these stats and estimates agree with each other in numbers.
The three layers of cloud, IaaS, PaaS and SaaS can be viewed as a hierarchy, where the lower layer has IaaS, above it we have the top SaaS and PaaS. The upper layers are built upon the layers below. The benefits obtained are directly related to the layer. That is, the higher the layer, the greater the potential benefits. IaaS can be considered as the commoditized layer, as it basically provides a virtual infrastructure, the users are abstracting the physical equipment. But offers no content. SaaS, in turn, enables a higher level of abstraction, because the User sees only the features of the software without needing to know what technology it uses and need not even bother with version upgrades.
The most emblematic example is the force.com that lets you create applications that extend the functionality of the salesforce. We will see later PaaS is consolidating itself, with its own technologies, separate from SaaS vendors. This will happen with maturity in the use of cloud services, when companies use the SaaS PaaS coupled to identify who will be imprisoned on these platforms.
But it is indisputable that we are still learning to exploit the potential of cloud computing and we will learn much more in the coming years. The first projects have been exploratory, which is natural. What we will see this year? Clouds filled with typical workloads to be outsourced via SaaS and on-premise applications transferred to IaaS clouds. But, although limited in their impact, are paving the way for the full adoption of the model. In fact, the cycles of technological change takes take several years to mature in 2020 and probably cloud computing is commonplace. But if this will happen in 2020, the first steps should be taken now in 2012. Cloud computing is a reality now and should already be on the radar of the IT managers of all firms.
Less well-known technologies like IaaS, PaaS and SaaS, the DaaS or Desktop as a Service, opens the way for a new generation of working environment uncorrelated positions and physical devices.
1. What is behind the acronym DaaS?
Acronym Desktop as a Service (or work environment seen as a service), the DaaS is part of the family of bricks supplied as computer services, alongside the IaaS-Infrastructure as a Service, the PaaS-Platform as a Service, and SaaS-Software as a Service. The DaaS is to deport the management and delivery of work environments (but sometimes applications) in the Cloud Computing.
2. The DaaS is it totally paperless?
Indeed. In this model it comes to providing a work environment (including both the OS, applications, and also the parameters and user preferences) on demand. This is totally uncorrelated from the terminal on which it will be displayed. Thus, a working environment like DaaS will also be distributed on traditional workstations (PCs, laptops), on a smartphone or a tablet.
3. What is the point of DaaS?
It is equivalent to that of the IaaS, PaaS and SaaS. The DaaS avoids the company to acquire assets (servers in the case of IaaS, software in the case of SaaS) recorded in the balance sheet in the form of requiring CAPEX and depreciation. It can instead be accounted for as operating expenses, thus providing flexibility for the accountant (OPEX).
4. What are the differences between the DaaS infrastructure and virtualized desktops (VDI)?
Chronologically, the concept of VDI is before DaaS that appeared over the last three years. As part of an offer to DaaS, the virtualized environment of work is provided by an operator or third party vendor responsible to host, manage and integrate the applications desired by the company. They will be provided in a secure manner from a multi-tenant Cloud, in the form of a subscription to the use of work environments.
For its part, the VDI (for Virtual Desktop Infrastructure ) is a virtualization technology designed to allow the company to virtualize its own working environments, in its own data center for example.
5. The future is in the DaaS?
In the same way that the is software provided on request in the form of services, work environment “as a Service” are required to grow strongly by various research firms, including IDC. If only because they are an opportunity for the company to better control costs and to refocus on business. In addition, unlike the traditional VDI or deployment in workstations, the time of implementation is also very short, which of course will interest companies.
Objectives of any business can be achieved through excellent customer service and different types of services are provided by following Cloud Service Models:
1. SaaS (Software as a Service):
A software release model, SAAS is hosted centrally in the cloud along with its allied data and can be accessible through users by means of web a browser. SaaS is also referred as “on-demand software”. For many business applications such as, accounting, collaboration, customer relationship management, business enterprise resource planning, human resource management, content management and service desk management etc, SaaS becomes a general delivery model.
Usually the term SaaS can be precisely used where most of the initial application service providers focus on managing and hosting third-party independent software vendors who are capable enough to build up and run individual software. Also by means of currently used software architecture, cloud computing service providers make a separate instance of an application mandatory for each business, so, to design an application in view of providing multiple businesses and users with corresponding partitioning of data, a multi-tenant architecture as a service solution has been utilized by existing web-based software.
2. PaaS (Platform as a Service):
Using a Cloud service model called as PAAS, applications can be used effortlessly, exclusive of any complication regarding the cost and management of the required hardware and software. As PaaS supports the complete life cycle of building and delivering web applications and services by facilitating design, development, testing, deployment and hosting itself.
Services like team collaboration, web service integration and marshalling, database integration, security, scalability, storage, persistence, state management, facilitation of developer community, application versioning and instrumentation, etc. might be provisioned as an integrated solution over the web.
All these facilities permit customization of the existing SaaS applications which is comparable to the facility of packaged software applications such as Microsoft Word. But, every time developers and users of PaaS need to subscribe SaaS applications, in view of developing a comprehensive environment, stand-alone PaaS environment has been proposed which is free from any type of technical, licensing or financial dependencies based on specific SaaS applications or web services. Still, some PaaS applications require improvement in the development, debugging and testing capabilities to provide hosting-level services such as security and on-demand scalability etc.
In PaaS, under the concept of Open platform as a service, developers can use any programming language, database, operating system and server too.
3. IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service):
To release infrastructure as a fully outsourced service, IaaS is a capital investment-sourced model. As by means of IaaS, all the resources like servers, software licenses, data center space and network equipment etc can be purchased by clients as fully outsourced service only. Hence concerning the customer’s significant project, IaaS through a dedicated hosting environment is the most stout, safe and sound policy.
Advantages of IaaS:
1. Dynamic scaling: capability of scaling up and down the various resource aspects in close to real time, according to varying business requirements.
2. Usage-based pricing: This strategy of IAAS helps customers in purchasing the precise infrastructure which may be required at any particular time by ensuring “just pay for what you use”.
3. Reduced capital and personnel costs: Reduced in-house infrastructure considerably eliminates capital expenditures and enduring cost for workforce and enables any organization to concentrate on core competencies in view of developing and filtering market product offerings more willingly than purchasing hardware accessories.
4. Access to superior IT resources: Unaffordable Enterprise-grade IT infrastructure and engineering resources become accessible to IaaS users.
1. Business value:
Flexibility and ability of matching the cost of the service to the consumption, differentiates cloud computing from other internet services and though critical, this feature creates a new value for business services and enables to develop new business models which have never been tried till now, as Cloud is not a kind of resource expense which can be replaced by means of working costs.
2. Service deployment:
The strength of cloud computing is instantaneous output, as customers can get service within a few minutes only. But, payment has not been done instantly all the way through typical manual itself.
3. Self-service deployment:
Spontaneous and well defined service provided by cloud computing, can be utilized independently by customers.
All these core fundamentals imply a fully automated service provisioning and for the consumer it means, “Service is in your hand take or leave it!”
Cloud computing, as a service in the form of “IAAS (Infrastructure as a Service)” and “PAAS (Platform as a Service)” by means of Infrastructure and Platform, are evolutionary steps to change its deployment model and the business value in very thoughtful ways. As cloud computing is a completely new part of IT portfolio, just washing up the pre-existing services with a cloud doesn’t make any sense. It’s very important to focus on the things that make cloud computing, original and distinctive in every way.
Now a days as a part of a rapid growth, the traditional concept has been replaced by on-demand service, and that’s why, genuine prospective of SaaS (Software as a Service), has been not fulfilled in a proper way. As in fact, existing products are simply rebranded or just repackaged by vendors.
Similarly, to profit from the wave of cloud computing, pre existing features of cloud computing have been rebranded without any proper functionality. To do this all, concept of Cloud washing is implemented by vendors to convince decision-makers of any business or IT industry that how his strategy is useful to maintain swiftness with the latest innovations in the marketplace. Still, due to a few factors that are lacking, strategy of cloud washing has not been fully implemented yet.
For all industrial applications based on Cloud environment its very beneficial to implement the concept of Cloud scalability. For effective functioning, cloud needs to be designed with provision of everlasting abstract scalability which can be controlled by service, if included in an architecture of cloud based application. Thus, the service itself manipulates a scalable architecture design of an application, this is why Cloud based application essentially requires scalable architecture design.
NOTE: Cloud infrastructure provides an unbounded scalability.
Requirements of a strictly scalable application as follows:
1. Automatic enhancement of resources derived from demand
2. Operationally competent enough while scaling up and down
3. Safe service
4. Fault tolerant.
Types of Cloud Computing Services Models:
As a part of business objectives, customer service can be provided by means of Cloud Service Models. Basically there are three types of Cloud Service Models as follows:
1. SaaS (Software as a Service)
2. PaaS (Platform as a Service)
3. IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service)
Software as a service (SaaS):
In this type of model, the cloud application is highly controlled by administrative authority and the service Provider is charged for updates, development, maintenance and security. Thus, the service provider controls the final authority over the whole application and the end user is totally free from any service issues.
Example of SaaS is Gmail, where Google is the provider and we are just end users.
SaaS Component Stack and Scope of Control:
Despite of organizations and enterprises, an individual can be a subscriber or user of SaaS.
In most of the cases, calculation of usage fee depends on the number of users.
For example: Google Apps for business, individually charges fees for more than 10 users,
In SAAS, in spite of concentrating on hardware maintenance, infrastructure management, job hiring and retaining etc, center of attention needs to be the business.
Need of SAAS:
In the cloud applications, SAAS can be implemented by means of productivity and collaboration, to make the task a little bit easier for HR, PayRoll and Sales
Cloud based Storage and sharing services like Dropbox, Windows Live, Amazon S3, Google Docs and Box.net etc.
NOTE: Individual use of more than 30 Google Cloud Services is example of SAAS itself.
PaaS (Platform as a Service):
A policy to develop, test and deploy a software is practically known as platform and entire SDLC is operated on a service model called as PAAS. PaaS is dedicated to application developers, testers and administrators. Everything required to build up a cloud SaaS application, is provided by PAAS.
PaaS Component Stack and Scope of Control:
On an average, development environment, programming languages, compilers, testing tools and deployment mechanism etc are included in PaaS.
For example: In Google Apps Engine (GAE), the developer downloads the development environment, locally in the developer’s infrastructure otherwise accesses tools in the provider’s infrastructure through a browser.
Independent Software Vendors, IT Service providers or even individual developers wishing to develop SAAS, can become subscribers of PaaS.
Need of PAAS:
Developer needs to concentrate on just the application development as the platform itself takes care of everything.
A range of of virtual computers, cloud storage, network infrastructure components like firewalls and configuration services etc, is nothing but IaaS.
The System Administrators are the subscribers of this service and by considering per hour CPU utilization, storing of data, network bandwidth and infrastructure consumed respectively, the cost can be added and services can be used.
For example: monitoring, auto-scaling etc.
Fees structure of IAAS depends on all the above mentioned factors and can be calculated by considering each of them.
IaaS Component Stack and Scope of Control:
In case of a newly established company, IAAS can be very useful in launching any application or website.