The proliferation of cloud has created new types of service models aimed at very direct solutions.

The DCK Guide to the As-a-Service Revolution

Something interesting is happening in the cloud and data center space. We’re seeing a lot of abstraction around existing hardware environments and new types of delivery models emerging. Recently, we presented the DCK Guide to Software-Defined Technologies. We were able to understand the power around intelligent resource control and how you can make your hardware span globally.

Now, there is a new type of revolution happening. This time, it revolves around services and delivery models. The proliferation of cloud has created new types of service models aimed at very direct solutions. We’re not talking about email services here or even online backup, although those are service models. The industry has come much further than that.

When cloud computing started, there were some powerful foundational service platforms which helped fuel the as-a-Service deployment model. Let’s take a look at the “original” three and where they are now:

  • Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) – Probably one of the most basic cloud service offerings, IaaS has really come a long way. Traditional data centers are now offering complete IaaS offerings scaling from physical to logical. New efficiencies around resource pooling and intelligent workload routing has boosted the IaaS model to create a powerful on-demand cloud platform. Now, IaaS offerings can include everything from security to virtualization, and everything in between.
  • Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) – With so much new development around mobile apps, software delivery, and content optimization, the PaaS model has really evolved to become a solid mechanism for logical workload delivery. Now, developers can utilize PaaS offerings to create intelligent software layers which then help optimize the rest of their organization. Platforms like Azure come built with dynamic scale capabilities – adjusting to your application and platform needs on the fly.
  • Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) – This services offering probably deserves an article of its own. The software model has truly evolved since the inception of SaaS a few years ago. Mobility, IT consumerization, and cloud computing have all had direct effects on the SaaS model. Now, federated services, HTML5, and other technologies make the SaaS delivery process even more powerful. There is a software revolution taking place where the application is creating direct hardware agnosticism. This service model will likely continue to evolve further.

With all of that in mind, let’s take a look at some newer service platforms, what they’re doing and how they can help!

Logging as a Service (LaaS) – Compliance, security, governance and regulations are still very real aspects in today’s business world. Companies looking to expand their systems into the cloud have to abide by rules governing their specific industry. This is why LaaS is becoming more popular. Numerous managed services providers are actively creating log, source, and even data point aggregation services. The idea is to centrally store logs and create powerful cloud-ready audit trails for those organizations that need it. In a real-world scenario, your major data center location would become the central hub for all log file processing. You could even have a distributed data center platform which still point to a central log aggregation model. This type of service is becoming popular for organizations with a lot of information, unstructured data, or big data and business intelligence solutions.

Recovery as a Service (RaaS or DRaaS) – First of all, this is NOT cloud-based backup. The big difference is that RaaS protects data and provides standby computing capacity on-demand to facilitate a more rapid recovery process. The idea behind RaaS or DRaaS is that the cloud is used for dynamic recovery purposes of applications, data points, or an entire infrastructure. The great thing about this model is that organizations only pay for the recovery capacity that they need. This makes it much more efficient than traditional DR solutions where a hot site is being run continuously. As cloud becomes more prevalent in the modern business model, more organizations will look to make their platform more resilient. Gartner agrees, predicting that by 2014, 30 percent of midsize companies will have adopted recovery-in-the-cloud, also known as disaster recovery-as-a-service (DRaaS), to support IT operations recovery. There are existing service models already helping out large organizations. For example, Bluelock Recovery-as-a-Service (RaaS) solutions enable organizations to recover their IT resources efficiently and effectively when an adverse situation strikes, protecting you from loss of revenue, data, or reputation. This model directly integrates with VMware vCloud to create a powerful, multi-tenant, recovery solution. Couple in automation, failover testing, intelligent replication, and next-gen cloud security, and you’ve got a powerful RaaS solution.

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About the Author

Bill Kleyman is a veteran, enthusiastic technologist with experience in data center design, management and deployment. His architecture work includes virtualization and cloud deployments as well as business network design and implementation. Currently, Bill works as the Vice President of Strategy and Innovation at MTM Technologies, a Stamford, CT based consulting firm.

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  1. In addition I've seen the acronym Data Center as a Service, which sits below IaaS. So in order it would go SaaS on top, then PaaS, IaaS and DCaaS.