Cloud Computing, The Basics

When it comes to ‘ Cloud Computing’ there are a few acronyms which are referenced in most articles which I will explain in my first official blog about cloud computing basics. The main acronyms are described below.

SaaS (Software as a Service): A Service provided by a vendor which is typcially provided as a packaged solution to multiple customers. The service is usually provided, but not limited to, through a web browser. The vendor provides the service over the internet and is managed and maintained by the vendor. The customer does not need to worry about upgrades, patching and the security architecture of the service. Examples of SaaS include Facebook, Microsoft Online and Google Apps. SaaS has been around for a number of years.

IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service): Infrastructure as a Service is a service model where a company would outsource the servers, network and storage to a service provider. All the hardware is owned and managed by the service provider and the resources are provided over the internet. The service provider can also provide the operating system, messaging and databases. The company obtaining the services would usually pay on a transaction or per use basis. Examples of IaaS include Amazon Web Services AWS), Microsoft Hyper-V Private Cloud, Apples iWork.com and IBM’s Blue cloud services. Utilizing IaaS effectively allows the architecture of a dynamic datacenter which can be flexible to a organizations requirements.

PaaS (Platform as a Service): Platform as a Service is a architecture framwork that allows a complete development platform to build and assemble solutions, similar to SaaS, but with development tools for customization. The underlying Operating System and Hardware is still provided by the service provider. PaaS offers the ability to run full rich applications over the internet offered as a utility computing. The model is still usually provided on a pay per use or on a subscription basis. Rich internet applications can be developed by businesses utilizing a rhobust platform with faster application delivery times. PaaS includes modules which can be integrated to build the applications necessary for the business. Examples of PaaS include Microsoft Azure, Salesforce.com, Rollbase, Google App Engine and BungeeConnect.

Cloudstream An integration template which provides the required nuts and bolts to secure, provide governance and manage the communication between two services at the Application Programming Interface (API). The integration can be enterprise to cloud and cloud to cloud. The cloudstream captures configuration information for cloud brokers and packages the configuration information to connect the endpoints together. CloudStream will become the standard for integration across the cloud and enterprise. For on premise systems, appliances/software solutions can help with cloud integration such as the  Vordel Cloud Service Broker, Forum Sentry SOA Security Gateway .Layer 7 CloudSpan Products, Ping Federate Connectors and Microsoft Active Directory Federation Services 2.0.