The most critical aspect of delivering Above The Line IT services is defining the services. Once services are clearly identified they must be defined in terms of tangible deliverables such as a Web URL or a Operating System instance. The tangible deliverables provide a framework to evaluate cloud offerings against current in house IT Services. Cloud computing is commonly defined using three different acronyms, PaaS, IaaS, and SaaS. The idea is comododize IT Services in order to provide the business with more flexibility and cost savings.
The most basic cloud computiung level is IaaS or Infrastructure as a Service. ‘Infrastructure’ is the computing resource (e.g. Servers, mainframe) and storage behind any application running in your environment. These are the foundational services of IT and usually the easiest to understand.
PaaS or Platform as a Service is the next level of cloud computing. The ‘Platform’ is where databases, websites and other application code executes business logic. Code written by programmers is deployed to the ‘Platform’ . The platform uses the infrastruture resources of the infrastructure to execute the code and store and data. Microsoft’s Azure is one example of a PaaS cloud offering.
Lastly, we have SaaS or Software as a Service which basically means the business is being provided with an application where you just add business content. No need for a programming staff or IT support. The infrastructure, platform and software is all bundled and ready to use. One of the most well-known SaaS solutions is the CRM tool from Salesforce.Com.
Networking is another one of the IT Services and is utilized by all three cloud computing offerings. Networking isn’t attributed to one specific level of cloud computing because it is used by all.