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Tuesday’s Tip: Understanding The Many Flavors of Cloud Computing and SaaS
Posted By R "Ray" Wang On March 22, 2010 @ 23:00 In Apps Strategy,architecture,cloud computing,Cloud options,code modification,configuration,consumption,creation,customization,DaaS,development as a service,enterprise applications,enterprise apps,Enterprise apps strategy,Enterprise Business Apps,Enterprise Business Apps Vendors,Enterprise Software,hosting,IaaS,infrastructure,Infrastructure as a Service,James Governor,Maintenance,Michael Cote,next gen cio,next gen IT leaders,NextGen,orchestration,PaaS,Phil Wainewright,platform as a service,product lifecycle,R "Ray" Wang;,rwang0,SaaS,server virtualized,software appliances,Software as a Service,software ownership,software version,SoftwareInsider,tenancy,True SaaS,Tuesday's Tip,upgrades,vendor costs | 66 Comments
Confusion Continues With Cloud Computing And SaaS Definitions
Coincidence or just brilliance must be in the air as three esteemed industry colleagues, Phil Wainewright , Michael Cote, and James Governor , have both decided to clarify definitions on SaaS and Cloud within a few days of each other. In fact, this couldn’t be more timely as SaaS and Cloud enter into mainstream discussion with next gen CIO’s evaluating their apps strategies. A few common misconceptions often include:
Cloud Computing Represents The New Delivery Model For Internet Based IT services
Traditional and Cloud based delivery models share 4 key parts (see Figure 1):
As the über category, Cloud Computing comprises of
Figure 1. Traditional Delivery Compared To Cloud Based Delivery
The Apps Layer In The Cloud Represents Many Flavors From Hosted To True SaaS
SaaS purists often challenge vendors on delivery models in the cloud at the apps layer (see Figure 2). Often classified as OnDemand, there are 3 common approaches:
Figure 2. Different Strokes Of OnDemand For Different Folks
The Bottom Line – Different Models Bring Varying Degrees Of Trade Offs In Cost Versus Flexibility
Keep in mind there are cases where one deployment option is more favorable than another. Just because you are multi-tenant SaaS doesn’t mean you are better. On the other hand, when vendors tout OnDemand as a SaaS offering, then the SaaS bigotry begins. Be on the look out as more vendor provide mix-mode offerings to support disconnected modes, SaaS and On-premise, Public and Private clouds, as well as other improvements in integration with stronger client side ESB’s. Expect many vendors to put their offerings into the Cloud as Cloud/SaaS moves beyond the mainstream for apps strategy. Let’s take a look at a two decision criteria:
Scenario 1: From least expensive to most expensive to run for a vendor:
- True SaaS
- Server Virtualized
Why is this important? Let’s see, you choose a Hosted solution and the vendor’s costs to run the app goes up with each new customer as it has to manage the different environments. No matter how hard the vendor will try to “fit” everyone to standard configurations and deployments, that’s not always possible. Flexibility has a cost. In a “True Saas” solution, the cost to add an additional customer is minimal and each customer reduces the overall cost for everyone. Ultimately, a True SaaS deployment will have the lowest cost/user/month fee. What will you do 5 years into an Hosting scenario when you are locked in?
Scenario 2: From most customizable to least customizable for a customer:
- Server Virtualized
- True SaaS
Why is this important? Your may have specific needs in an area where the SaaS vendor has not provided the deepest level of configurations. You can’t just go in and modify the code unless everyone else wants it or the vendor’s has it on the roadmap. The cost of comformity is the lack of flexibility. What will you do 5 years into a True SaaS scenario when you are locked in and the vendor won’t add the feature or functionality you need?
What’s your view on SaaS vs Cloud? Does this help clarify the definitions? Are you looking at private, public, or hybrid cloud options? Add your comments to the discussion or send on to rwang0 at gmail dot com or r at softwaresinsider dot org and we’ll keep your anonymity.
Please let us know if you need help with your SaaS/Cloud strategies. Here’s how we can help:
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Copyright © 2010 R Wang and Insider Associates, LLC. All rights reserved.
Article printed from A Software Insider's Point of View: http://blog.softwareinsider.org
URL to article: http://blog.softwareinsider.org/2010/03/22/tuesdays-tip-understanding-the-many-flavors-of-cloud-computing-and-saas/
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 Image: http://blog.softwareinsider.org/wp-content/uploads/2008/10/r_wang_small1.jpg
 Phil Wainewright: http://blogs.zdnet.com/SAAS/?p=1010
 Michael Cote, and James Governor: http://www.redmonk.com/jgovernor/2010/03/22/defining-cloud-is-simple-get-over-it-the-burger/
 SaaS purists : http://blog.softwareinsider.org/2007/09/03/trends-whats-all-the-fuss-about-true-saas-ondemand-hosting/
 Cloud/SaaS moves beyond the mainstream : http://blog.softwareinsider.org/2010/03/18/software-insider-index%e2%84%a2-sii-2009-sii-top-35-enterprise-business-apps-vendors%e2%84%a2/
 Take the new and improved survey : http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/YFFF69Z
Copyright © 2003-2010. R Wang and Insider Associates, LLC. A Software Insider's Point of View. All rights reserved.