Overview of existing types of Cloud Services & What Microsoft Cloud offers

In a previous post, we blogged about Microsoft introducing cloud computing with Windows Azure technology, to compete with Google and Amazon. We now take a look at the types of Cloud Services existing & What Microsoft Cloud offers.

There are mainly three types of services:
Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
Software as a Service (SaaS)
Platform as a Service (PaaS)

Image Credit: TheWindowsClub

Infrastructure as a Service: It is clear from the name that it provides grids or clusters or virtualized servers, networks, storage and systems software designed to augment or replace the functions of an entire data center. In simple words, it provides you with the IT infrastructure which you need as a service. All the servers, networks, VPNs etc are provided as a service to you and you are billed accordingly.

The provider is solely focused on keeping the infrastructure “lights on” within the availability parameters defined within the purchase agreement. IaaS requires highly skilled developer resources within your organization. You simply get out what you put onto the purchased “resource,” and the burden of application deployment, management, monitoring, fail-over, backup, and support lies with the purchaser.

An example is Amazon’s Elastic Compute Cloud [EC2] and Simple Storage Service, but IBM and other traditional IT vendors are also offering services, as is Telecom-and-more provider Verizon Business. Microsoft is not much into this space.

Platform as a Service: Provides virtualized servers on which users can run existing applications or develop new ones without having to worry about maintaining the operating systems, server hardware, load balancing or computing capacity.It basically provides you with the set of tools and resources which you need to develop the applications which will run on the cloud and may provide you with the deployment and automatic services management capabilities also.

Examples include Microsoft’s Azure and Salesforce’s Force.com.

Software as a Service: The most widely known and widely used form of cloud computing, SaaS provides all the functions of a sophisticated traditional application, but through a Web browser, not a locally-installed application. SaaS eliminates worries about app servers, storage, application development and related, common concerns of IT. SaaS in simple words is all about logging into your account with your web browser and use the services.It provides highest level of abstraction to a naive user.

Examples are Salesforce.com, Google’s Gmail and Apps, instant messaging from AOL, Yahoo and Google, and VoIP from Vonage and Skype.Microsoft Office Web apps,Office 365,Exchange online etc.

Microsoft believes that PaaS has the best potential to rise and therefore has an offering called Windows Azure Platform which includes Windows Azure, SQL Azure and App Fabric.

Image Credit: TheWindowsClub

Thanks.

You may want to check out Free 30 Days Windows Azure Platform Pass offer from Microsoft!

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