XaaS 101

What the heck is all of these XaaS’ – IaaS, SaaS, PaaS etc and what’s in it for you?

The cloud has emerged over the past recent years and there isn’t a day that goes by where I don’t hear XaaS this – XaaS that – and how everything in the world is going to become some type of XaaS. Will my mornings soon start with Breakfast-as-a-Service – BaaS? Wait BaaS is already taken with Backup-as-a-Service. So what is XaaS and how did we get here? XaaS can be defined as simply as, “Any technology delivered over the internet that historically has been delivered on customer site”

And in a big nutshell we got here by several major recent technology innovations.

  1. This thing we call the internet – actually works almost flawlessly now.
  2. High speed networks and broadband are just about everywhere and pretty cost-effective.
  3. Server virtualization has dramatically brought down the cost of high performance computing.

Now data centers hosting all the software driving these XaaS’ can be built cost-effectively (and be located just about anywhere). Plus, businesses of all types and sizes as well as end consumers can readily access these data centers that seamlessly deliver their favorite XaaS over reliable and cost-effective high speed networks down to the “last mile”.

So how many different flavors of XaaS exist? I can count around 10 off the top of my head – but there seems to be a new XaaS popping up all the time. But more importantly, what are the benefits of XaaS? IaaS can have different benefits than PaaS, and both of these can have different benefits that SaaS, but at 10,000 feet, some of the benefits are:

  • OPEX vs CAPEX spending for those who prefer this
  • in some cases lower TCO
  • smaller companies can have cost-effective access to F500-type technologies
  • access to many new vertical technologies and applications
  • elastic technologies that allow you to scale up and down with ease
  • access to technologies and applications by mobile workers and users
  • provides easier path to test new technologies

I could go on and on but I think you get the picture.