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Cloud services are very extensive, and they encompass many IT resources provided over the Internet. The term can also be used to describe professional services that support the selection, organization and current management of numerous cloud-based resources. This article will highlight types of services offered by cloud systems.

Data-as-a-service (DaaS)

The DaaS model is developed to assist in unloading the risks and burdens of Data Management to a third-party cloud-based provider. Traditionally, companies used a self-contained storage system to store and manage their data.

The challenge the companies faced with this model is that the data became more difficult and expensive to maintain as it became more complex.

When using DaaS cloud computing model, you can easily access your data through a cloud-based platform. Business-critical data can be obtained from an existing data center via DaaS.

Within the DaaS environment, organizational or geographical barriers cannot hinder data being delivered to the user. DaaS technology powers common business applications like Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) applications and Customer Resource Management (CRM) applications.

Security-as-a-service (SECaaS)

Security-as-a-service is the model used to outsource security management. The term can also refer to in-house security management provided by an external organization. Typically, this model involves application like anti-virus software, delivered over the internet.

SECaaS has numerous benefits to its users. Some of these advantages include continuous virus definition updates which do not rely on user compliance, faster user provisioning and improved security proficiency, which is typically not available within an organization.

Also, SECaaS assists in outsourcing of administrative tasks, like log management to save time and money, and give an organization the opportunity to devote more time to its core competencies.

Software-as-a-service (SaaS)

SaaS is considered to be at the highest level. It is used to deliver applications to a consumer or business user via the web browser client. The business logic and data for the application operate on a server located somewhere on the network but not in an application running on the user’s PC.

The end user can purchase the software through subscription, not in one time, upfront license fee. Examples of SaaS applications are very many, but the common one is Salesforce.com, an enterprise CRM tool. Other examples include Box.net, Google Docs, Jira and Microsoft Office 365.

Infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS)

This is considered to be at the lowest level and at times as close to the metal as you can get. An IaaS provider offers services to networked computers running in a hosted environment, or simply, the service provider provides the hardware, and the essential operating system (OS)

Almost every web hosting company considers using the services of an IaaS provider. What differentiates a web hosting provider and an IaaS provider is the methods they use to charge their services.

The computing power used, that is usually by CPU hour used by month is what determines what an IaaS provider will charge whereas a web hosting company charges by the system by the month.

Some of the well-known infrastructure-as-a-service providers include Rackspace, Google Compute Engine and Amazon EC2.

Platform-as-a-service

PaaS is considered to be somewhere in the middle. PaaS adds support for the development environment is what differentiates IaaS from PaaS, i.e, development language and application server technology.

By using this environment to write your application, you can very easily capitalize on the dynamic scalability, automated database backups, and other platform services without the need of using specific codes.

Therefore, PaaS offerings usually support a particular set of development environments or programming languages.

PaaS services bills come as an incremental cost, on top of the IaaS monthly bills. For example, the small monthly fees for using a load balancer or a database backup service.
Examples of PaaS providers are: Google App Engine, Cloud Foundry, Engine Yards and Amazon AWS Elastic Beanstalk platform-as-a-service build on top of Amazon’s Infrastructure-as-a-service.

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