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Cloud Computing Categories

SaaS-Software as a Service (like

PaaS-Platform as a Service  (like Heroku)

IaaS-Infrastructure as a Service  (like Amazon's AWS)

Over the span of 2011, your company might find itself cloud-hopping across the three categories. Each is a complicated space in and of itself, with its own look at what is happening in cloud computing. Let's take  a quick look at each:

SaaS-Web applications that deliver functionality to end users. Customers  of SaaS companies are generally able to create their own integrations with other systems. This flexibility allows for companies to customize their process as never before. Customers of these SaaS companies are writing custom code--or apps--to add functionality. One end result of this capability is increased reliance and loyalty to the SaaS provider.

PaaS-Delivering a platform for the deployment of applications puts these companies in the business of using as well as deploying APIs.

IaaS-The cloud based model removes hosted servers and secure tunnels and interfaces from the picture. The shift is to API calls to increase storage or CPU.

Will ___-as-a-service continue to change the landscape--interfere with "the way it has always been done?" It seems  the model is on the upswing and consumers and companies are set to benefit if they are willing to adjust.   Interesting tools are starting to pop up that will compare costs of cloud providers. Cloud Marketplace services. Companies will also be able to take advantage of new services selling ready-to-use data, such as Windows Azure DataMarket.  It's going to be an interesting year of new ideas.

 Here we go, 2011.

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