Top 10 "As A Service" Solution Categories

A Description and Discussion of Each

Virtually any kind of technology service will be available off-premises or in the cloud. This list uses the term "as a service" to show that it is being provided offsite or outside your data center. We started with Software as a Service (SaaS) back in the day but now there are almost too many cloud-based service offerings to keep track of. I am going to catch you up on the "as a service", well, services.

Usually, "as a service" connotes newer technology and/or a lower cost. It's important for you to have a basic understanding of the types of services available so you can make informed decisions when the need arises. I have also ​included a sampling of vendors that provide the various services.

BaaS - Backup As a Service

Cloud network
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Backup as a Service represents an alternative to traditional on-premises backups. For years, IT groups have backed-up data to tapes or disks and then moved the physical media offsite for disaster recovery purposes. Backup as a Service offers companies the ability to do their backups to the cloud. This option eliminates some equipment requirements, and offers cost efficient backup and recovery.


CaaS - Communizations As a Service

This is also referred to as UCaaS or Unified Communications as a Service. The communication services covered include VOIP, email, IM, videoconferencing, etc. and includes both fixed and mobile devices. collaboration, videoconferencing and more, for both fixed and mobile devices. The CaaS vendor would provide both hardware and software management to a predetermined level of quality.

The cost of communications infrastructure is high. Outsourcing communications allows businesses to buy these services on an "as needed" basis.     


DaaS - Desktop As a Service

Desktop as a Service (Daas) represents a new paradigm of desktop computing. We are used to applications, such as Microsoft Office, being installed and running on our local computer.  

DaaS delivers a virtual desktop, on-demand. While many of the "as a Service" solutions are delivered from the cloud, Desktop as a Service applications can be delivered from the cloud or just delivered from the organization's data center.  


DaaS - Database As a Service

Virtually all major database platforms are available in the cloud today. Even Microsoft SQL Server is partially represented with Microsoft Azure SQL. DaaS solutions provide full access to database logic, tables, views, programming and user interface functionality, as well as very secure, highly scalable solutions for complex database needs.  


HaaS - Hardware As a Service

Hardware as a Service is more than just leasing PCs. HaaS providers typically deal with the full desktop lifecycle including procurement and replacement of PCs, proactive patching and OS level software and IT monitoring. It's usually a pay-as-you-go or subscription model. Some definitions of HaaS includes other IT hardware. For this list, I refer to this as IaaS or Infrastructure as a Service.  


IaaS - Identity As a Service

This offering deals with identity and access management including administration, auditing, and verification for cloud-based services. IaaS comes after you begin moving parts of your IT environment into hosted solutions or cloud-based services. Services like single sign-on, authentication, user provisioning and credential management round out the basic offerings of this solution set.


IaaS - Identity As a Service

There are 3 main categories of enterprise cloud computing services: Infrastructure as a Service, Platform as a Service and Software as a Service, by subscription.

IaaS provides virtualized computing resources, the computing infrastructure, over the Internet. Examples include physical computing resources, location, data partitioning, scaling, security, backup etc.

PaaS - Platform As a Service

PaaS cloud providers can deliver the entire computing platform, typically consisting of the operating system, programming-language execution environment, database, and web server. With the PaaS model, application developers develop solutions on this cloud platform without the cost and complexity of buying and managing the required hardware and software. 

SaaS - Software As a Service

SaaS is the original "as a service" solution. helped defined the market and continues to be a leader with their hosted CRM solution. Software as a Service is a solution where a full application is delivered over the internet as opposed to being hosted on-premises at a company's data center. In a SaaS model for an application, basic administration and server patching, etc. are handled by the provider.  


SaaS - Storage As a Service

With the reduced cost of storage because of competition like Amazon S3, storing large files in the cloud or SaaS, has become a viable solution for things like backup, and hosting rich content in a Content Delivery Network. Storage as a Service is typically a pay-as-you-go service and is priced by the gigabyte. SaaS is considered a smart solution for small and medium sized business because of the investment in capital required for backups.