You probably know the three XaaS (X-as-a-service) monikers most commonly associated with cloud:
- Software as a Service (SaaS) includes offerings like the application menu exposed by salesforce.com, Zoho, Google Apps, and so forth. Sign up and start using software with no install or maintenance.
- Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) is all about renting virtual or physical hardware. Big names in this space include Amazon’s EC2, Rackspace, Terremark, Joyent, and the like.
- Platform as a Service (PaaS) enables companies to deploy custom apps in seconds to pre-built, subscription-based middleware on which they depend (Ruby on Rails or node.js stacks, for example).
If you follow cloud closely, you may have noticed other X-as-a-service terms cropping up as well: Security as a Service, Networking as a Service (aka Software-Defined Networking, or SDN), Storage as a Service (aka Software-Defined Storage, or SDS), Business Process as a Service (BPaaS)… Each of these is a facet of a growing trend: Business is looking for ways to harness world-class technology without dramatically complicating their IT landscape.
Today I ran across another term that piqued my interest: “Cloud Management as a Service.” Think about this for a minute. What technologies are managed by a vendor who offers CMaaS? The answer is… wait for it… all of the other XaaS services! So we have a service managing a bunch of services that are supposed to make IT’s life easier. Doesn’t that feel a bit ironic?
I don’t see this term as an indictment of the vendor who touts it. Rather, I see it as an indictment of the turbulent, bewildering, and poorly managed world of cloud offerings that are today’s state-of-the-art. As I have repeatedly said on this blog:
- We need more policy-based automation to streamline IT’s worry list.
- We need real value, not hyperbole.
- We need to measure success by outcome, not by items on a feature list.
- The true value proposition of cloud is a simpler IT landscape so business can focus on its core competencies.
Comment and Share: X-as-a-service offerings help to navigate the ever-changing world of cloud computing. What future service would help improve your cloud environment?