What’s The Difference?: Cloud Computing Services, Hosted Services, Software as a Service (SaaS)
Ever wonder what’s the difference between all these service types? They all deliver a service over the Internet cloud. Whether it is a backup or word processor application or a call center application, the customer is still using software and hardware resources of servers maintained by someone else. Traditionally, the customer was responsible for sizing the hardware and software resources, procuring the servers, installing and configuring the servers and maintaining these resources in a data center.
With hosted services, all these tasks are delegated to the provider of Saas or Cloud Computing Service. Since the SaaS provider has hundreds of customers, she may decide to house these customers on the same set of servers, using partitioning or virtualization. Server resources are efficiently utilized lowering the total cost of the service that is being delivered.
The customer only pays for what she uses and has the added flexibility of ramping up or down the number of subscribers using the service. It is easy to implement and get started, thus lowering the burden and dependency on the in-house IT staff. There are concerns about security and trust when you turn over your mission critical application to a service provider. There is additional worry about being locked into a service because it may be hard to move or migrate the application data from one provider to another or if the data needs to be brought in-house.