Now more than ever, business owners big and small are seeking ways to better manage their data processing requirements. While in the past this search has involved a hefty price tag for “bigger, newer, faster” hardware and software, the most recent trend in IT spend has been moving towards “as a Service” (aaS) offerings.
What Is aaS?
“As a Service,” or aaS offerings, are commonly utilized options for any business using cloud application services. Together with cloud computing, the Internet of Things (IoT) provided a foundation for aaS offerings to flourish, and the continued emergence of service-based models is inevitable. By using the internet to deliver applications instead of a downloaded software, aaS applications run directly through a client’s web browser, allowing aaS providers to meet the needs of their clients more affordably than other downloaded or installed computer technologies.
There are many forms of aaS offerings, including Software as a Service (SaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Ransomware as a Service (RaaS), and Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS).
Software as a Service (SaaS)
Software as a Service, or SaaS, allows a third-party provider to host applications and make them available to customers through the Internet. In other words, the provider gives network-based access to a single copy of an application. The application’s source code remains the same for all customers, and when new functionalities are developed, they are available to each client. Customers’ data for each model may be stored locally, in the cloud, or in both, depending on the SLA, or service level agreement.
There are many forms of SaaS offerings available on the market today and many of them address fundamental business operations. For example, Salesforce provides an SaaS solution for customer relationship management (CRM) while applications like ADP and Oracle provide SaaS solutions for human resources management (HRM).
Platform as a Service (PaaS)
PaaS, or Platform as a Service, provides tools for the development and deployment of applications and services. For instance, a PaaS customer would have the ability to build, test, deploy, manage, and update their own applications. A significant advantage of PaaS is that developers who are building software and applications will not need to start from scratch and write extensive code. Instead, the PaaS offering provides the foundational infrastructure, including middleware, development tools and business intelligence services, allowing the client to focus on the creative side of app development instead of managing software updates or security patches.
A popular example of a PaaS platform is Microsoft Azure, which allows clients to build, test, deploy, and manage applications and services through Microsoft’s data centers.
Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) allows clients, usually enterprises, to rent or lease servers for storage, networking, or virtualization purposes. Users of IaaS services are able to run any operating system or applications on the rented servers, but avoid paying the fees associated with installation and maintenance for on-premise IT infrastructure.
A notable IaaS provider is Amazon Web Services (AWS), which provides a massive global cloud infrastructure that serves thousands of businesses in over 190 countries.
Ransomware as a Service (RaaS)
Unlike other types of aaS offerings, Ransomware as a Service (RaaS) is an infrastructure offering used by criminals on the Dark Web to attack IT systems. However, RaaS offerings function much like other aaS offerings. The enterprise or user takes advantage of cloud-based services, like the capability to attack and implant hackers into the victim’s machine to hold their data hostage.
One RaaS provider that has gained notoriety recently is the Satan RaaS Platform, which provides users the ability to launch custom ransomware attacks at a wide scale.
Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS)
DRaaS, or Disaster Recovery as a Service, is a model that allows organizations to back up data and IT infrastructure in a third party environment. Users of DRaaS are able to regain access to their stored information and functionality after a disaster—whether a natural disaster, an equipment failure, or a cyberattack. DRaaS means that organizations themselves are not responsible for owning or managing disaster recovery. Instead, these tasks fall to the DRaaS provider.
As a DRaaS solutions provider, the team at PGH Networks partners with Veeam, a company that develops backup, disaster recovery, and intelligent data management software for virtual, physical and multi-cloud infrastructures. Through this partnership, PGH Networks is able to provide a flexible DRaaS platform for companies of all different sizes.