After going through a number of articles, discussion boards and professional channels over the social media, I realised a strange fact (or people assume it to be a fact) where SaaS is conveniently used synonymous to Cloud. After digging into the depths of how these individuals developed this idea that made a place in their minds, I came to certain conclusions. Following in this article, you’d get to read all such misconceptions and the facts that surround these technologies.
To my surprise, it was more of a marketing gimmick that most providers had used to get an exposure to their products. Though from a technical perspective a SaaS solution can be offered from within the Cloud, but it isn’t necessarily be so.
For a moment if we stop relating a SaaS to a Cloud, and look at them differently, we’d realise that a Cloud is something where computing is delivered as a utility while SaaS offers application(s) as an utility. During my conversation I realised that a few people still believed Cloud and Grid computing to be the same, whereas the fact is Cloud computing despite having based on the concept of grid computing, is entirely different in functionality and architecture. Though its an altogether different topic which we’d discuss sometime in the later articles.
There may be various ways depending on the priorities of its provider how a SaaS application model would be delivered. It may be from a providers datacenter or offered by a cloud hosting company or as a sole cloud computing solution, where varied technologies might be brought to use inorder to best achieve the resource utilization.
However, as the name SaaS or Software as a Service suggests, an application or software is delivered in this model. This is pretty dissimilar to a cloud computing model. Despite this clarity, people still tend to create an understanding for the two to be synonymous. I believe the marketing carried out by the vendors are to be held responsible for creating such a confusion. Since the term Cloud has earned enough reputation in the Industry, it seems promoting a product using this term might be used as a strategy to earn a better exposure. If it doesn’t happen within a premise, it is made to believe that it’s happening in the cloud, no matter if its an application or a computing process.
It is important to understand that only because an application is hosted in a cloud doesn’t necessarily mean it is SaaS. From a customer’s perspective it is necessary to get to know all these facts. If an application doesn’t satisfy the needs of multitenancy despite it being built using a virtualization technology, it isn’t SaaS. Though most users would only care about the performance and wouldn’t be interested in the backend architecture. But at the same time there are enterprises for whom these factors are important for consideration and works as key decision making points. Based on the inferences a thorough business strategy is decided, something that supports their very motive of best achieving their projected goals.
Scalability being one of the major factors in a Cloud hosting solution, a SaaS solution expects more of a multitenancy model. Such a model should comprise of key essentials such as fast deployment, optimum scalability and ease of management. All these efforts revolve around a single fact ie. to decrease the IT cost. Enterprises that take a leading edge towards implementing the right models usually takes an advantage compared to their competitors.
So if you are onto choosing such a solution, it is usually recommended to test the technologies before migrating your business over to the platform. Most providers would either offer a test period or a 30 days money back guarantee, consumers may make use of this opportunity by carrying out an extensive testing of their applications. You must not only check for scalability and uptime but whether your application performance lives upto your expectations. Get to know the most about the technologies and hardware that is used by the provider for building up platform, this should offer you an upper-hand with finding the best solution for your requirements.
Cloud indeed is something that we can expect to be the future of computing, but unless the right kind of cloud solution is chosen for your business operations, your ideas about achieving the best from them might remain incomplete. So inorder to bridge the gap, it is essential to understand different technologies and choose the one that is most appropriate for you.