Virtualization and Cloud Computing World: SaaS, Paas, Iaas

The rapid development in technology has continuously impacted the modern world. Hardly a day passes without an innovation being made in all areas of information technology. These innovations have sought to solve life’s problem with high levels of efficiency, scalability, and interoperability. Consequently, the future of Information Technology and Computing significantly relies on Software as a service (Saas), Platform as a service (Paas), and Infrastructure as a service (Iaas), because they are the current technological concepts revolutionizing the modern world. The latter is because the three grant a virtualization infrastructure for mobile computing, desktop computing, data storage, networking among others.

Items of Considerations in Implementing IaaS

IaaS implies that instead of outrightly purchasing hardware, users can purchase service levels that allow them to monitor, manage, and access remote data center infrastructures that are virtualized. However, in the case where an organizational strategy alignment requires it to implement IaaS, probably to act as a vendor of such, a variety of items are paramount. Firstly, the company must establish a secure network connection, such as Wide Area Networks (WAN), Local Area Networks (LAN), and Virtual Private Networks (VPN), to facilitate hosting of the infrastructure online (Mahmood & Hill, 2011). Similarly, strong and advanced computers and servers are required to ensure service availability. Thirdly, sophisticated firewalls and algorithms must also be considered to ensure the security of the system, among others. All these requirements highly impact the company’s Information Technology Support Personnel by increasing their workload, as well as having to acquire further skills, knowledge, and ability to oversee the company's successful integration of the strategy into its normal activities.

Reducing TCO and Maximizing ROI with Saas, Iaas, Paas

The manner in which SaaS, IaaS, and PaaS reduce the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) can be explained by comparing the costs incurred in the process of owning a premise-based software, platform or infrastructure, and the cloud-based ones (Kavis, 2014).  Normally, running a premise-based software requires a high cost of licensing when compared to the subscription fee required when implementing SaaS, PaaS, or IaaS. Because most SaaS, PaaS or IaaS subscriptions are made on a monthly or annual basis, vendors charge less for yearly subscriptions (Kavis, 2014). Additionally, Premise-based software, infrastructures and platforms require a high budgeting for installation and maintenance. All these amplify their TCO when compared to SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS, which are implemented by vendors and sold as a service. Consequently, PaaS, SaaS, and IaaS reduce TCO by shifting the burden cost of ownership or implementation from the business to the vendors (Kavis, 2014). The latter, therefore, increases the firm’s ROI by providing advanced performance capabilities, flexible ways of managing growth via performance metric, and also appropriate scaling mechanisms to accommodate growing demand at a high level of precision and flexibility in the business processes.

Architectural Designs

Figure 1. Software as a Service Architecture

Figure 2. Infrastructure as a Service Architecture

Figure 3. Platform as a Service Architecture

Considerations in Implementing Saas

Software as services implies that the organization does not need to install software applications in their computer systems to run them. These applications can be accessed and controlled via a virtual framework hosted in the cloud (Vacca, 2013). Consequently, for any firm to succeed in its endeavors of implementing software as a service, several considerations must be in place concerning the organizational strategy. First, the firm must consider the suppliers Service Level Agreement. This enables the firm to create good alignment between the firm and the service provider. Secondly, the firm should also check and ascertain that it has enough trained workforce to facilitate the implementation and successful integration of Saas into its daily routines (Vacca, 2013).  The latter is because having some skill gaps on the use of Saas among the employees hinders the firm from effectively ripping the benefits of Saas. Thirdly, security is paramount in these modern times when any cloud-related operation is exposed to a myriad of threats and vulnerabilities (Vacca, 2013).  Therefore, the firm must check, if the service provider adopts and meets critical compliance and security requirements, as well offering a comprehensive disaster recovery plan.

Security Considerations in IaaS

Finally, just like all other technological innovations, security is paramount. Consequently, implementing of IaaS calls for several critical security issues that must be adequately covered. For instance, according to Smoot & Tan (2011) network security was provided via the use of strong firewalls and advanced switches in the traditional data centers. Similarly, there is the critical need to secure networks in IaaS due to the increasing communication within the system. Failure to secure the network would possibly result in threats and vulnerabilities that might easily compromise the confidentiality of the company (Smoot & Tan, 2011). Moreover, there are also issues of eventing and reporting, because teams will be firing up virtual machines via the use of self-service portals. The latter creates the need to be aware of devices that have been initiated within the company’s overall infrastructure. There will also be issues with Identity Management and Access Control (idAm) to further deal with issues of Data and Service management within the firm’s IaaS framework.

References

Kavis, M. (2014). Architecting the cloud: Design decisions for cloud computing service models (SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley and Sons.

Mahmood, Z., & Hill, R. (2011). Cloud computing for enterprise architectures. London: Springer-Verlag.

Smoot, S. R., & Tan, N. K. (2012). Private cloud computing: Consolidation, virtualization, and service-oriented infrastructure. Waltham, MA: Morgan Kaufmann.

Vacca, J. R. (2013). Network and system security. Rockland, MA: Syngress.

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