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The concept of Software as a Service (SaaS)
Posted on 21-Oct-2009 | 11:15 am

Software as a Service (SaaS) is a software distribution model in which applications are hosted by a vendor or service provider and made available to customers over a network, typically the Internet.

SaaS is becoming an increasingly prevalent delivery model as underlying technologies that support Web services and service-oriented architecture (SOA) mature and new developmental approaches, such as Ajax, become popular. Meanwhile, broadband service has become increasingly available to support user access from more areas around the world.

SaaS is closely related to the ASP (application service provider) and On Demand Computing software delivery models. IDC identifies two slightly different delivery models for SaaS. The hosted application management(hosted AM) model is similar to ASP: a provider hosts commercially available software for customers and delivers it over the Web. In thesoftware on demand model, the provider gives customers network-based access to a single copy of an application created specifically for SaaS distribution. IDC predicts that SaaS will make up 30 percent of the software market by 2007 and will be worth $10.7 billion by 2009.

Benefits of the SaaS model include:

  • easier administration
  • automatic updates and patch management
  • compatibility: All users will have the same version of software.
  • easier collaboration, for the same reason
  • global accessibility.

The traditional model of software distribution, in which software is purchased for and installed on personal computers, is sometimes referred to assoftware as a product.

The new buzz word “Cloud Computing”
Posted on 10-Oct-2009 | 11:15 am

Cloud computing is a general term for anything that involves delivering hosted services over the Internet. These services are broadly divided into three categories: Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS). The name cloud computing was inspired by the cloud symbol that's often used to represent the Internet in flow charts and diagrams.

A cloud service has three distinct characteristics that differentiate it from traditional hosting. It is sold on demand, typically by the minute or the hour; it is elastic -- a user can have as much or as little of a service as they want at any given time; and the service is fully managed by the provider (the consumer needs nothing but a personal computer and Internet access). Significant innovations in virtualization and distributed computing, as well as improved access to high-speed Internet and a weak economy, have accelerated interest in cloud computing.

A cloud can be private or public. A public cloud sells services to anyone on the Internet. (Currently, Amazon Web Services is the largest public cloud provider.) A private cloud is a proprietary network or a data center that supplies hosted services to a limited number of people. When a service provider uses public cloud resources to create their private cloud, the result is called a virtual private cloud. Private or public, the goal of cloud computing is to provide easy, scalable access to computing resources and IT services.

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