What are the Different Types of as-a-Service?

When you’re exploring cloud computing options, you’ll probably hear a lot about as-a-service – IaaS, PaaS, DRaaS and so on. That’s a lot of acronyms! In this blog we’ll run through the different types of as-a-service, share examples of each, and explain what you should focus on when you’re on your cloud journey.

There’s nothing quite like the technology sector for chucking out acronyms left and right like there’s no tomorrow. For the uninitiated, this letter spaghetti can be difficult to parse – and that’s not good when you’re looking to start your business’ cloud journey.

We’ve put together this quickfire blog to take you through some of the more common as-a-service acronyms you’ll come across – and focus you on which you should be prioritising when you’re starting to explore all things cloud.

Let’s get started.

What are the Different Types of as-a-Service?

Without further ado, here’s a rundown of the common as-a-service terms you’re likely to come across:

  • Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS). According to Microsoft, “IaaS is a type of cloud computing service that offers essential compute, storage, and networking resources on demand, on a pay-as-you-go basis.”
  • Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS). Microsoft describe PaaS as “a complete development and deployment environment in the cloud, with resources that enable you to deliver everything from simple cloud-based apps to sophisticated, cloud-enabled enterprise applications.”
  • Software-as-a-Service (SaaS). And per Microsoft’s description, “SaaS allows users to connect to and use cloud-based apps over the Internet. SaaS provides a complete software solution that you purchase on a pay-as-you-go basis from a cloud service provider.”
  • Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS). Per VMware, “Desktop as a Service (DaaS) is a cloud computing offering where a service provider delivers virtual desktops to end users over the Internet, licensed with a per-user subscription.”
  • Disaster Recovery-as-a-Service (DRaaS). VMware again: “DRaaS is a cloud computing service model that allows an organisation to back up its data and IT infrastructure in a third party cloud computing environment and provide all the DR orchestration, all through a SaaS solution, to regain access and functionality to IT infrastructure after a disaster.”
  • Unified Communications-as-a-Service (UCaaS). Gartner describes UCaaS as “a cloud-delivered unified communications model that supports enterprise telephony, meetings, unified messaging, instant messaging and presence, mobility, and communications-enabled business processes.”
  • Contact Centre-as-a-Service (CCaaS). Gartner defines CCaaS as a software as a service (SaaS)-based application that enables customer service organisations to manage multichannel customer interactions holistically in terms of both customer experience (CX) and employee experience.
  • Ransomware-as-a-Service (RaaS). Here’s one you should avoid at all costs. RaaS takes the as-a-service model and applies it to ransomware, enabling less skilled hackers to launch ransomware attacks. Microsoft have written an interesting blog on RaaS that you can read here.

What’s Important for Your Cloud Journey

When it comes to your cloud journey, the three types of as-a-service you really want to focus on are IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS. Many businesses today will use a combination of two or more – for example, Microsoft Azure IaaS for hosting servers and Microsoft 365 for the likes of email, applications, and communication and collaboration through Microsoft Teams.

There are no hard and fast rules around what service options are best for you and your business. What works for one business may not work for another, which is why understanding the as-a-service options available and weighing up the advantages of each is an essential step on your cloud journey.

We’ve created a handy infographic that lists the relative benefits of on-premises and cloud hosting, which you can download here. And if you’re ready to speak to one of our experts, it’s really easy to setup a call. Just fill out this simple form and we’ll get back to you to discuss your organisation’s cloud priorities – and how we can help you achieve them.

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