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Cloud Services Models (aka The Cloud Stack)

The typical service models that you will see for the cloud are SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS.  In the framework I created above, I have included Business as a Service (BaaS) and Management as a Service (MaaS) as key service delivery models that are required to fully realize the benefit of the cloud and ensure that you have the proper operational processes and management for the cloud.

This framework is simple and something to which business and IT can relate.  The top layers, namely your users, customers and partners and all their devices, your business functions and processes, and your applications (software) combine to make up your core business.  The business leaders must own and drive this in the business with the support of IT.  The platform, infrastructure and management are more the responsibility of IT with the business treated as a key stakeholder and these technologies provided in support of the business.  More on the role of IT in the cloud in a later post.

I wish these five items made some sort of nice acronym so we didn’t always have to type them all out.  I get tired of putting ‘aaS’ on the end of everything.  Unfortunately BSPIM doesn’t sound so good and the closest I can get to some sort of word is BIMPS, but that doesn’t seem to give this topic the credibility it deserves.  Ah well, I will leave this to you creative geniuses out there.

Here are definitions for each service model:

Cloud Software as a Service (SaaS). The capability provided to the consumer is to use the provider’s applications running on a cloud infrastructure. The applications are accessible from various client devices through a thin client interface such as a web browser (e.g., web-based email). The consumer does not manage or control the underlying cloud infrastructure including network, servers, operating systems, storage, or even individual application capabilities, with the possible exception of limited user-specific application configuration settings. –NIST Definition of Cloud Computing. Version 15

Cloud Platform as a Service (PaaS). The capability provided to the consumer is to deploy onto the cloud infrastructure consumer-created or acquired applications created using programming languages and tools supported by the provider. The consumer does not manage or control the underlying cloud infrastructure including network, servers, operating systems, or storage, but has control over the deployed applications and possibly application hosting environment configurations. –NIST Definition of Cloud Computing. Version 15

Cloud Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). The capability provided to the consumer is to provision processing, storage, networks, and other fundamental computing resources where the consumer is able to deploy and run arbitrary software, which can include operating systems and applications. The consumer does not manage or control the underlying cloud infrastructure but has control over operating systems, storage, deployed applications, and possibly limited control of select networking components (e.g., host firewalls). –NIST Definition of Cloud Computing. Version 15

Cloud Management as a Service (MaaS). The capability provided to the consumer includes security, policy management, authentication, disaster recovery, billing, provisioning, capacity planning, monitoring, and systems management.

• There is not a lot of material or a definition for this service model. I would encourage feedback to more fully and robustly define this service model. This topic is introduced in Enterprise Cloud Computing, but does not contain an explicit definition.

• This service model is also represented as MCaaS or Management Controls as a Service. I prefer MaaS, although it does conflict with some common use of the term to represent outsourcing management personnel.

Cloud Business as a Service (BaaS). The capability provided to the consumer includes the ability to provide and manage an integrated set of transactional and collaborative activities to accomplish a specific organizational goal.

• The Business Process Management Initiative (BPMI) defines a business process as an activity or set of activities that will accomplish a specific organizational goal. The book Business Process Management: The Third Wave, defines a business process as a complete set of transactional and collaborative activities that bring value to customers. I combined these concepts above.

• There is also not a lot of material or a definition for this service model. I would encourage feedback to more fully and robustly define this service model. This topic is also covered in Enterprise Cloud Computing, but does not contain an explicit definition.

• This service model is also represented as BPaaS or Business Process as a Service or BPMaaS, Business Process Management as a Service. I prefer BaaS as these key business processes ARE your business.

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