THE EVOLUTION OF SaaS

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SaaS paradigm is on fast track due to its innate powers and potentials. Executives, entrepreneurs, and end-users are ecstatic about the tactic as well as strategic success of the emerging and evolving SaaS paradigm. A number of positive and progressive developments started to grip this model. Newer resources and activities are being consistently readied to be delivered as a service. Experts and evangelists are in unison that cloud is to rock the total IT community as the best possible infrastructural solution for effective service delivery. There are several ways clouds can be leveraged inspiringly and incredibly for diverse IT problems. Today there is a small list of services being delivered via the clouds and in future, many more critical applications will be deployed and consumed. In short, clouds are set to decimate all kinds of IT inflexibility and dawn a growing array of innovations to prepare the present day IT for sustainable prosperity.

IT as a Service (ITaaS) is the most recent and efficient delivery method in the decisive IT landscape. With the meteoric and mesmerizing rise of the service orientation principles, every single IT resource, activity and infrastructure is being viewed and visualized as a service that sets the tone for the grand unfolding of the dreamt service era. These days, systems are designed and engineered as elegant collections of enterprising and evolving services. Infrastructures are service-enabled to be actively participative and collaborative. In the same tenor, the much-maligned delivery aspect too has gone through several transformations and today the whole world has solidly settled for the green paradigm ‘IT as a service (ITaaS)’. This is accentuated due to the pervasive Internet. Also we are bombarded with innumerable implementation technologies and methodologies. Clouds, as indicated above, is the most visible and viable infrastructure for realizing ITaaS. Another influential and impressive factor is the maturity obtained in the consumption-based metering and billing capability. HP even proclaims this evolving trend as ‘everything as a service’.

Integration as a service (IaaS) is the budding and distinctive capability of clouds in fulfilling the business integration requirements. Increasingly business applications are deployed in clouds to reap the business and technical benefits. On the other hand, there are still innumerable applications and data sources locally stationed and sustained primarily due to the security reason. The question here is how to create a seamless connectivity between those hosted and on-premise applications to empower them to work together. IaaS overcomes these challenges by smartly utilizing the time-tested business-to-business (B2B) integration technology as the value-added bridge between SaaS solutions and in-house business applications.

B2B systems are capable of driving this new on-demand integration model because they are traditionally employed to automate business processes between manufacturers and their trading partners. That means they provide application-to-application connectivity along with the functionality that is very crucial for linking internal and external software securely. Unlike the conventional EAI solutions designed only for internal data sharing, B2B platforms have the ability to encrypt files for safe passage across the public network, manage large data volumes, transfer batch files, convert disparate file formats, and guarantee data delivery across multiple enterprises. IaaS just imitates this established communication and collaboration model to create reliable and durable linkage for ensuring smooth data passage between traditional and cloud systems over the Web infrastructure.

The use of hub & spoke (H&S) architecture further simplifies the implementation and avoids placing an excessive processing burden on the customer sides. The hub is installed at the SaaS provider’s cloud center to do the heavy lifting such as reformatting files. A spoke unit at each user site typically acts as basic data transfer utility. With these pieces in place, SaaS providers can offer integration services under the same subscription / usage-based pricing model as their core offerings. This trend of moving all kinds of common and centralised services to clouds is gaining momentum these days. As resources are getting distributed and decentralised, linking and leveraging them for multiple purposes need a multifaceted infrastructure. Clouds, being the Web-based infrastructures are the best fit for hosting scores of unified and utility-like platforms to take care of all sorts of brokering needs among connected and distributed ICT systems.

1. The Web is the largest digital information superhighway

2. The Web is the largest repository of all kinds of resources such as web pages, applications comprising enterprise components, business services, beans, POJOs, blogs, corporate data, etc.

3. The Web is turning out to be the open, cost-effective and generic business execution platform (E-commerce, business, auction, etc. happen in the web for global users) comprising a wider variety of containers, adaptors, drivers, connectors, etc.

4. The Web is the global-scale communication infrastructure (VoIP, Video conferencing, IP TV etc,)

5. The Web is the next-generation discovery, Connectivity, and integration middleware

Thus the unprecedented absorption and adoption of the Internet is the key driver for the continued success of the cloud computing.

Source of Information : Wiley - Cloud Computing Principles and Paradigms 2011 

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