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What's the Difference Between SaaS and the Cloud?
Last week we asked about the difference between cloud and virtualizaion.  In the last answer, Joel York brings up that many use SaaS and cloud interchangeably, but as he discusses in this blog post, they are in fact different.  So what's...
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Jan 26, 2010

As I've outlined in my cloud-o-gram, there are offerings "of the cloud", "on the cloud", "about the cloud" and "for the cloud". SaaS is an offering on the cloud. IaaS and PaaS are offerings of the cloud.

As well, I prefer the term "Cloud Computing Environment" to differentiate the consumer and technology views of the cloud.

Here's an excerpt:


Cloud Computing Environment: A cloud computing environment (CCE) is the end result of applying technology, architecture and engineering practices, along with operating, security, policy and economic models, in a manner that optimizes for resource sharing, elasticity (scale), automation, self-service and pay-as-you-go.

Rather than chasing cloud computing environment descriptors – public, private, virtual private – the cloud-o-gram calls out the underlying aspects, such as physical location, owner and target markets. This allows for a wide range of cloud computing environments, such as a government agency CCE designed to provide services to other agencies, a CCE that specializes by industry, or even a CCE that specializes by workload.

For the “Cloud? (CCE): Offerings for the CCE include all of the hardware, software, standards, practices and services to build, use, manage and secure a cloud computing environment. Many of the wares in this category are not unique to cloud computing, however each contributes to the existence and success of a CCE.

About the “Cloud? (CCE): Offerings about the CCE include all the software, services, practices and standards concerned with delegating management control of business information and workloads to external parties. Facets include assurance, compliance, billing and metering, and brokering.

Cloud Computing & Cloud Computing Environment Offerings

On the “Cloud? (CCE): Offerings on the CCE are applications, software, information, services or processes services deployed onto, and therefore accessed from, a cloud computing environment. Typically, these offerings provide agency, business or consumer capability, rather than technical capability.

Of the “Cloud? (CCE): Offerings of the CCE are technical capabilities exposed via service interfaces, which are consumed during the development and/or delivery of agency, business or consumer capabilities. These technical capabilities provide infrastructure (IaaS) or platform (PaaS) services. Examples include compute, storage, data management, integration, orchestration, and application development.

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