The aim of this paper is to discuss key service models of cloud computing: Software as a Service (SaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), and Identity as a Service (IDaaS). The paper will analyze five cloud deployments at East Coast Polytechnic Institute (ECPI) and identify each of the service models.
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SaaS providers allow their users to access applications that run on a cloud infrastructure. SaaS offerings eliminate the need to install and operate software, thereby simplifying maintenance and support (Chang, Walters, & Wills, 2015). Under the SaaS model, consumers do not have to manage networks, servers, storage, and other infrastructure, which is a substantial benefit of this service abstraction level. Other benefits include, but are not limited to, scalable usage, flexible payments, accessibility, and automatic updates (Rouse, 2014). CASTLE Environment can be categorized as the SaaS model because it allows a student to log into the system from different client devices by using only a web browser (NDG, n.d.). The university’s email server and XenDesktop also function as SaaS.
PaaS allows its users to expand their applications onto a cloud platform, thereby removing the need for hardware and software layers. The model is utilized by developers who need a cost-effective and simple solution for deploying and testing applications (Puparelia, 2016). The main focus of this service abstraction level is “the middleware and design tools as services” (Chang et al., 2015, p. 35). Database & Web Servers provide its users with control over applications without having to manage “operating system, programming language, and execution environment” (Chang et al., 2015, p. 35). Therefore, they can be classified as PaaS.
Under the IaaS model, clients can manage computing resources such as storage, networking services, and processing, among others. Providers of IaaS offer their customers both virtualized and physical machines, which can be used for scaling services up for temporary workloads. IaaS services are provided on-demand and include firewalls, IP addresses, and software bundles (Kavis, 2014). Unlike providers of SaaS and PaaS, a provider of IaaS does not control middleware, operation systems, and applications. Sometimes, consumers can even manage certain networking components such as host firewalls. The university has to provide its students with training videos and educational materials that can be stored at Vpub and LMSVids. By using these IaaS services, the ECPI can greatly benefit from their billing systems that are based on consumption.
IDaaS providers allow their users to access identity and access management functions without having on-premises software and hardware means. Given that IDaaS has the property of single sign-on (SSO), it is effective when it is paired with SaaS applications (Stewart, Chapple, & Gibson, 2015). For example, Google users can access multiple applications through their accounts without having to sign in again. This function makes it possible to share and edit their data from multiple devices. Therefore, administrators integrate IDaaS with SaaS applications in order to expand their IAM infrastructure. Database & Web Servers and Alfresco Database are accessed with the help of IDaaS, which helps to prevent unauthorized access to the cloud. IDaaS services are purchased by the university on a subscription basis.
The paper has discussed four key service models of cloud computing: SaaS, PaaS, IaaS, and IDaaS. It has also assessed different cloud deployments in the university and identified each of them as a service model.
Chang, V., Walters, R., & Wills, G. (2015). Delivery and adoption of cloud computing services in contemporary organizations. New York, NY: IGI.
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