10 cloud services on offer

Available on demand via the internet, cloud services offer a comprehensive business menu


BaaS – back-up as a service

Everyone needs to back-up. The problem is doing it on schedule and keeping the back-up drives safe. If your office burns down the back-ups may go up in smoke. So send back-up data to the cloud. That’s BaaS.

CaaS – communications as a service

Companies spent a fortune on bulky switches to handle telephone calls. Now CaaS offers phone calls, instant messaging and video conferencing without expensive hardware. Plug in internet-enabled handsets and devices, and configure via a web browser. Skype is a CaaS.

DaaS – desktop as a service

Staff want to work on any device from any location. DaaS means they can summon their personal desktop, with all files, wherever they want. Windows, Mac or Linux desktop is virtualised and hosted in the cloud.

DBaaS – database as a service

Not to be confused with DaaS. Database as a service means using a cloud-based database, leaving administration to the vendor. DBaaS users can focus on their job, knowing database duties, including scaling, have been delegated.

HaaS – hardware as a service

Don’t buy your hardware, just rent it. HaaS leases what you need when you need it, leaving maintenance to the supplier. HaaS includes servers, printers, desktops, anything physical. Companies with temporary needs, such as events firms, are enthusiastic users.

IDaaS – identity as a service

IT departments issue passwords, set access rights and monitor network usage. IDaaS is a cloud-based identity management service, which provides prebuilt modules for all identity requirements.

IaaS – infrastructure as a service

Servers, storage and networking can be leased pay as you go on the cloud. IaaS means no capital outlay. Pay for what you need. As you grow, more infrastructure can be utilised. IaaS is a core element of cloud computing.

PaaS – platform as a service

When hardware and software come together on the cloud you get PaaS. Providers offer a supportive environment for clients to build, test or run their own applications in the cloud. It’s usually depicted as a layer above IaaS and one below SaaS.

SaaS – software as a service

Dropbox, Gmail and YouTube are examples of SaaS. Users access a full service, hosted on the web. Maintenance, capital expenditure and development are done by the provider. SaaS is the complete cloud offering.

STaaS – storage as a service

The cloud is ideal for data storage. Rather than keep data on premises, users send it to their STaaS provider. Cost, scalability and convenience are big pluses. Downside? For large-scale STaaS you’ll need serious broadband capacity.