Why Are There So Many "as a Service" Providers?

Although NIST listed three service models1, there is no requirement to adhere to their definitions. For example, David Linthicum2 refers to the various "_____ as a Service" as Components of Coud Computing. His model is more detailed:
  1. Storage as a Service
  2. Database as a Service
  3. Information as a Service
  4. Process as a Service
  5. Application as a Service
  6. Platform as a Service
  7. Integration as a Service
  8. Security as a Service
  9. Management/Governance as a Service
  10. Testing as a Service
  11. Infrastructure as a Service

In Linthicum's model, Application as a Service is the same as NIST's Software as a Service. Both Platform as a Service and Infrastructure as a Service are the same as defined by NIST. David describes these components well and provides a model of how they interact.

Some other exmaples that I have seen:

  • Data as a Service
  • Operations as a Service
  • Network as a Service (various definitions)
  • IT as a Service
  • Everything as a Service
  • API as a Service
  • ESB as a Service
  • Email as a Service
  • Disaster Recovery as a Service
  • Telepresence as a Service
  • Authentication as a Service
  • Identity as a Service
  • Backend as a Service
  • Commerce as a Service

... and there are more. There is nothing to stop any person or organization from creating their own "_____ as a Service" definition. Such definitions could be an evolution in the conceptualization of Cloud Computing or they could be simply marketing terms. It is is important to look beyond the "_____ as a Service" term and understand exactly what is offered.

_________________

  1. Software as a Service (SaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). See .
  2. Linthicum, David S.,

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is also the author of a book that explains Web Services, service-oriented architecture, and Cloud Computing in an easy-to-understand, non-technical manner.

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