Randy Bias, chief technology officer of ServePath cloud offering GoGrid, penned a post recently that raises an interesting distinction within the once uniformly defined infrastructure-as-a-service space.
To briefly recap the cloud market for context, commercial cloud computing has traditionally been seen as consisting of three distinct offerings:
software as a service (SaaS): Complete application systems delivered over the Internet on some form of "on-demand" billing system. Examples include Salesforce.com, WebEx, and Workday. platform as a service (PaaS): Development platforms and middleware systems hosted by the vendor, allowing developers to simply code and deploy without directly interacting with underlying infrastructure. Examples include Google AppEngine, Microsoft Azure, and Force.com. infrastructure as a service (IaaS): Raw infrastructure, such as servers and storage, is provided from the vendor premises directly as an on-demand service. Examples include Amazon Web Services, GoGrid, and Flexiscale.
What Randy is arguing, however, is that there is a clear distinction between the service ecosystem approach of Amazon Web Services (which he calls an infrastructure Web service) and a more utilitarian infrastructure-focused cloud service such as the ones many of the hosting companies-turned-cloud providers have produced, including GoGrid, Flexiscale, and Rackspace CloudServers. He calls those companies providers of "cloud centers."… Read more