Network World | February 12, 2010

One cloud provider offers his view of the competitive infrastructure sky

Sinclair Schuller, CEO of software-as-as-service cloud platform Apprenda, recently offered me a view of the infrastructure sky as he sees it. His customers are primarily independent software vendors looking to convert their wares to a SaaS offering. I found his viewpoint to be interesting in helping enterprises navigate though the confusing cloud-filled sky. He divides the cloud into three areas, raw compute power (which he calls infrastructure-as-a-service), an app platform delivered as a service, and the traditional software-as-a-service model. He penned this guest column which details his taxonomy.

Much like most of today’s infrastructure and software models, the cloud model is developing in a layered, stack-wise fashion. The bottom-most two layers in the cloud stack, Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS), have evolved to provide a significantly lower capital investments in moving applications to the cloud by being able to provision infrastructure in an on-demand fashion, a way to fine tune infrastructure capacity to meet demand requirements, and provide access easily to enterprise grade infrastructure.