Cloud computing services often offers a wide variety of functions and capabilities that are best fit an organization’s specific business needs. According to Coyne, in order to specifically identify a cloud computing services, National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has formed a standards for categorizing cloud computing services, which is referred as the service models, by grouping the service capabilities into 3 main cloud computing service models which are “Software as a Service (SaaS)”, “Platform as a Service (PaaS)” and “Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) (2017, p4). As a large cloud computing services provider, IBM offers all 3 types of service models to its subscribers. Firstly, Software as a Service (SaaS) model delivers the complete software application services to the users that are ready to use through the use of web browser or Application Programming Interface (API), thereby removing the requirement to install the software in each of the user’s computer (IBM, 2017a). SaaS model usually obtain its revenues by allowing web advertisement from other organizations on its web applications or directly from the clients which uses the services, most commonly are monthly or yearly license charge which allow the complete access to additional features and functions of the web application. The benefits of SaaS model are data are stored in a secured central database, which can help organizations to eliminate the cost of database infrastructure management.
As the software applications are hosted on the remote cloud network, it could benefit organizations or clients by eliminating the cost of development, installation, maintenance of software and purchasing of licenses for every computer as the organization are only required to purchase the license for one account and shared throughout the organization. SaaS also allow clients the flexibility to access to the software on any device that is connected to the Internet (IBM, 2017b) . Examples of IBM SaaS are IBM Watson Analytics which provides advanced data analytics and discovery service, IBM Payment System, IBM Customer Relationship Management and many more (Coyne, p6). The following service models provided by IBM is the Platform as a Service (PaaS), PaaS model functions by providing the subscribers a cloud-based environment in which they are able to deploy the software applications developed by the programmers using programming languages and libraries into the cloud . The subscribers does not required to manage the complex underlying infrastructure layer which are the hardware, networking, storage and other physical computer resources required. PaaS usually provides ready-made open source frameworks such as application development framework for various popular programming languages such as Java, Python, Ruby, PHP and many more.
In addition, some PaaS providers includes NoSQL database management as well as supports SSL, also known as HTTPS, that encrypts data communication transferred between clients and the applications on the remote cloud. PaaS usually comes in a predefined plan or package for the subscribers to choose from, with each plan or package limits the amount of applications and provides different features based on the plan or package chosen by the subscriber (Orlando, 2011a). According to Orlando (2011b), the benefits of using PaaS models are it enables large the organizations to redirect their attention on the development of the application without having to worry the underlying infrastructure layer as it is handled by the PaaS provider. Furthermore, it is ease of use, a typical PaaS comes with ease to use tools such as drag-and-drop tools, git control and programming frameworks that could help developers to develop application rapidly. It also promotes availability in which the cloud application is accessible by any device that is connected to the internet. Examples of IBM PaaS service model are IBM Bluemix and IBM Cloudant which provides web and mobile developers the platform to develop applications and host it on IBM cloud (Coyne, p5). The third service models provided by IBM is the Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), IaaS model provides organizations the computing resources they required such as servers, networking solutions and massive data storage space. IaaS are usually divided into two different category which are “Bare metal servers” and “Virtual servers” (IBM, 2017c).
Bare metal server allows subscribers the full control of a whole physical server, which means the providers will lease one whole physical servers for the subscriber and can be accessed remotely through a terminal. Virtual servers are servers that allows the subscribers to configure and scale the required resources such as CPU cores and memory size allocation. In contrast to PaaS and SaaS, IaaS does not include any applications and in some providers, the operating systems are not installed as all the implementations of applications are free to be configured by the subscriber (DoubleHorn, 2016). IaaS only provides the infrastructure and resources required to run the application. Other than that, IaaS providers also offers high bandwidth networking for subscribers who requires extra bandwidth for fast massive data transfer. The benefits of IaaS model are it allows the organizations to save their cost in purchasing and maintaining the hardwares of their own as it is provided and covered by the IaaS provider. Furthermore, IaaS model allows the subscribers to scale their infrastructure and resources based on their needs to support their workload and applications. One of the most common IaaS usage is expanding firm’s data center temporarily in order to support a higher workload.
For example, supporting more customers during Christmas sale. Examples of IaaS provided by IBM are IBM Bare metal servers and IBM Virtual servers.