You’ve heard it time and time again: “X as a service”, where X is either a random letter or a usually meaningful computer science term. Confusing? Sometimes. “As a service” solutions are services that abstract away a part (or all) of an operation from an end user. While “painting as a service” and “lawn mowing as a service” have existed in some form or fashion for quite some time, technology companies have traditionally maintained almost all of their infrastructure and platform in-house, leading to unnecessary duplication of common work across business entities and wasting precious product development time. Upfront software purchases have strained technology budgets with increased one-time costs, often delaying the implementation of new solutions and well-needed upgrades. The rise of cloud technology has introduced a wide range of potential service (“as a service”) offerings across different levels of the hosting hierarchy to combat these problems, and we know it’s easy to get overwhelmed with acronyms. The following are three major types of cloud “as a service” offerings you’re most likely to encounter:

  • Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) solutions abstract away the physical servers, electricity, HVAC, network, and other data-center requirements and deliver virtual server instances to end users. Examples include Rackspace Cloud and Amazon EC2, which offer Linux and Windows servers on-demand without revealing specifics of data center locations, physical hardware specifications, or other users of the services.
  • Platform as a Service (PaaS) solutions place a layer of abstraction on top of raw server instances, offering out-of-box web hosting or even source control management. In these cases, all of the data center infrastructure and operating system(s) are abstracted away from the end user. Examples include Bitlancer Strings, Amazon Map Reduce, Amazon Simple Queue Service, and Heroku.
  • Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions place multiple layers of abstraction on top of raw server instances, offering services like email hosting or accounting software. In these cases, all of the data center infrastructure, operating system(s), software to power the technology, and software to maintain the product are abstracted away from the end user.

Bitlancer has partnered with Rackspace, Inc. to offer infrastructure as a service to our customers. Furthermore, we’ve created Bitlancer Strings, our house-built cutting-edge platform as a service product.

UPDATE: Bitlancer Strings is now open source. For more information, visit Strings Documentation on Github.