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BaaS: Buzzwords-as-a-Service

Jun 12, 2019, 10:40 AM by Alex Simons

Cloud as a service diagram

SaaS, BaaS, DRaaS, IaaS, DPaaS, DBaaS, NaaS, PaaS.

Shouldn’t your IT budget be about numbers not letters?

Did you know that WaaS refers to “wine-as-a-service”?

Sign me up!

What the heck is “artificial intelligence-as-a-service”?

Should I update my resume?

As a managed cloud backup and disaster recovery provider, we realize the whole “as-a-service” trend has spun out of control. There’s even a new catchall term called “XaaS”, short for “anything-as-a-service”. Worse, it seems like nobody even bothers anymore to explain what they mean when they use buzzwords-as-a-service. But don’t worry. The explanation is actually pretty simple. And we’re going to define it for you here so you don’t have to make any aaSumptions. (Sorry. We’ll stop).

What does “as-a-Service” mean?

This whole trend started with Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), which was just a concise way to describe a subscription model for software. SaaS gave your company the option of switching from owning your business applications outright and managing them onsite (what a pain!) to essentially renting them. Under this arrangement, the software maker would handle the application’s maintenance and upgrades, and your employees could access the software online anytime.

For individuals, Office 365 is a great example. Instead of having to buy a Microsoft Office CD and install it on our computer, we can just pay Microsoft a monthly fee and have access to our Word, Excel, and PowerPoint “service” in the cloud.

That’s really all there is to it. The “as-as-service” model lets you outsource the responsibility for a solution’s management, maintenance, upgrades, and technical support from your own in-house team to the maker of that solution.

as a service

Image: Scott Adams, Dilbert. 2/22/94

How does this relate to beer?

Let’s analyze BaaS.

No - not “backup-as-a-service”. We’ll cover that next.

No - not “backend-as-a-service”. That’s more like Fraudulent-BaaS-as-a-Service.

Let’s analyze “beer-as-a-service” and see how hybrid IT environments relate to my favorite food group, beer.

Traditional on-premises infrastructure. To state the obvious, traditional on-prem deployment models aren’t doing so well in 2019. Who wants to buy a ton of equipment and support countless self-maintenance fees? And is it scalable? No.

This model is equivalent to building your own brewery. All that hardware. All those different ingredients. All that maintenance. As the famous meme suggests, “ain’t nobody got time for that”.

Infrastructure-as-a-Service. In an IaaS model, a cloud provider will supply a range of different services traditionally deployed through on-prem hardware. This includes your servers, storage, and networking hardware, as well as the virtualization or hypervisor layer.

This model is equivalent to a Mr. Beer kit. A vendor will provide the equipment. But you still need your own ingredients as well as the expertise to brew the beer. So if you don’t know what you’re doing like me – you’ll be stuck with a sad, undrinkable result.

Platform-as-a-Service. In a PaaS model, a cloud provider will provide the hardware and software required for application development through the cloud. This alleviates your budget from in-house hardware or software licensing required to run an application.

This model is equivalent to BevMo, Elio’s, or Mac’s. Those are my favorite wholesale liquor stores. You don’t have to worry about the equipment or ingredients required to make the beer. All you have to do is drive to the store, buy the beer, and refrigerate it.

Software-as-a-Service. I won’t patronize you! I know you know what SaaS is. Long story short, a third-party provider hosts an application and makes it available over the internet.

So what is beer-as-a-service?

It’s a bar.

The bar has everything you need on-demand. A bar will have a wide selection of beer. Bartenders to serve the beer. Stools to sit on. Music. Pool tables. Sports. I met my fiancé at a bar. All you have to do is show up and drink the beer.

Why isn’t a bar referred to as “beer-as-a-service”?

The same reason Netflix isn’t called streaming-entertainment-as-a-service.

That’s exactly what it is. But it is a dumb idea.


My Favorite Beer-as-a-Service: Snake and Jake’s Christmas Club Lounge in New Orleans, LA

Backup-as-a-Service: The Real BaaS

Backup-as-a-Service is a strategy for data backup where you can “lease” your backup solution to be managed by a service provider. This has many advantages than having to develop and manage your backup operations internally including:

  • Instead of having to buy the entire solution (say, an on-prem server to back up your corporate data), you just pay a monthly fee and let a third party provide that solution via the cloud.
  • With an aaS model you can easily scale up (or down) anytime, so you never need to be paying for unused hardware or bandwidth, and you never need to worry you’re running out of capacity and will need to hastily make an expensive purchase. You pay only for what you need and use.
  • Your IT team will save itself the hassles of managing, securing, and upgrading onsite hardware and other infrastructure. Instead, you can just outsource it all to the [Whatever]-as-a-Service company.
  • With an aaS model — say, Disaster-Recovery-as-a-Service (DRaaS) — you’ll also gain access to a team of experts who can help your team anytime. If you try to cobble together your DR infrastructure in-house, your own IT team will need to become those experts.

Yes, you are now ready for BaaS

Doesn’t sound so complex, does it? Backup-as-a-Service just means you let a cloud-based backup provider build a custom infrastructure for your company that lets you automatically back up, secure, and retrieve your company’s data. You won’t need to buy or manage any onsite hardware or worry about running out of capacity. With BaaS, you never need to run out of capacity.

Same goes for Disaster-Recovery-as-a-Service. Rather than trying to create your own on-prem solution (and then worrying you’ve thought of everything and that you’re still compliant with regulators), you can just outsource the whole thing to a team of DR experts.

Contact a KeepItSafe solution consultant, and we’ll talk you through Backup-as-a-service and Disaster-Recovery-as-a-Service for your company. No commitment. No pressure. Just a conversation. Think of it… as-a-service.

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