Category Archives: Cloud Computing

Understanding the Cloud – Saas, Paas and IaaS

“The Cloud” is encouraging a whole slew of new acronyms, including ones with such obscure names as SaaS, PaaS and even “IaaS”. As a small to medium business owner (yes, you’re an acronym too: “SMB”), you and your staff will most likely only have direct experience with SaaS – the applications that deliver software like Microsoft Office and Google Docs.

Here’s an example of the three layers and how they work together.

SaaS (Software as a Service) – You and your employees use it as off-the-shelf application software. You may decide to use SalesForce to manage your customer database. The SalesForce software is hosted on the cloud, rather than individual hard drives on your office computers, or on the network server in your office. In order to use SalesForce, you download apps that connect with the cloud version, so you’re using SaaS.

PaaS (Platform as a Service) – You hire a software developer who uses this to create custom software. (As a small business owner, you won’t have to know the technical details about PaaS or IaaS, but we’ll give you an overview just for fun.)

Now, let’s say you decide that the off-the-shelf version of SalesForce still requires too many hours of manual data manipulation.

For example, you’re paying overtime in the accounting and sales departments because they need to use different spreadsheets every month to sort and extract data that’s specific to your company.

SalesForce also sells access to bare-bones software platform versions (Force.com and others) — PaaS — on which you can develop, build and host your own version of SalesForce, customized to your individual business needs.

That’s the point where you hire a custom software developer. The custom software development team codes the custom software on the PaaS — uses it as a testing and developing platform — and saves the time it would have taken to set up the development environment on a separate server.

There are many other PaaS providers besides Force.com. And there’s fierce competition among providers to give developers more choices of languages, frameworks and platforms as PaaS evolves, especially in the Open Source community, according to Wazi, the most current news source for Open Source development.

Honestly, the further you go into learning about PaaS and IaaS, the geekier it gets. We touch lightly upon IaaS in another blog post. But trust me — your time and energy will be better spent running your business than trying to figure out the differences between PaaS and IaaS. Their functions often overlap and  they’re moving targets — evolving even as you read this.  The developers who use them don’t even agree on their definitions.

You’re better off finding a software development team that writes brilliant code, will handle the PaaS and IaaS for you, and can communicate with you so you get the software you want — really!

Leveraging Amazon RDS to maximize database performance

Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS) is a feature of Amazon’s cloud computing platform that allows customers to establish an installation of the MySQL Relational Database Management System (RDBMS) that is running “in the cloud.” This installation of MySQL functions exactly like MySQL installed on conventional servers–existing software requires no changes and new software requires no…Continue Reading

Custom Healthcare Software Development

With all the news about Obamacare and the associated problems with roll-out of each state’s own version of this very large healthcare technology ecosystem, I was reminded that in the late 1990s, I had the good fortune to work for a California-based payroll firm where we built one of the world’s first healthcare and benefits…Continue Reading

Five “Gotcha” Surprises Waiting For You In The Cloud

If your business is considering the cloud for your server provisioning needs, you may have very good reasons to do so. The cloud can offer a very affordable way to start a small web service with more control and security than you might get from shared hosting yet without the high cost of a fully…Continue Reading

How Much Will It Cost to Scale My Website?

A Manager’s Primer on Scaling Concepts When a firm invents The Next Big Internet Thing and must decide which building blocks to use so that their software service can support the enormous traffic that inevitably follows, many highly technical questions arise. It’s quite common for these technical concepts to lie outside the manager’s area of…Continue Reading

Advantages (and Disadvantages) of Cloud Computing

“Cloud Computing” is a ubiquitous buzzword (buzz-phrase?) in IT news these days. You can’t swing a LOLcat without hitting some article touting specious promises of the cloud’s scalability, availability, or efficiency. When confronted with these promises, it is natural for IT managers to ask whether the highly-touted advantages of cloud computing are worth the pain…Continue Reading

Amazon Cloud Computing Solutions

Amazon’s Cloud services are a veritable alphabet soup of acronyms. Let Boomcycle provide Amazon Acronym Assistance! If you’ve ever owned a dilapidated old car or if you’ve been forced to travel a lot for work, then you probably know how the venerable American Automobile Association can be a real life saver.  I once owned a…Continue Reading

Client Solutions in the Rackspace Cloud

Some months back we posted an article about one of our favorite things:  Helping Websites Grow. The issue at hand back in March was that our client had a server that was struggling to serve large amounts of images while at the same time trying to make sure that Gigabytes of images were backed up…Continue Reading

SMB Cloud Computing Trends

Small and mid-sized businesses in the market for custom software are flocking to the Public IaaS cloud space — like Amazon or Rackspace –in larger numbers than enterprise users, according to Forrester Research. One of the reasons is that corporate IT departments are slower to make decisions because of their hierarchy. IT managers often need…Continue Reading

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