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Who am I - Cloud or SaaS or neither?

Question asked by sorcerer stone on Oct 21, 2013
Latest reply on Nov 11, 2013 by Eric Hibbard

Hello All,

I am planning to design and to setup a project. I am having difficulties in identifying the differences between Cloud Computing and SaaS – and I have googled to death on this topic. I understand SaaS is part of Cloud Computing. My proposed project involves creating user apps and these inter-related apps are located in dedicated servers (my own servers). These servers (my servers) are going to be placed in data centers. End users from different geographic locations access these web-based inter-related apps/services on the server via internet (https). So in this data accessing configuration format, I think my project is a private cloud.


My understanding is, from the remote end-users point of view, the service my project provides is a SaaS. What I am confused is this. Since I am running my (computational intensive) apps on my hardware servers which will be placed in data centers, I view this project as PaaS or IaaS (not sure which one is more appropriate). To make the characterization more complicated, the remote clients could be some specialized imaging systems which need to communicate (i.e. “plugged-in”) with my proposed server/project to send and to receive data. Human end-users can access my servers to view the data and to add comments (voice or text). So I am more inclined to view my project as (private) Cloud Computing/Services and not as SaaS. I described my project to a business (technology) person, a CEO. She said my project is SaaS and has nothing to do with Cloud. She advised me not to describe my project as Cloud. I goggled for more information about the differences between SaaS and Cloud in order to clarify the proper description of my project. But there is no clear cut conclusion. For example,,1. Information from this link seems to indicate that my project is Cloud!!


Q1/ So I want to know, is my project SaaS or Cloud?

Q2/ Since I am providing a service to remote clients, if the answer to my above question is cloud, should I call it Cloud Computing or Cloud Service?

Q3/ In my project, if the remote client is human, I also allow the end-users connect to my servers (hence apps) via VPN or through https (using a generic web browser or a dedicated mobile app). If the end-users are machines, the connections will be through VPN. With this connection configuration, should I even consider my project SaaS or Cloud? Please note, all remote client generated data will be forwarded to and resided in my servers which are located remote data centers.


Thanks in advance.