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Technology world is full of terminologies, acroynms and buzz words. In this blog series, we will aim to simplify the basics of Cloud and Cloud Applications in the market with respect to SAP Cloud and HCM technologies. In Part 1, let's get to know the most common and often used terminologies in the cloud industry.

IAAS: Infrastructure as a Service

IaaS delivers computer infrastructure as a service. Rather than purchasing servers, software, data center space or network equipment, clients instead buy those resources as a fully outsourced service. The service is typically billed on a utility computing basis and amount of resources consumed (and therefore the cost) will typically reflect the level of activity.

PAAS: Platform as a Service

Cloud platform services, whereby the computing platform (operating system and associated services) is delivered as a service over the Internet by the provider. The PaaS layer offers services with which developers can build applications on top of the compute infrastructure. This might include developer tools, data access and database services, billing services, etc.

SAAS: Software as a serviceSAP_Cloud_Saas.jpg

Sometimes referred to as "on-demand software," is a software delivery model in which software and associated data are applications are delivered over the Internet by the provider, so that the  applications don’t have to be purchased, installed, and run on the customer’s computers.  SuccessFactors and all of our LOB Cloud Apps, Workday, Salesforce and others use this model to deliver software.

DBAAS: Database as a Service

A cloud database is a database that typically runs on a cloud computing platform, such as Amazon EC2, GoGrid, Salesforce and Rackspace. There are two common deployment models: users can run databases on the cloud independently, using a virtual machine image, or they can purchase access to a database service, maintained by a cloud database provider.

Private Cloud

A private cloud is either a private space dedicated to the customer within a cloud provider’s data center, or a virtualized data center inside the customer’s firewall.

Public Cloud

A public cloud is a set of computers and computer network resources based on the standard cloud computing model, in which a service provider makes resources, such as applications and storage, available to the general public over the Internet. Public cloud services may be free or offered on a pay-per-usage model. Think AWS, Azure.


Multi-tenancy refers to a principle in software architecture where a single instance of the software runs on a server, serving multiple client-organizations (tenants). With a multitenant architecture, a software application is designed to virtually partition its data and configuration, and each client organization works with a customized virtual application.

  • Hint: Think an apartment building. One building with multiple, separate and secure spaces. When windows or the roof are replaced all tenants receive the benefit, not just one space.

Elasticity and scalability

The cloud is elastic, meaning that resource allocation can get bigger or smaller depending on demand. Elasticity enables scalability, which means that the cloud can scale upward for peak demand and downward for lighter demand. Scalability also means that an application can scale when adding users and when application requirements change.

To be continued . . .

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