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You’ve probably been seeing these acronyms in the business and IT media for the past few years; but what are they and what do they mean to you? I’ve seen lots of different definitions over the years, some right and some wrong. Let’s start by stating what the acronyms actually stand for…

  • SaaS – Software as a Service
  • PaaS – Platform as a Service
  • DaaS – Data as a Service
  • BaaS – Backend as a Service
  • IaaS – Infrastructure as a Service

Just about everyone understands what software is these days, it’s the applications you install and run on your computer, laptop, tablet, smartphone etc. SaaS is software provided to you as a service, you may have seen Google Apps, Microsoft Office 365 or Adobe Creative Cloud. They’re mainstream office software that’s provided as a service, you subscribe for £x.xx per month and get the latest version to run on your computing devices. Our virtco.com webmail/email service would also be described as a SaaS product.

PaaS, or Platform as a Service is a bit more abstract for the business person or end-user, but put simply a platform would be something like a web server, or a set of application platform interfaces like the PayPal payment gateway system. Our virtco.com web hosting product provides our primary PaaS offering, and we are also about to launch a private cloud storage product within the virtco.com portfolio.

DaaS, or Data as a Service is the provision of database services, such as a SQL server. Our DaaS product offering from virtco.com is based around the MySQL database and is replicated across the network to provide high availability and resilience.

BaaS, or Backend as a Service is the provision of behind the scenes services to web and mobile application developers to enable integration of the other as-a-service concepts.

IaaS, or Infrastructure as a Service is the provision of the infrastructure to run all the other as-a-service layers on, so it’s the backend server hardware, network infrastructure, mobile phone networks, wireless networks etc that your equipment needs to communicate on and with.

I would like to introduce you to a new concept that D Grant Crawley Ltd has been working on, and that’s CaaS or Compute as a Service. The concept of CaaS is to provide all your business computing needs as a service. That’s everything from desktop pcs, laptops, tablets, software, Internet connectivity, website, email, cloud storage, cloud servers and all the infrastructure in-between that enables it all to work seamlessly and reliably.


The advantage to businesses is that it allows them to budget their IT spend accurately, by only paying for what they use. Giving the ability to scale up and down as required. CaaS also provides businesses a ready-made best-practice driven IT environment which ensures that systems are always up-to-date. The concept is to align the services provided to the business strategy, enabling the business to forge ahead without having to worry about whether their IT systems will cope.

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