As organizations embrace digital transformation, they are swamped with technological solutions. Every acquisition decision is clouded by volatility, risks, and uncertainty.
But thanks to cloud computing service, businesses can opt for flexible pay-per-use subscription model. Cloud service providers offer software as a service (SaaS), platform as a service (PaaS), and infrastructure as a service (IaaS) over the web to their customers.
This saves them from the risk of wrong investments that is often seen in the case of upfront pricing. It also helps them adapt to changing market conditions in the long term and increase operational efficiency.
Realizing the benefits of service models, agile businesses today opt for everything as a service (XaaS) from infrastructure to software solutions. In this blog, we discuss XaaS types, benefits and disadvantages of XaaS model with an example- Hitachi Vantara Everflex.
What Is XaaS Full Form?
XaaS is an acronym where ‘aaS’ stands for ‘as a service’. ‘X’ denotes ‘anything’ which can include software, storage, database, data, infrastructure, platform, and other technology related options. This means that technology providers can offer anything as a service or XaaS. As XaaS covers a wide range of IT resources and services, it is also called everything as a service.
Examples of XaaS everything as a service include Software as a Service (SaaS), Storage as a Service (StaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and more. The tools, services, apps, and the like that are a part of XaaS are delivered via cloud to the user’s device. This streamlines the process for business users and helps avoid the hassle of on-premises deployment.
What Is XaaS in Cloud Computing?
Anything as a service or XaaS in cloud computing refers to a set of services provided to users over the Internet that covers a vast range of technologies, products, and tools. Instead of paying for an IT service upfront, users have remote access and a flexible service consumption model.
The Rise of XaaS
According to a report by Fortune Business Insights, everything as a service (XaaS) market size will grow at a CAGR of 28.2% from USD 419.02 billion in 2021 to reach approximately USD 2,384.12 billion by 2028 worldwide.
The accelerated investment of companies in XaaS or everything as a service was because it provides a more resilient option compared to traditional IT technology buying models. It was also a way for businesses to have more control over their processes by having well connected combination of technologies.
The financial efficiency and streamlined processes with XaaS allowed businesses to remain profitable even in the time of Pandemic. Given the dynamically changing demands of customers, a growing number of businesses are adopting XaaS or everything as a service to stay competitive.
What Is the Use of XaaS?
XaaS business model enables users to opt for software, tools, and other solutions as a service through cloud computing technology. This provides a cost-effective way for businesses to be responsive towards market changes and client needs. XaaS model can easily provide resources to users on demand via internet.
Businesses can avoid in-house installation and maintenance of licensed products apart from upfront purchase. All the services are handled by vendors. The level of control can vary based on customer and vendor agreement.
XaaS business model is also used to improve customer relations and increase revenue by ensuring a faster time to market for innovative products. Hence, most companies use some form of XaaS or everything as a service.
What are the Main Types of XaaS?
Popular XaaS examples in cloud computing are:
Software as a Service (SaaS): In SaaS, the cloud provider offers bundles of applications to consumers in subscription model. Businesses can integrate software solutions in their tech stack to avoid creating them on their own. It is the most popular category among XaaS types to individuals. Examples include MS Office 365, Salesforce, Google Workspace Suite, Adobe Creative Cloud, etc.
Platform as a Service (PaaS): PaaS offers an environment and tools to developers for hosting, development and testing of applications and services in different configurations. It helps reduce the burden on IT teams to invest in and manage development infrastructure. Examples include Heroku, Apache Stratos, AWS Elastic Beanstalk, Azure WebApp, etc.
Infrastructure as Service (IaaS): In IaaS, cloud providers take care of deployment, configuration, and remote management of compute resources like virtual machines and data center storage. Businesses can access and control the infrastructure over a long term or temporarily without making a permanent purchase. Examples of IaaS services are Google Compute Engine and MS Azure.
Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS): Businesses can back up their IT infrastructure and sensitive data in the environment provided by the cloud vendor for use after natural disasters, cyberattacks, power outages, and equipment failures. This helps ensure business continuity by processing data even if the original infrastructure is destroyed.
Functions as a Service (FaaS): This service is meant for developers who want to write modular codes in the cloud environment for adding functionalities that are triggered based on different events. Also called serverless computing, this model is responsible for implementing microservices architecture that is highly popular these days. XaaS examples in this category are Microsoft Azure Functions, Amazon Lambda, etc.
Containers as a Service (CaaS): It offers container-based virtualization that allows IT teams to deploy, run, and manage containers and collections. This becomes useful for ensuring consistent experience during the creation of fragmented applications. Examples are Azure Container Instances (ACI), Portainer management tool, Amazon Elastic Container Service (ECS), etc.
Network as a Service (NaaS): Cloud providers enable their clients to rent networking services through virtualization of network infrastructure. This helps businesses have global coverage for their operations without having to build networks on their own.
Database as a Service (DBaaS): This service model provides businesses with the ability to set up and run databases without any physical installation or performance configuration. This way, the actual subscriber does not have to perform administrative or maintenance tasks. One such example is Oracle Database.
Storage as a Service (StaaS): The vendor manages a data storage platform where customers can store their data and ensure easy scalability. Options include storage objects, network file systems, raw storage volumes, and more. HPE Greenlake and Hitachi STaaS are two such XaaS examples.
Security as a Service (SECaaS): Some businesses also opt for security from a third-party provider instead of doing it on their own. In this outsourcing, the vendor integrates their security capabilities to suit the infrastructure of a particular business.
Backup as a Service (BaaS): In contrast to traditional on-prem backup, businesses which adopt cloud often opt for this service. The service vendor has to ensure reliability and management of back up data. It is important for businesses to archive data and achieve legal compliance.
Monitoring as a Service (MaaS): In this delivery model, third party vendors deploy their solutions to monitor business applications and other services in the cloud owned by their customers. The purpose is to secure all the IT assets of a business at any point in time.
Industry specific XaaS examples like Healthcare as a Service and Marketing as a Service are also coming up. As smart cities grow at an accelerated pace, the importance of XaaS in IoT (Internet of Things) will also rise.
Suggested Read: What is SaaS in Cloud Computing and How It Works
What Is Hitachi Vantara EverFlex (XaaS)?
Hitachi Vantara is an IT service management company that is leveraging the XaaS model to its full potential. It offers Hitachi EverFlex to its customers who want its package of products, solutions, and services like IoT and data storage. With EverFlex, customers have the choice to opt for anything as a service (XaaS) on purchase, lease or consumption pricing models for Hitachi Vantara solutions.
In Hitachi EverFlex (XaaS) purchase and lease options, the customer has complete control of choosing the set of IT solutions, running and maintaining them. The prices are fixed based on solutions that a customer selects.
However, what sets Hitachi apart from others is its EverFlex Consumption model. In this model, there is a monthly pricing which is not fixed. It varies based on the customer’s usage. In the EverFlex XaaS model, the customer has complete control over the solution with onsite management.
Whereas, in the EverFlex consumption as a service (XaaS) model, the provider has complete responsibility of defining, running, and maintaining the solution. Businesses can create their ecosystem with EverFlex framework that allows them to choose among Infrastructure as a Service, IT operations as a service, and applications and data services as a service.
With so many choices during acquisition, customers can opt for the most suitable pricing model as per their needs. Most businesses go for the XaaS or anything as a service wherever utilization rates are low, and the usage is erratic.
Benefits of Using Hitachi Vantara XaaS – EverFlex
Some of the major benefits of choosing Hitachi EverFlex are:
No administrative burden: The entire responsibility of ensuring service outcomes depends on the vendor company. The Hitachi EverFlex vendor monitors, reports, and alerts its client business about all updates and relevant changes. This saves time for the in-house staff who can control and manage their core operations.
Scalable capacity: With the ability to get resources on demand in Hitachi EverFlex, you can upscale or downscale IT assets easily and prevent the mismatch between capacity forecasts and actual reserve capacity requirements. This works great for unpredictable capacity requirements.
Low Initial cost: You can lower the costs of acquiring IT solutions for your business. You only pay for additional resources in reserve when you use them. Hitachi Vantara EverFlex reduces the chances of under or over investing in long-term tech business requirements.
Reduced operating costs: With consistent and reliable services, there is no downtime and additional costs. It is easy to add resources to existing infrastructure and the pay per use model ensures that you are not losing your money.
Numerous acquisition choices: Hitachi Vantara EverFlex can be customized according to unique business requirements. There are numerous options with an advanced scope in the model to choose from based on individual projects. The company provides examples and other forms of guidance to create a tailored XaaS solution that ensures reduced risks for the business.
Disadvantages of XaaS Model
There are some drawbacks of XaaS model due to which businesses become hesitant to adopt it. Primary disadvantages are:
Dependence on Internet: XaaS is based on accessing IT resources via the Internet. Poor internet connection can make it difficult to access these resources. Businesses must check the SLAs (service level agreements) of the providers to ensure the uptime of services.
Provider Dependence: While XaaS reduces the burden on in-house IT staff, users depend on the provider for visibility into the actual environment. Choosing a reliable XaaS provider is crucial as provisioning and management of resources is completely dependent on him. Any changes in the provider’s plans around the service can have a significant impact on the client operations.
Traffic Congestion: As adoption of XaaS increases, the increase in simultaneous demand results in performance degradation. It is common to have latency, storage, bandwidth, and other issues.
Security: As the management of the solutions and services is done by third party vendors, the security of the organization’s data is not in their control. However, if businesses take due care of the security practices followed by XaaS providers, they can reduce their risks by selecting the most reliable vendor.
Whether you choose private, public, or hybrid cloud, you can avail XaaS capabilities and have an easily scalable modern work environment. Hitachi Vantara Everflex is one such XaaS solution that businesses can try to lower asset and operational costs without compromising on service delivery and target outcomes.
- What does XaaS stand for?
XaaS in cloud computing stands for Anything as a Service.
- What does XaaS mean?
XaaS full form means Anything as a service. It is the practice by cloud providers of making IT tools and services available to their customers on demand via internet on a subscription basis.
- How does XaaS work?
In XaaS, users can purchase a subscription from cloud providers to have access to a combination of IT products as per their requirement. Cloud providers manage deployment and maintenance across their centers and provide need-based resources to different users remotely via the internet.
- What is XaaS vs SaaS?
XaaS is a term in cloud computing for a combination of IT services in a cloud that consumers can order for access and use over the Internet. SaaS is a subset of XaaS which just covers the range of software that can be offered as a service.
- What is CaaS in cloud computing?
CaaS in cloud computing stands for Containers as a Service in which cloud providers offer container engines and other compute resources to their clients for container-based virtualization.