In week two, I researched SaaS software solutions like Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure, as well as non-SaaS options like OpenStack and VMware. The features of the software solutions, implementation risks, and capital and operational expenditures are all compared in this paper, as discussed below.
SaaS Solutions Features and Functions
Amazon Web Services (AWS)
AWS is a cloud-based platform that provides businesses with various features and functions, including security and identity, storage, database, and analytics (Hota & Pattanayak, 2021). Some of the key features and functions include:
- Storage: AWS provides a variety of storage services, such as Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3), Amazon Elastic Block Store (EBS), Amazon Elastic File System (EFS), and Glacier. These services allow customers to store and access data for their applications with high scalability, durability, and availability.
- Database: AWS offers various services, including Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS), Amazon DynamoDB, Amazon ElastiCache, and Amazon Redshift. These services allow customers to set up, scale, and query data quickly and easily.
- Security and Identity: AWS provides various security and identity services, including Amazon Identity and Access Management (IAM), Amazon GuardDuty, AWS Certificate Manager, and AWS CloudHSM. These services allow customers to secure their applications and data.
Microsoft Azure is a cloud-based platform that provides businesses with various features and functions, including Cloud computing, security and compliance, storage, and networking (Savaram, 2021). Some of the key features and functions include:
- Cloud Computing: Microsoft Azure provides cloud computing services with various computing, storage, networking, and data services that enable users to quickly create, deploy, and scale applications on a global network.
- Security and Compliance: Microsoft Azure offers advanced security and compliance features, including multi-factor authentication, encryption, identity management, and threat protection.
- Storage: Microsoft Azure provides a range of storage options, from basic, local hard drives to enterprise-grade cloud storage solutions.
- Networking: Microsoft Azure offers various networking services, including virtual networks, private endpoints, and load balancing.
Risks Associated with Implementing SaaS Solutions
- Security Risks: Microsoft Azure is a large and complex cloud platform, and with any cloud platform, there are potential security risks. Azure is built with security in mind, but potential customers should always do their due diligence and research potential security issues before using it.
- Cost: Microsoft Azure is a pay-as-you-go service, meaning customers are charged based on usage. It can be a great benefit if you only use Azure occasionally, but it can add up quickly if you are a heavy user.
- Complexity: Microsoft Azure is a very feature-rich platform, and it can be difficult to navigate the various features and options available. It can be challenging for those unfamiliar with cloud computing and time-consuming to set up and configure an application or service on Azure.
Amazon Web Services (AWS)
- Security Risks: There is always a risk of unauthorized access to sensitive data stored in the cloud. An attacker could gain access to personal data without the proper security protocols and cause a data breach.
- Compliance Risks: Depending on the type of data users are storing or processing, compliance risks could be associated with using a third-party cloud provider. It is important to ensure that individuals’ data is being processed and stored in a manner compliant with the laws and regulations applicable to their industry.
- Data Loss Risks: There is always a risk of data loss when using cloud services. AWS has safeguards in place to prevent data loss, but it is still important to have a backup strategy.
Capital Costs and Ongoing Operational Costs of SaaS Solutions
The cost of using Amazon Web Services (AWS) depends on the type of services users choose. Generally, AWS pricing is based on the number of resources a person uses. It includes the amount of storage, compute power, and data transfer costs. AWS offers various services on the operational costs, each of which has its pricing structure. Common costs associated with using AWS include computing costs, data storage, and data transfer costs. Depending on the services a person uses, people may also incur costs for other services, such as Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3), and Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS). Additionally, people may incur additional costs for support and other services (AWS, 2022).
Microsoft Azure offers a variety of pricing options for its services, depending on the customer’s specific needs. For example, virtual machines, storage, and databases have different pricing models. Generally, the cost of Microsoft Azure services is based on the usage, calculated based on the number of cores, storage, and other resources used. Customers can also take advantage of discounted rates and long-term commitments to reduce costs. The ongoing operational costs of Microsoft Azure include the cost of the services used, such as virtual machines, storage, and databases, as well as any additional services used. It can include the cost of support and monitoring, as well as the cost of any additional resources used, such as bandwidth or storage. The cost of ongoing operations will vary depending on the specific services used and the customer’s usage.
Non-SaaS Solutions Features and Functions
- Cloud Computing Services: Openstack provides cloud services, such as computing, storage, and networking, to enable users to build and manage their public, private, or hybrid cloud.
- Orchestration: OpenStack’s orchestration service allows users to manage large-scale deployments of virtual machines and other computing resources in an automated manner.
- Networking: Openstack provides networking services enabling users to build and manage virtual networks.
- Storage: OpenStack provides an object storage service that enables users to store and manage their data in the cloud.
- Identity and Access Management: Openstack provides identity and access management services to enable users to control access to their cloud resources.
- Virtual Machines: Allows multiple virtual machines with different operating systems to run on the same physical server.
- High Availability & Fault Tolerance: Automatically detects and recovers from hardware and software failures to keep virtual machines running.
- Networking: Supports LAN, WAN, and VLAN networks with advanced security and routing capabilities.
- Storage: Supports storage virtualization and provides advanced services such as deduplication and thin provisioning.
- Security: Includes advanced security features such as encryption, access control, and intrusion detection.
Risks Associated with Implementing Non-SaaS Solutions
- Security Risks: OpenStack is a complex system that requires secure communication between components and access to cloud resources. If these components are not properly secured, it can lead to security vulnerabilities.
- Configuration Risks: OpenStack requires careful configuration of components in order to achieve optimal performance and scalability. If the configuration is not done properly, it can lead to performance or scalability issues.
- Integration Risks: OpenStack is an open-source platform, which may not be compatible with all existing systems. It can lead to integration issues, which can be costly and time-consuming.
- Cost Risks: OpenStack can be expensive to implement and maintain, especially if an organization is unfamiliar with the platform or needs more resources.
- Security Risks: VMware allows multiple virtual machines to run on the same physical server, creating additional security risks. Without proper security measures, malicious users can gain access to the entire server and all the virtual machines running on it.
- Data Loss Risks: VMware allows users to access data stored on virtual machines running on the same physical server, which increases the chances of data loss due to hardware failure or human error.
- Cost Risks: Implementing VMware requires significant hardware, software, and personnel investment. If the software is implemented properly, the costs can quickly become manageable.
- Compatibility Risks: VMware requires that all hardware components and operating systems are compatible with the version of VMware being used. If compatibility issues arise, it can lead to system instability and unexpected behavior.
Capital Costs and Ongoing Operational Costs of Non-SaaS Solutions
The capital costs of OpenStack include hardware, networking, and storage. These costs can range from several hundred dollars to thousands of dollars, depending on the size and features of the OpenStack deployment. The ongoing operational costs of OpenStack depend on the size and complexity of the deployment and the services being utilized. These costs can include support, maintenance, and upgrades. The costs can range from several hundred dollars a month to several thousand dollars a month.
The licensing costs of VMware products vary depending on the type and number of licenses required, as well as the term of the license. Generally, VMware offers three types of licensing models: Per Processor, Per Virtual Machine, and Per Cloud. Costs can range from hundreds to thousands of dollars, depending on the type and quantity of licenses purchased. The ongoing operational costs of VMware can include hardware and software expenses, as well as the cost of additional services such as training and technical support. Hardware costs can include servers, storage, and networking hardware, while software costs can include VMware vSphere, vCenter Server, and other necessary applications (VMware, 2020). Additional costs may be associated with consulting services, software updates, and hardware maintenance.
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Hota, N., & Pattanayak, B. K. (2021). Cloud computing load balancing using Amazon web service technology. Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing, 661-669. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-33-4299-6_54
Rath, A., Spasic, B., Boucart, N., & Thiran, P. (2019). Security pattern for cloud SaaS: From system and data security to privacy case study in AWS and Azure. Computers, 8(2), 34. https://doi.org/10.3390/computers8020034
Savaram, R. (2021, April 22). Overview of Microsoft Azure Software as a Service (SaaS). Mindmajix. https://mindmajix.com/azure-saas
VMware. (2020, March 16). Update to VMware’s per‑CPU pricing model. VMware News and Stories. https://news.vmware.com/company/cpu-pricing-model-update-feb-2020