Buzzwords as a service
- SaaS - Software as a Service
- PaaS - Platform as a Service
- IaaS - Infrastructure as a Service
From top to bottom they are (approximately)... applications hosted in the cloud (e.g. Google Apps), cloud-based platforms on which you can build your own stuff, and cloud-based low-level (typically virtualised) compute infrastructure (e.g. Amazon EC2).
I appreciate that these aren't particularly new terms or anything... but I confess that two of the three were new to me (and on that basis may be new to others).
Sitting under(?) these three I guess you have managed hosting (the phrase Hardware as a Service (HaaS) has been superceeded by IaaS, at least according to Wikipedia). And then there's Data as a Service (DaaS), where data is hosted as a service provided to customers across the Internet.
All of which leads to Everything as a Service (EaaS, XaaS or aaS), the concept of being able to call up re-usable, fine-grained software components across a network.
I have to confess that I find the distinctions between these terms somewhat blurry... but that is pretty inevitable I guess. Picking on something at random, the Talis Platform for example... I have no real sense for whether it is best described as SaaS, DaaS, PaaS or IaaS? Perhaps it doesn't matter.
I particularly like the fact that the Wikipedia entry for PaaS currently says, "This article or section appears to contain a large number of buzzwords". Quite!