Is everything as a service the new wave?

Is everything as a service the new wave?

Summary: Suppliers seem to think that every software product should be offered as a cloud service. Do you agree?


Suppliers of everything from collaborative applications to backup/archival storage/recovery technology have been speaking with me about new cloud service offerings based upon their products.

Vision Solutions Double-Take disaster recovery

The most recent of these was Vision Solutions, which made a point of introducing a repackaging of its Double-Take disaster recovery product either as cloud service or as a product allowing cloud service providers to offer their own disaster recovery service.

Having watched Vision Solutions for quite some time, I've always been impressed with how solid their offerings are. The company has a number of availability products for a number of different operating systems, and each of them has quite a following. I expect that Double-Take Cloud Protection and Recovery (CP&R) is likely to gather a following as well. The product, by the way, is a CloudStack-based product designed to help service providers offer Disaster Recovery-as-a-Service (Vision Solutions is styling this as DRaaS or RaaS) on their own private or public clouds.

The larger picture

The larger trend that I've been seeing is that suppliers of everything, from applications to storage to management tools to disaster recovery products, seem to be packaging their products up so that they can be delivered as service offerings.

Why are suppliers leaping into the clouds?

I believe that suppliers are doing this for a number of reasons. A few of them follow:

  • With little added engineering, support, marketing and sales cost, these suppliers can enter an entirely new worldwide market

  • The cloud services market can produce a more reliable stream of revenue, and can take suppliers a step away from the feast or famine cycle of packaged software products. This, by the way, is one of the reasons why I believe Microsoft is forcing users to move towards online office products

  • Cloud users all use the same version and configuration of products, reducing the cost of supporting them. This, by the way, is another of the reasons behind Microsoft's move to force customers to use online office products

  • The supplier can appear to be forward thinking and innovative, even if all they're doing is repackaging something that has been in use for decades

  • The supplier can garner industry attention with little additional work. After all, anytime anyone announces something that is cloud-related, they get media and analyst attention.

Is this a good trend?

Offering products as cloud services can help suppliers increase their stream of revenue, and can open new sales and market channels. If done gently, a new generation of happy customers can emerge.

If these new cloud services are forced upon customers, and older packaged software products are made unavailable or available with new restrictions (I'm thinking of you, Microsoft), customers are likely to be very unhappy, and may look for replacement products.

If one of your preferred suppliers offered a new cloud-oriented version of their product, would you use it? How would you respond if that became the only way they offered their product?

Topic: Cloud


Daniel Kusnetzky, a reformed software engineer and product manager, founded Kusnetzky Group LLC in 2006. He's literally written the book on virtualization and often comments on cloud computing, mobility and systems software. In his spare time, he's also the managing partner of Lux Sonus LLC, an investment firm.

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  • I agree

    The cloud model is superior in many ways to the old on-premise model. Just to name a few:
    - platform independence - or at least the ability to choose from similar platforms and not being slave to one (platfrom&vendor)
    - wider market - cloud services can be consumed from any OS or device
    - maintenance costs are significantly reduced - by siginificant (!) factor compared to on-premise solutions
    - the service is much better protected from malware and unauthorized usage
  • I Understand

    why providers are so excited about the model, they get to charge for the product in perpetuity with or without providing any upgrades. Software companies really want to be alarm monitoring companies. Meanwhile many of the benefits are dubious at best.

    Some stuff is better off not in the cloud.

    Incidentally, the PC revolution of the 80's and 90's was fought to break away from the controls and inflexibility of centralized compute solutions. Software as a service is timesharing 2.0, or is it 3.0.

    As Ecclesiastes says,"There is nothing new under the sun."
  • Yes, But it's more than just Cloud . . .

    . . . it's not "just" about Cloud. It's about the architecture that's essential to support the enterprise as part of multiple ecosystems. It's regrettable that Cloud providers have adopted APIs which are indeed sometimes no more than program interfaces. In fairness many Cloud providers do "get" the service architecture message irrespective of naming.

    Right now many enterprises are integrating their service and Cloud architecture and recognizing it's an essential step to delivering enterprise as a set of business services sourced from many disparate providers.
    Refer my blog entries:
    The Next Big Leap: Everything is a Business Service
    and Framework for Service Oriented Ecosystem
  • Depends on if its pesonal or business

    As a consumer, I like a DVD I can hold in my hand and install/reinstall as I like. I can re-image my home PC or laptop 24/7 without the need for internet access or licensing concerns.

    As an IT guy in a company with over 4,000 employees, however, I would love to see our licensing problems virtually disappear by moving to the SAAS model. Also, having all our apps available in the cloud simplifies computer management and paves the way for BYOPC policies.
  • Let Me Present ... "Buzzwords As A Service"

    Get an account on a social-buzzwording site, and keep abreast of the latest tech-fashions in an instant.

    In the future, trends will be cloudsourced.